Wellbeing Doesn’t Always FEEL . . . well . . . WELL!

Here’s how I’m facing this year’s daunting challenges. Who’s in? – Kimberly

With all of the hatred unleashed in the 2016 US elections, I’ve been struggling to regain my send of wellbeing. Then I remembered . . .

WELLBEING ISN’T NECESSARILY EASY. Sometimes I fret that “wellbeing” will be misinterpreted as “Life should always be easy.” How dull would that be?!! My work mostly involves tackling challenges that most people claim are very difficult, highly unlikely, or darned near impossible, and I find the work absolutely exhilarating! Yes, I feel quite “well” when I’m in the midst of such circumstances, meeting tough challenges while shaking in my boots, staying committed to results that seem unattainable. Wahoo! For me, wellbeing isn’t endless days of paddling a lazy canoe toward my ultimate resting place (RIP). While I sometimes enjoy the tranquility of a quiet stream, I’m sure I’d go completely bonkers if I had to experience peace, calm and tranquility every moment of my life. Truly.Continue reading

What is Design Thinking? A Powerful Methodology for Projects, but NOT “Thinking About Design”!

(Originally posted on projectconnections.com)

Why do simple and effective approaches to getting things done often become obscured by jargon? For example, way back in the last century when I worked at HP we experienced big changes in the business environment. 20140515-einstein-quote-kwiefling Although layoffs are common at HP these days, back then everyone I knew believed that HP had a “no layoff” policy. As offshoring became commonplace, it became clear that the lifetime employment contract was no longer viable. Executives and HR people started using terms like “career self-reliance” and “workforce resilience” — fancy phrases used to convey a pretty simple message: “You’re on your own when it comes to career development and job security.” Unsurprisingly, thousands of people were laid off over the next few years. Being laid off didn’t bother me nearly as much as seeing the reality of our situation needlessly obscured by buzzwords. I strongly believe that the terminology used in communicating the changes was unnecessarily complicated and indirect. Complex doesn’t necessarily mean complicated. I prefer to follow Einstein’s guidance to “make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Continue reading

Working Remotely … Face-to-Face! by Kimberly M. Wiefling, M.S.

Business Team Meeting by Ambro

(Originally posted on ProjectConnections.com)
Image courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Globalization in today’s business world is rapid and inescapable. As a result, many projects these days involve geographically dispersed teams comprised of members from a wide variety of countries and cultures. While language barriers, decision-making style, and time zones are well-recognized challenges, the positive benefits of global teams continue to drive this trend.Continue reading

Being Great Project Leader with a Mortgage and Kids in College by Kimberly Wiefling, M.S.

Happy Family w older children by photostock (Originally posted on ProjectConnections.com)
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the strong beliefs that I have about effective project leadership is that it cannot be done by someone who has a mortgage, kids in college, or a spouse who doesn’t work. I don’t have kids, my spouse does work, and I am totally open to living in my car, if necessary. In my experience, a project leader must often operate in an environment where the very people who sign their paychecks are also the biggest obstacles to success. That’s why I developed Scrappy Project Management, a take-no-prisoners approach to getting the job done no matter what, with little or no regard for your own professional future beyond the end of the project.Continue reading

New Year, New Decade, Same Old Problems?

IMG_0603

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

It’s the beginning of a whole new year and an entirely new decade. What do you want to be saying on Dec. 31, 2019? My wish for you is that you won’t be looking back with regret.  Personally, 10 years from now I intend to be looking back on a decade of surprising breakthroughs and unprecedented progress towards becoming the kind of leader I admire and the kind of human being I aspire to be.  And I sure don’t want the people of this Earth to be facing the same problems then that we’re facing now in this world.  (Nope!  Let’s have new and more exciting problems to tackle in 2020!)Continue reading

Welcome to the Worldwide Economic Mood Disorder!

Get out of the boxThe current global crisis, which I’m calling the “worldwide economic mood disorder” (WEMD for short), hit right about the time I was feeling that I’d finally recovered from the dot-com bubble bust of 2001. Although that period of business convulsions did reach beyond the Silicon Valley, my neighborhood was definitely “ground zero”. My cushy job as VP of Program Management and Organizational Effectiveness at a Xerox Parc spin-off evaporated, along with my inflated six figure salary and a very snazzy Jaguar that I hastily replaced with a second-hand Mustang convertible. I watched my exceedingly brilliant, experienced and well-educated friends from Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the like, hit the job-search streets like bums looking for a place to crash for the night. I kept a list of all of the people I knew who were unemployed on my desk so I could send them job leads.Continue reading

Inspiration from Angels with Fur

catbath.jpgMy cats are a great source of inspiration to me. They seem fairly content without many possessions, they do what they want to most of the day (poke around in small holes for rodents, then sleep), and they don’t complain much as long as they get plenty to eat and have someone pay a little attention to them now and then. One of my cats, Dinky, is truly a miracle cat. She came to our home over 16 years ago with her brother Oscar. She was already 3 or 4 years old, and had a big piece of wire holding one of her leg bones together that could be felt through her fur. A tiny runt, she was picked on by Oscar, then a succession of bigger cats, all of whom she outlived.

What I admire most about Dinky, however is how she dealt with great adversity. Several years ago she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer growing in her leg, which she had gotten from the anti-leukemia vaccine. Her leg had to be removed up to the hip in order to save her life, and the vaccine manufacturers were very happy to pay for the whole operation. I wondered how a little cat like her could manage on just three legs, but the vet assured me that a back leg was something she could limp by without. Continue reading

Strangers Make the Best Friends

japaneseswordcrazyguy.jpgMy work takes me to lots of different places, mostly Japan. My home is in Silicon Valley, California, and I’ve lived there for as long as what my dad calls “a coon’s age” . . . which never made sense to me because i don’t think racoon’s live that long, but – hey – I’m no expert on mammals. Having lived there almost 2 decades I’ve made a boatload of wonderful friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends, but traveling as much as I do, my friends are often thousands of miles away and 17 time zones off. I;ve had to learn to make do without them most of the time.

No worries, it’s “strangers to the rescue”! Yes, I’ve found that strangers make the best friends. They don’t know my checkered past, are fascinated by me (mostly because they don’t know me well), and are not yet irritated with my habits and quirks. In fact, strangers frequently find my curious behaviors somewhat intriguing, even considering them among my positive traits.   And, since they haven’t had to put up with me for a decade or more of friendship, they are more tolerate of my playful, sometimes hyperactive, behavior. Continue reading