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This blog is about the intersection of wife, mother, and employee.

Set boundaries. Find balance. Experience joy. Explore new technology.

Write your own definition of success.


Great interpretation of E M C!

Was treated to this suprise in my twitter feed yesterday.... thank you


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Neither Network...nor Wiki...but Shared Experience is all that matters!!


While many companies craft creative employee engagement and communication strategies to retain and nurture their top talent, EMC, the world's largest computer storage provider, received a gift (“The Working Mother Experience”) from their own actively engaged and committed employees. 
It started as an idea from one single person, Natalie Corridan Gregg, to make women feel more appreciated at EMC and was built into this wonderful traditional-media (printed book) based 250 page culture document (built through shared experiences); showcasing about 100 personal and professional stories of working mothers in EMC.
  The document stands as a testimony to EMC’s commitment to its employees, speaks volumes about the quality of workforce, and serves as a vehicle to connect employees spread in 400 offices across the globe. All of this built by active participation of employees. It wasn’t a corporate marketing or HR initiative, but that of the employees, who collaborated to share the stories of their lives, the challenges they faced in making everything happen and above all share the fruit of success.   Natalie Corridan Gregg, the founder of the book, did not goose participation with coercion or use a top-down approach (Groundswell, pp228), instead she encouraged evangelists to recommend and induce participation. One by one, stories began to pour in the pool, the word began to spread, and Gregg compiled the most magnificent gift for EMC.

Li & Bernoff in their book, Groundswell, repeatedly remind us that groundswell is all about relationships and not about technologies. EMC’s Working Mother’s Experience Book did not use a social network, or intranet or wiki to collaborate but they focused on listening, talking, and energizing participants to collaborate genuine and true stories that affected their lives. The stories uncover the underlying traits of a successful EMC’er demonstrating a sense of urgency, results-driven performance, integrity, innovative problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability both at home and work. The book was distributed to both internal and external audiences. The conversational nature of stories has resonated with working mothers across the board. It makes them feel empowered and connected with peers/colleagues across the globe. Customers, partners, professionals from other companies have bonded with the book as well, more so because it is a topic that affects an outfit of any size or shape.
  Authors’ Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind in their blog post and latest book Talk Inc., describe how leaders at EMC “enhanced organizational inclusion by promoting conversational inclusion.”



As I get older I realize that I do things differently.  Sometimes I pretend it is not true, but it is.  In my twenties I did not get very excited over new appliances like refridgerators, I did not worry about seeding the lawn, and  I definitely did not have a set time to wake up on Saturdays.  One thing is similar, the way I read.  I am not sure if I read more often or less often.  I can confidently say I have an actual (non-kids) book in my hands less often, but in the electronic age that is meaningless.

I read more children's books, obviously.  That said, I have always gravitated toward Non-fiction books.  I love to learn.  Some are too dry even for me, but for the most part I can skim and enjoy books on lots of subjects.   Lately I am reading a bit differently.  I have one book in my bag when I am out and about and one by my bedside.  Both are books on nutrition.  I find the guilt I feel about not eating the "right way" is somewhat nullified by the fact that the two books contradict each other on most points.  One point being clear - eat more fruits and veggies.....hmmm don't think I needed new books to tell me that...

Guess I will go eat an apple and enjoy the sunshine.  Happy Saturday everyone!



Working Mother Experience featured in HBR blog post

WOW!  So cool.  Thanks to Polly Pearson and Michael Slind

Harvard biz school profs are featuring a whole bunch of EMC's great engagement work in a coming book called "Talk, Inc."   In prep for the book, blog posts like this  one  coming out in Harvard Biz Review, this featuring EMC's book Working Mother Experience.




This blog post is about friends.  As a working mother, my friends are my lifeline.  Some of them are working mothers, some are stay at home mothers, and two of my very best friends are not mothers at all. 

I have been struggling with an minor medical issue for the past six weeks.  It required a medication that prevented me from driving.  Before I get 100 comments on how not being able to drive is not a major life struggle....I realize it is not the worst thing in the world.  That said, for a type A+ career woman and mother it was a major life style change.  I was dependent on friends and family for rides not only for myself but for my son.  The first call to a friend was the hardest.  I am not great at asking for help.  It is much more fun to give help than ask for it.  I always like that balance sheet to be in my favor.

I am here to tell you that my family, friends, co-workers, bosses, former bosses and especially my MOM made the six weeks go by in a flash.  I had a few frustrating moments, but overall it was more painless than I would of expected.  There was one point on a Friday afternoon that I did not know how I was going to handle the "sports" Saturday ahead of me.  I did not want to disappoint my son, but I just had no idea how to make it all work...and the phone rang.   It was a friend...she called to tell me that she had not been called for a "turn" to help out.  I do not have any problem telling you I cried on that call.  It is a very special moment when you realize that you have value in the friend department.  So much so that people are going out of their way to look for a 'turn' to help you.

I love my village that helps me raise my son, keep my sanity, and have a little fun along the way.  Thank God for friends!

Please, friends, ask for help when you need it.  I want you to feel as valued as I did when you were there for me!


When should you tell your boss you are pregnant?

*I*, the author, am not pregnant, but I get this quesiton from female co-workers at a steady clip.  You don't have to be pregnant at the time to worry.  Many people planning a family feel a tug between wanting to respect their organizations enough to help them plan appropriately for an extended absence of a key employee vs. private 'family matters' discretion.

I really enjoy my mentor status and really enjoy the challenges each of my mentees bring me.  I had this question in it's most unique form a few years ago.  A woman who was stretching far for a role was interviewing AND four months pregnant.  Hmmm.  That is very different question.  I am not sure what they ended up doing for certain, but I believe they came clean with the hiring manager before the final deal went through.

Having a child is a very private matter, but does have a major impact on the business.

I was suprised to see HBR posted a podcast today on the subject.  It seems this is one part of a study on personal information in the workplace...  I think I will write on that topic next week.  In the mean time, enjoy the podcast!

Comment freely!!