The ice-cream story

I’ll be posting my second vlog on Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational culture next week. Meanwhile, I thought you’d enjoy a “cartoon-strip” about ESN. I was inspired by a fabulous post  on the blog – This Much We Know. It’s the ice-cream story.  Enjoy!

***

It was a Friday afternoon. Danny, Senior manager HR, went to the office pantry.
He realized that there was a lot of left-over ice-cream from a previous
office event.

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Danny went back to his cubicle and quickly opened up ToyBook-
the company’s Enterprise Social Networking Platform.

 


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And all the way in accounting….
In another building…
in a distant part of the toy kingdom…


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Soon, it was 2pm

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Other toys saw that Leonardo was having a great time.

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They didn’t think he deserved all that ice-cream to himself so they decided to stop by at the pantry too.
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Many toys from different parts of the company turned up and they had a great time enjoying the ice-cream.

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Danny was very excited when he saw his colleagues post about the fabulous time that they had together !Slide14

***

So THIS…is the promise of ESN. Connection and the promise of collaboration regardless of distance and time. But does it actually pan out this way for organizations that have adopted ESN? Look forward to my next post! I’ll be sharing exploring examples from Tesla, Red Robin and an organization that shall not be named!

Stay tuned and have a fab weekend!

Acknowledgements:

Many thanks to the blog This Much We Know for inspiring this. Do check out that blog for some great insights into personal branding, the social enterprise, the future of work, the power of curiosity and other things.

AND

My boys for sharing their toys with me. This would not have been possible without their generosity.

Being present and owning my journey.

I’m supposed to be finishing up some work for school but I had to just stop and blog. I was in the middle of reading some chapters from Immunity to Change- how to overcome it and unlock the potential in yourself and your organization (Kegan and Lahey, 2009).

Chapter 9 is about Cathy who identifies her very emotional, wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve characteristic as an area for development. She feels it gets in the way of her being effective in her team environment because her emotional reactions, to things that go wrong or unexpected, spills over into her interactions with others.

Sound familiar? Sounds very like me. Can’t remember how many ex-bosses have told me that I need to be less emotional.

Going back to Cathy. Her exploration and journey into this change, following a framework that Kegan and Lahey features in the book, makes her realize that it isn’t her emotions that is an issue, but instead the high expectations that she holds for herself, especially. For example,  a good Cathy in her book gives 150% percent of herself (she only expects 115% from other team members).

“It doesn’t take much to imagine how a belief in this level of personal effort leads to extremely high stress (self-imposed though it may be), which increase the likelihood of becoming emotionally over-whelmed. Everything is high stakes when your performance expectations are so high”.

Digging deeper, it’s this fear that she’s not good enough. A lack of confidence and self-belief in her that drives this high performance expectations. A fear of disappointing herself, a fear of failing others.

I received a text this morning from an angel from across the pond. She read my recent blogposts and said “You are an amazing woman, mother and wife and are not defined by the jobs/education we have or participate in.  Own YOUR journey and be happy in each moment as this is your life.”

Delighted to hear from her, I replied to say thank you for her encouragement, and didn’t think about that message until I came across Cathy’s story in the book.

Her boss’s feedback to Cathy- “Your value isn’t tied to what you do. It’s your special insights. You value is you. It’s the way you are present in what you do.”

I couldn’t get past that line. It was almost exactly the message my friend had texted me not 12 hours ago.

It’s what I’m doing right? Have you noticed? I haven’t. Part of this habit of blogging, is not just about sharing my experiences, it may as well be, a channel by which I have been communicating my insecurities. It’s really my way of trying to assure myself that I am a good mother, a good wife, a good responsible student, but at the same time beating myself about it and tearing myself down, because I don’t want to end up disappointing myself, disappointing you. So everything is laced with this negativity, masked as humility?

My friends, the ones who know me well, I think they can see it, spot the patterns. See the insecurities. even where I am not able to.

It must be why I’ve been cooking like crazy right? To prove something to myself? To try and make myself believe that I’m as good as I want and hope to be, in all aspects of life.

But what do i lose? I lose being in the moment, being present fully in what I do.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging…. should i? …no i love it too much… or i won’t until it gets clearer to me that i should? …It just means I have a better, renewed, transformed perspective of what I’m doing and how i’m doing it…

( u know it…if this was written parchment paper, you’d see tear marks everywhere…)

A day in the life of ….

It is 10.43pm. And I have time for only a short one…
7am today. Woke up and dragged myself out of bed to go and do some cardio at the gym. I haven’t been at the gym for the last 5 days. I thought it was time to break the terrible pattern. Brought my iPad and watched the first episode of ‘How to Get Away with Murder’. I’ve promised myself I only get to watch my shows when I’m on the treadmill or elliptical (thanks Alyssa for the idea, it’s a real horrible idea you know, such torture)
Came home. Showered and had breakfast.
9am. The day was so gloomy but we had already planned to head to the Shedd aquarium today. Ihsan had been repeating on loop how he missed the aquarium. He also said he wants to live right next to it (sighs). So we went. But, I spent most of my time at a cafe, going over readings for a class I had tonight (I was feeling guilty for the half-assed blogpost I put up last night, 1 day late mind you. And nothing in comparison to the quality of writing of some of my classmates). I did take the boys to the aquatic show, letting hubs sit at the cafe with a cup of hot chocolate to be away from the boys for a little (Nothing to feel guilty about, very important for parental sanity).
The view from the cafe. Dark dark skies terribly chilly winds. Welcome to the Windy City, huh?
I napped in the car on the way home. We had lunch and then we went for the boys first swimming lessons at a nearby swimming school. You guessed it, I had my readings along with me.
Will blog more about this experience another time!
We headed home. I had an early dinner (4.30pm). Had a hot shower. Popped some pills and lay down for a rest. I’ve been having tension headaches almost every day. 
I then walked over to school for a 6pm team meeting. We’re working on a problem-based assignment for a class I’m taking. 
Before the meeting, I spent about 15 minutes complaining about how the readings are so dense. How all the activity on our hive (our online learning platform) is making me feel very unintelligent compared to my colleagues.
Virtual meetings are huge in this prog!
At 7pm, we log onto our virtual class. I’m blown away by the technology and how I’m in a small actual classroom on campus with my team-mates, but also online with 44 other students, some as far away as Australia! It’s my first ever online virtual class. 
It’s daunting, at the same time hilarious! The comments on the chat bar blow me away1
At one point, there was a poll and I was in the minority that answered positively to the question. My team, the one I was with non-virtually in the classroom, urged me to ‘raise my hand’ in the class and share my views. I felt a little pressured, even though one of my classmates, sensing my discomfort assured me that I didn’t have to. But I did. I spoke up and I don’t know whether what I said was even logical, but I was glad I had team mates willing to put me out of my comfort zone.
Our virtual class ended at 8.30pm. Our team stuck around to finish up our meeting, picking up on juicy bits our professors had doled out during the class. We worked out what needed to be done before our next meeting.
I walk home. It’s 9.15pm. The boys are fast asleep. I let out a grunt of acknowledgement to my hubs, changed into jammies, opened up my laptop and tackled my blog reflection post for Thursday’s class. Tomorrow, I have to read the 4 chapters plus 1 compulsory reading for that same class (never mind the 3 other optional readings assigned) and complete 1 assignment that we’re discussing in THAT SAME CLASS. 
I also have to find time to do some interviews for a discovery assignment for another class (why aren’t the contacts replying me?) and then start tackling assignments for next week.
It’s 11.07pm now. I’m feeling good that I’m spending this little time blogging. I do want to share my academic experience (with those who are keen to learn about it). Also, it would really help address any concerns that my colleagues or former/current/potential bosses may have about how I spend my time here. It’s not all about fishing, sunny days with the kids touring around. It’s pure hard work la!!! *cries*
I find it even more difficult to balance between my priorities now. Especially since I’ve stated how time with my kids is important and a priority over these 2 years. It would be easier to just chuck them in school all day, the way I do in Singapore. Sighs……(yes, still carrying around years of mommy guilt).
I’m going to have some left over tiramisu now and watch a little bit of tv. Brainless stuff like fixing homes. And then tomorrow wake up to go to the gym so I can finish that episode of ‘How to get away with murder’ and maybe start on the new episode of Jane the Virgin. Sigh, who am I kidding? I should dump all this entertainment and just watch Ted Talks and podcasts like all my other brilliant classmates!