Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational Culture (Part 3 of 3)

Welcome back to Prettyeveel’s adventure and my exploration of Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational Culture. This is my last series of posts on this topic, and i’ve split my vlog into 2 separate posts.

The first post explores the experience of a company, that shall not be named, with an ESN platform that they designed and purpose built for their organization. They have experienced mixed results. Find out exactly what they learnt from their experience.

The second post focuses on 4 tips on implementing ESN in your organization.

I hope you find these posts helpful. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our journey of learning together. =)


Wanderer’s Blog about Mobile ESN: http://sites.northwestern.edu/mfox/author/mwf181/


Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational Culture (Part 2 of 3)

Check out my 2nd of 3 vlogs on Enterprise Social Networking and Organizational Culture. If you missed the part 1, you can watch it here.





Building Corporate Culture with Social Learning in 5 Moments of Need

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.


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




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


Soon, it was 2pm

Slide07 Slide08

Other toys saw that Leonardo was having a great time.



They didn’t think he deserved all that ice-cream to himself so they decided to stop by at the pantry too.

Many toys from different parts of the company turned up and they had a great time enjoying the ice-cream.


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!


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.


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

Twins Turn 5

My lil bubs who really aren’t lil bubs any longer turned 5 last week.


It was a hard week for me. It was a jumble of crazy emotions. I was excited about celebrating their 5th birthday and decided to throw them a little birthday party. I didn’t want them to feel like their birthday was different because we are so far away from home. Hubs and i decided to invite 4 families who we have grown close to here. And just have a get together at our place.

We decided to keep things simple. We didn’t even do a cake at their school or get goodie bags for their classmates. I’d love to say that it was because I didn’t want to forever raise my kids’ expectations on their birthday, but it really was because I had no bandwidth. I’m midway through the quarter and my workload is just crazy. So I really had to keep things simple. Especially when I didn’t have my mom and my sis-in-law around. Mom usually cooked for their birthday parties and my sis-in-law would help me with all the planning. I was also just missing my family period. And feeling generally overwhelmed!


The menu went from mee siam to roti jala because I needed to keep things simple plus i couldn’t find tauchu anywhere. My plans to make epok-epok got scrapped because thinking about peeling and cutting potatoes made me a little crazy. And as the weekend approached, I decided to not make little shepherd pie cupcakes for the kids. We ordered pizza instead.  Grand plans to make banners and decorate the apartment in a dinosaur+pizza theme was scrapped too. All I managed to do was this little birthday wall for my kids. And I only managed to get it done because I skipped a few readings for the week. All in all, I was a pretty big disappointment. To myself.


Seriously, everything went well. There was enough food. And hubs got the cake and pizzas sorted. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the kids had fun. Of course, Irfan ended up crying after everyone sang him Happy Birthday, but I guess it wouldn’t be complete if there was not a bit of drama. 



And courtesy of Fern and Stanley, we even managed to enjoy a yusheng and celebrate Lunar New Year. It was a birthday party cum reunion dinner (with roti jala instead of steamboat!)


To my darling boys, Ihsan and Irfan, Happy 5th birthday sweeties. I want you to know that Mama loves you more than life itself!


Our road-trip down south…

This is a very very belated post. But better later than never….riiiiittteee? …. *grinz* Only feeling like blogging about it now BECAUSE blogging and finding my voice is an assignment for #msloc430 Creating and Sharing Knowledge.

Very very good excuse now, to be spending time blogging instead of going through my readings and assignments! Argh! I’ve totally forgot I have readings to complete for this week. *fail*

Anyhow…back to the road-trip.

We planned the road-trip because Ihsan has talked about seeing the whale-shark at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta since forever. And I remember promising him once that I would bring him if we moved to the US. So this was about me making good my promise. We decided not to fly to Atlanta for the following reasons:

  • We own a car! Yes, we the Singaporeans who cannot afford a car in Singapore can actually afford a really good car here. So, since we will return to Singapore in 2017 and unlikely to own a car in Singapore, we thought we should drive to Atlanta.
  • I like the flexibility of road-trips. No airport immigration queues to deal with, airport delays, etc. Road trips mean we can take our time
  • I’ve always wanted to do a road-trip across the US. You know, to drive from east coast to west coast stopping at random sites like the biggest ball of yarn. Can’t do exactly that with the boys, but the driving across the US came close to my dream.

So, I have a whole lot of pics that I posted that makes us look like we had a fabulous time. I think the kids had a fabulous time. I’m not sure if hubs had a fabulous time, but I was actually quite bored (except when we were at the aquarium)  most of the whole trip and missing Evanston the whole time. Still can’t pinpoint the reasons why i felt soooo disengaged.

It could have been:

  • This whole moving to the US, living in Evanston, sightseeing and getting familiar with Chicago etc has been such a grand adventure that the road-trip really wasn’t that much more exciting. It didn’t live up to the expectations that i had built up in my mind.
  • Most holidays we’ve been on with our kids have been beach holidays when we do nothing but swim and sunbathe. City adventures just aren’t fun with 2 boys who get bored and tired easily. We did very little because they neeeded to nap, etc. And EVERYTHING we do, is what the KIDS want to do. Hence, the aquarium (which I did like) and the Indianapolis Chidren museum.
  • Halal food is quite difficult to find in most places down south, and if we do find halal places, it’s usually a kebab, middle-eastern place. I was missing home-cooked food. It wasn’t as bad when we stayed in air bnb apartments and I had access to the kitchen, but it wasn’t quite the same because I didn’t have access to all the ingredients I wanted.


But, in all honesty, it wasn’t all bad. We did have some fun.

My top highlights were:

1. Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium

This aquarium was definitely worth the trip. It has an amazing collection of fish. Of course there’s the most beautiful whale-sharks, but also many other sea creatures such as the beluga whales and bottle-nosed dolphins.


Parents, this aquarium is also very kid-centric with several features in the exhibits that are meant to engage your lil kiddos and teach them about sea-creatures in a very interactive and tactile way. The kids loved this zone and Irfan insisted that it was our first stop when we went back to the aquarium for a second time.

The boys are playing an online game. They take on the role of the animal trainers and are preparing the animal’s feed. They learn that they can’t feed too much or too little, or the animals will fall sick.



2. Chatanooga, Tenessee’s Rock City

We had an amazing time with the boys here. You explore this rocky terrain that leads you to the lookout where the views of 7 states are magnificient! We just hung out up there enjoying the view, soaking up the sun and hanging out.

 IMG_1759 IMG_1751



One of the highlights of rock-city was mothergoose village in fairyland caverns. Beautiful scenes from mothergoose tales on display deep in the dark cavern. It was slightly spooky and magical at the same time!



3. Nashville

I just loved the vibe in Nashville. Just walking past the bars on Broadway got me going. I can’t imagine it, if I was traveling without the boys and hanging out in them bars! I also enjoyed hanging out at the coffee joint we discovered and I think, if we had more time, we could have explored several more local indie joints. There’s a jalapeno pineapple popsicle I’d really want to get back to try!


4. This random stop on the road at Decherd, TN.

We stopped for a lunch. It was cold, in the mountains between Chatanooga and Nashville, and it was just amazing!


Anyways, I think that’s it. I’ve scratched the itch and don’t see any reason why we should do another long road-trip. 3 hours max in a car, that’s as far as we go. We fly next time. =)

Blogging IS the assignment!


I sometimes still pinch myself just to make sure that I’m not dreaming. I’m not! I am a wildcat. It’s amazing when things you dream, hope and pine for come true.

First quarter of dreaded winter term has begun. Dreaded because I am seriously a tropics gal, all this cold, ice, snowy isn’t really my thing. I love lying in the sun, toasty warm. So I was worried about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Worried that i’d wake up everyday weepy, unable to get my mind focused on anything, learn nothing from my courses and fail my classes. And you know what? Somehow winter has been mild this year. Thank you El Nino… =) Thank you for helping me ease into this cold…

Anyhow, i’m really excited about this new quarter. And can you believe, one of our assignments this entire term is to BLOG! To find our voice and experiment on digital presence.

I am so excited!

Of course, I’m suppose to blog on more serious stuff related to some of the theories and concepts we are learning about, but i really want to have fun with this. And I really want to VLOG! I’ve never done it before, except for a recent game that we had developed at work, when I made some videos as a makcik with a youtube channel. And it was such such fun! So i’m hoping I get to push myself a little more and get out of my comfort zone… which is obviously this random rubbish i spew on this blog…that some of you are so kind to read. *muacks*

So stay tuned yar….

Oh by the way, I also moved my blog onto a Northwestern Uni wordpress related site. Think it was time to say bye-bye to blogger… AND it’s one of those things i do that’s akin to pinching myself. It makes this experience more real to me….I’m trying to savour ever precious moment.

Till later folks…and oh yar, to my #msloc430 classmates who are reading my blog for the first time….WELCOME TO THE PAR-TAAAYYYY!!!!

Winter break–> Almost over *Screams*

Oh my…winter break is almost over and I’ve done very little that I had set out to do. I had grand plans to revisit readings, consolidate the learning that I had experienced during the last quarter and to blog more. But all this lazy ass has done is bingewatched shows on Netflix.

Oh wait, I did read Purity by Jonathan Franzen and went on a road-trip so all was not lost…i guess. It’s a really good book, btw. I saw it at the Evanston library and picked it up, only because I read on NYT that President Obama is reading it. Yes…I read it because the president is reading it. I trusted that he had good taste in books. It was good. A little twisted. That is, almost all the relationships of the characters in the book are all twisted and dysfunctional.

Anyway. It’s almost the end of the break and I’ve learnt something about myself. I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. A person of extremes. I’m either working very very hard or i’m totally slacking off. There is no in between or at least it feels as if there is no in between. I’m either very stressed or totally chill.

I bet i’m in need of some mindfulness. yes… well…sighs…

Till later…

Pumpkin Season!

What else would we do in Fall and during Halloween season but go check out the pumpkin farms right?? 
OMG! We had such an awesome day!
First, it is always much more fun when you go with friends! We arranged to go with some friends. Fern and Stanley introduced us to a family with 3 lil kids and our kids get along real well. So we all, including auntie Fern and uncle Stanley, came along for a Saturday morning with pumpkins. So the boys really had a lot of fun running around together.
It’s funny that initially Irfan felt conflicted about his new friends. He told me he couldn’t play with these new friends because he already had his cousin Mik as a friend. He was afraid of betraying their frienship I think- everyone say awwwww….I explained to him that Mik wouldn’t mind if he made some new friends…Right Mik???

We had some options to choose from and we chose Krolls Farm, a small family owned farm about 40 mins from where we live. It’s known more for being a more traditional farm with a simpler fall festival. There are a lot of more commercialized farms with more activity, but you know *ka ching* everything needs $$$.

I was given the responsibility of where we would go and I decided that given this is my kid’s first experience at a pumpkin farm, that I should definitely not raise the bar too high. If we went to a flashy farm with bouncy castle, rides, etc. then they”ll expect ALL pumpkin farms to be like that right? So decided for cheaper option. Which really ended up to be a wonderful experience!

There was a small petting zoo, enough to get the boys excited but not too big that they go totally nuts! We also went on a tractor ride (not too expensive) and the tractor was driven by Mr Randy Kroll, the owner of the farm. He was quite amazing, telling us fun facts about pumpkins and gourds and he was funny and entertaining. It was nice to get driven around by the owner of the farm.

Did I mention it was a beautiful day? We were very lucky. The boys already miss the pumpkin farm, and we may go back this season just for fun. =)