Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Brigit Law 4:59 pm on December 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Crowd funding: Will it break relationships? 

    A good friend of mine, with whom I talk a lot about my work in raising funds for education, art, culture in schools as well as therapeutic horseback riding, pointed out a news headline to me, to which I felt compelled to react: Crowd funding: Will it break relationships?

    When I moved to the US and got bombarded with local fundraisers, the same question came to my mind. I live in a small community where participating in fundraisers is a community building exercise. There is simply no soccer for my son without donations raised by the soccer ‘crowd’. And more importantly, my kids school can not reach decent academic standards without donations raised by the school ‘crowd’. As a European, used to social system, my first questions was: Do I need to support all fundraisers? My second question: Will people like me less if I don’t support ‘their’ fundraisers?

    After some sleepless nights, I think I found some answers.

    (More …)

  • Brigit Law 12:21 am on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    ‘Purpose Gets Personal’: The New Way at Edelman PR 

    The world’s largest PR firm Edelman has launched a new website, focusing on two of my favorite professional themes: [leadership through] complexity and diversity (‘Life In Color’).

    I got completely hooked up to their Purpose Around The World study, resulting in the ‘Purpose Gets Personal’ and ‘Me in We’ outcomes (see image below). These are outcomes I see around me too and I feel completely connected to them as a communications professional and hobbyist. It seems that Edelman employees are spot on with their revamped company strategy and offering of PR solutions.

    However …. , I also see a short coming (More …)

  • Brigit Law 5:48 pm on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EquiCoaching, , Stap 1-2-3   

    Step 1-2-3 

    A Dutch friend of mine started her own business in EquiCoaching called ‘Step 1-2-3’. 

    This sounds like a great name to me. It reminds me of the three part-view of a story, a journey, a program or a project: The Beginning, The Middle and The End. A creative adventure to lead change …

    (More …)

    • Ruth Tearle 6:26 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Bridget, I like your fresh idea of using a “beginning, middle and end story” with change management.

      It resonates with the whole Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey – which is in the following blog.


      • Brigit Law 5:27 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Ruth, Thanks for your reference to Joseph Campbell’s hero story. He is right when he says: “When we ask our employees to ‘change’ we are asking them to forsake the world they know, and to commit to going on a journey…” A journey that does not bring people back to the home they know as most people on a holiday do, but to a new and fresher home based on new personal achievements and insights as real travellers (story hero’s) do. A new home that may be situated in the same old brick walls.

  • Brigit Law 3:16 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gender Balance, , Muna Abu Sluyman   

    Balancing Out The Corporate World With Quotas 

    Last week a post from the Economic World Form showed up on my Facebook with Muna Abu Sluyman from Saudi Arabia sharing her ideas about gender and equality at the work floor.

    In her blog ‘Balancing Out The Corporate World’ she explains why mandatory quotas are needed to ensure that women join the decision makers in this world. I couldn’t agree more with her.

    Indeed, quotas are a crucial step to female empowerment in business with the end goal to achieve a better balance in decision making and, hence, finding solutions to the needs of a community or society at different levels of emotion. The latter – the goal – is often forgotten in the debate about this instrument, what a quota merely is. That is why we all, men and women, need to force ourselves to look beyond the instrument and understand better the goal we want to reach. This important worldwide debate should not be belittled or slowed down by some of the less flattering details of the instrument.

    In many instances, quotas are not very popular and stir up a lot of emotions. You only have to look as far as the Dairy and Fishing industry to see how quotas give people the creeps. But is that a reason not to use them?

    Don’t get me wrong, working with quotas is not a concept that I favor in principal and like to think we don’t need them. Regularly, my husband – a decision maker in industry – and I have tough discussions about it. On the other hand, why is it so difficult to accept that quotas help? Many woman – and I am one of them – just need that extra push get a sound and respectful female leadership community to look up to. Why? Because there is an urgent need for people and profiles we as women can more easily:

    • identify with,
    • admire, and
    • get inspired by.

    The key emotional ingredients for moving up and forwards in business, wouldn’t you say?

    I know, quotas feel like putting an elephant in a china shop. However, it is not unusual in business to put an elephant in a china shop in order to get things moving and shaking and more importantly, to get people to change their believes that are hidden far back in their mind and steer their unconscious behavior. So, quotas could be the hammer on a fragile nail that refuses to go in. Now, the challenge is to use the hammer in a subtle way.

    Back to the challenge of inspiration and perception. When I searched for images to go with this article I noticed how difficult it is to find images that portray the essence of this subject . If you Google on let’s say ‘Board Woman’, you get girls in bikini. Online magazines like Spiegel Online lack imagination with an awful image of a lake and mountains when covering the Norway Case in their article ‘Norway’s Experience Shows Compulsory Quotas Work’

    And another very sad image of a woman alone in a meeting room was shown alongside the article Norway’s New Quota: Corporate Board 40% Women Or Else!

    And what do you think about this awful image alongside another article from Spiegel Online ‘Gender Equality’.  The Dominatrix looks like a nicer person to work with than this woman …!

    And perhaps wort of all are magazines and blogs that do not even have an image with their articles on gender equality, such as Ignore the doubters. Norway’s quota on women in the boardroom is working

    Sadly it looks to me that the media wants us to believe that we have a long, muddy and indefinite path to go. Of course, it is nothing like that at all. It are all man who wrote these articles.

    What we need is a tsunami of contemporary images of women in this world doing their leadership job on a daily base. Women like the Principal of my kid’s elementary public school, Scotland Elementary School (PA), who steered the school into the top three ranking of public schools in the area.

    Windows of opportunities are opening for women, but for how long will they stay open? I am sure that this era of social practices and emotions will be followed up by a new one where men will claim their positions in leadership back, whether in a traditional or new format. The changing of the wheel goes fast. Change in business and society lays around the corner, all the time.

    And THAT, my dearest reader, is WHY we need QUOTAS as a mean to enhance Female Leadership.

    • gromykl 4:00 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t agree more! 🙂 Just wrote a similar blogpost a little while ago. Found this blog through twitter searching on expat, just started off as a expat spouse myself with a small child and are trying to find my way

    • Mike 1:38 pm on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Your first error is think that for start much people support female empowerment like something good for our society. Your second error is think that the end justifies the means, and it turns worse when you understand that the last objetive is not shared for most of the people. If you dare to break one of the few principles that is really accepted for most of the people like valid, like is formal equality, to be able to favour women ¿how would you defend yourself if appeared a new social-engineer ideology that conclude that its better for the society, men and women, return to the traditional sketch, and that the state must break the formal equality in order to get that?

      • Brigit Law 4:54 pm on August 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Mike, female empowerment, – or a women’s gateway to equal participation in working life as I prefer to call it – is not something one supports but merely confirms. It is like potty training a toddler: you need to give the toddler a potty to succeed. For woman’s equal participation you need to give her a quota to succeed.

  • Brigit Law 3:26 pm on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Retail, , , Target Corporation   

    The Secret of Social Media Success by Target 

    I just shopped my groceries at Giant which I like, probably because of its Dutch roots of owner Ahold: it almost make me feel like shopping at home in The Netherlands, only much bigger.

    Although, I am not so attracted to ‘like’ big food chains – or any big chain for that matter – on Facebook, but I was curious and checked out the three leading US food stores in my area on Facebook.

    And the difference is huge: Giant has 40 likes and no active page, 2.207 likes and Target has 9.818.115 !!!! likes.

    Of course, we all want to know the secret of their success!

    I did not find much information on Target’s Social Media policy with a quick search on Google, but perhaps it has something to do with this: Target’s Community Outreach program. Target says it is on track of giving 1 billion dollars to support education by 2015.

    Now, how much more social can one get?

    It’s something one just has to like!

  • Brigit Law 11:54 pm on February 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Trot, And You’ll Lead! 

    It’s not new when I say that horse riding contains many metaphors for good, creative leadership. You may know many yourselves.

    I started horse riding four years ago at the same time I started my own business. I am not a very demanding and egocentric by nature and – therefore- not natural leader. I neither feel the urge to proof something to my friends or family – a proven help in successful leadership -, so I was well advised by a Swedish friend to take up horse riding to get the hang of good leadership.

    And it pays off, in particular because of my wonderful American instructor Judie.

    Here are a couple of equestrian principles she thought me which I like to share with you as food for thought in business leadership:

    1. Post Bigger when trotting, not smaller. In English riding one is tempted to post smaller in an effort to stop a horse going t0o fast, but the opposite is true. When you want a horse (or organization) to go more slowly and in controlled manner, start posting bigger.

    2. Don’t Focus, just Be Aware. Whilst many management gurus and alpha-male leaders advocate that ‘Focus’ is the key to success in business, equestrian leadership will tell you that ‘Being Aware’ is a better key to good leadership. Putting a strong focus on something particular means that one does not see or sense other important signals (in an organization).

    3. Use Your Space. Horse riding is a mirror to how we cut short our corners if we are not conscious of all the free space around us. Cutting corners short means more difficult turns and more stress. In communications & leadership this is also explained by (not) using ‘white space’ in writing or by getting active in the ‘complexity quadrant’ of Dave Snowden’s  Cynefin. There is much to say for showing leadership where the situation complex, though much less crowded.

    These are my favorite thoughts that help me to keep my leadership skills in form. What are yours?

  • Brigit Law 5:59 pm on February 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    To Teach Is … 

    Just ‘like’ these two sayings I found on the wall of Scotland Elementary school where my kids go to!

    I am sure you remember those teachers who believed in you, who made you feel special and top of the world, or helped you to make those extraordinary choices that got you from the bottom of the class then to that successful person in business or community today.

    It got me to think of my special teachers in any case.

    With thanks to Mrs DeSerio, Principal at Scotland Elementary, for sharing these thoughts through her school wall.

  • Brigit Law 11:57 am on February 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Privacy, Rules   

    5 Facebook Rules I Live By 

    I felt some feeling of spring in the air when I left the barn at Wilson College this morning. The sun shone differently, warmer. The horses were in good form and I can look back on a very good riding session. Every time it amazes me how horseback riding get one to experience the flow communication so clearly.

    What I am going to share with you today are my favorite Facebook tips. The five Facebook rules I live by.

    These are the rules I believe are essential to follow. Anything else, any more elaborate advice, flows from here.

    1. Share only what EVERYONE should know and DON’T share what only a few should know
    2. Don’t presume that everyone automatically receives your message. People more often don’t than do listen
    3. Apply the ‘No Man Is An Island’-approach, i.e. pay attention to others, your stakeholders
    4. Write news stories that are desirable, visually digestible and shareable. Messages must slide through digital communities like a piece of hand soap
    5. Respect people’s privacy at all times

    I compiled these yesterday for a private and membership based organization who had questions about what and what not to publish on their Facebook. They are in a phase of change where they are opening up more to the community to attract new members and events to their club. So, a critical look at how to use Facebook in these important times, is important for them.

    I hope you will have a nice day with just that little bit of spring feeling too!

    • aviva 12:40 am on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Good article and Nice blog greetings! aviva

    • Charles Derbyshire 11:03 am on February 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

      • Brigit Law 6:09 pm on February 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Charles: Thank you for you very kind and supportive feedback on my blog.

  • Brigit Law 9:39 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Doodles, Google,   

    Valentine’s Doodle Tells The Story of Google 

    “The coolest thing, after having worked in online games for the last 10 years, is it was a wonderful return to storytelling.”

    “It felt like a Valentine for me.”

    This is what the creator of the Valentine’s Doodle Michael Lippman says about his viral work.

    The Doodle was uploaded on YouTube on February 10th and received 8,164 likes within the first 4 days.

    It’s the best piece of advertising for my continuous effort to convince organizations to use storytelling in their communications!

    Watch it here …

    Valentine’s Day Google Doodle

  • Brigit Law 11:05 pm on February 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , music, ,   

    American Culture? What, where … ? 

    Often,I hear that America has little to no culture compared to places like France, Italy or Greece. This is said by the media or my fellow Europeans who were on holiday here. I must say, I was slightly afraid that this might be the true after a visiting the only Amish museum in Lancaster and seeing it very strangely hidden behind the giant buildings of the commercial chains Walmart, Giant and Kohls.

    However, after living seven months in American, I am glad to say that I can agree with the opposite. America has a great culture! It is a culture that is embedded in their music, films and world famous brand slogans!

    I realized this when my sister in law said that I lived in a film after hearing one of my stories. Indeed, there have been numerous occasions now that I felt I was living a film or a song. The first time was when when the check out guy at the Walmart called ‘hey lady’ to me after I had forgotten my shopping bags at the counter, or when I feel the ‘Just Do It!’ slogan from Nike at work when I am volunteering in community and school projects here, or when I see my daughter sliding down the staircase in our house in America just like Annie Banks in the film The Father of the Bride. In the Netherlands where I come from, we just don’t have such big staircases and ‘sliding space’ in our houses and we rather talk and wait for who is going to do it than ‘just do it!’

    Culture in America may not to be found in books from great writers like in Russia or France, or in food from famous chefs like in Belgium, or ancient castles and ruins like in Germany and Greece, paintings in Italy or in a healthy living like in Scandinavia. If you want to experience American culture and history, listen to American music, see the films and live the slogans of their brands.

    So now, after a long week with work and kids, I am going to take a nice a warm bath. Because I am worth it!

    • 20poorandfabulous 12:00 am on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      of course america has a culture, every civilization on earth has a culture. how insulting you think american culture is encompassed by music, film and worst of all SLOGANS. yes, america is a very capitalist/consumerist-driven country, but you cannot blanket a country as large and culturally diverse as the united states as being solely music, film and slogans. not everyone spends their days at the local walmart or kohls, mind you. think about it this way: the south(mississippi, georgia) is an entirely different place than the northwest (seattle, portland), and the southwest (tucson, new mexico) is vastly different from the midwest (chicago, minneapolis) and the northeast (new york, boston). it’s like if someone were to tell you all european cultures (france, germany, the netherlands, etc) are simply composed of nice chocolates, wines and people who use euros. or that south american cultures (chile, brazil, colombia, etc) are simply spicy food, salsa music and hot weather. vast generalizations about any culture, people, country or continent are an insult to both the people and to your very own intelligence.

      • Brigit Law 11:02 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your comments! You would have enjoyed the lecture “The Cultural Diversity in America” of Spike Lee (film director of a.o. ‘Do The Right Thing’ and ‘Malcolm X’) which I attended at Shippensburg University this evening. According to Lee, American culture dominates the world mainly through its films, music and famous brands. Unlike bombs and weapons, these expressions of emotions direct the way people think, both within and outside America.

    • Stephanie Wall 12:02 am on February 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply


      I’m so glad you are enjoying your time here in America. I remember sliding down the stairs as a child and teaching my children to do the same. What fun it is…you should try it as well with the girls and Otto. 🙂 We must have a good old fashion American BBQ this spring.

      • Brigit Law 10:43 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Steph! I have added the American BBQ to my ‘things to experience in America’ 🙂

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