Transition to BE-ing@Work in Practice

apple heartAs a result of my research, I have immense respect for the wearable technologies potential to enhance both physical and cognitive function as well as the current limitations.  Completing a PhD takes a toll on the body and mind. I consider myself lucky, as I have many of the tools available to me to monitor this impact and the recovery.

I was profoundly struck by the irony of what now feels like a near miss, just days prior to graduation. Had it not been for the passive capture of my heart rate on my AppleWatch, I would not have been able to share the data with my doctor electronically when things went sour. He was able to both diagnose and prescribe remotely without delay. The issue resolved, but I am now more aware of the benefit of tracking vital signs passively for prevention. I became my own research subject, yet again.

I have shifted my attention back to the wearables, apps and other innovative tech based interventions that complement our wellbeing goals. The book BE-ing@Work is still in the works. As I collect more stories, best practice and insight from the field, I will be ready to share it. In the meantime, I am sharing my research at a few upcoming events. I will be speaking at Virgin Pulse, Thrive Summit 2016, In Boston next week. I am also booked to speak at the Employer Health and Benefits Congress, in September. I hope to see you there and hear your stories about technology and wellbeing in the workplace.

In the meantime, I am working on sharpening my knowledge in corporate wellbeing strategy by getting certified as a Corporate Wellbeing Specialist through Corporate Health & Wellness Association. There is a lot happening in this space from the HR benefits side that can apply my research and crosses over from social strategy and organization change.

Very soon the BE-ing@Work website will be launched. This will have more exciting details about the specifics of social tech and wellbeing in the workplace, new research projects and more. In the meantime, you will still find that here a lot of other things that I have worked on over the last few chapters.

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Collaborative Spaces Research Live

At last the document accompanying the visual on evolution of collaborative spaces is live. You can find it here just click here You might notice while navigating around that this and further research will be posted under the “Research” header on this site. Keep an eye out for good things to come! Hint, next up, a follow up on Co-Authoring Strategies.

Visualising the Rise of Collaborative Spaces

Visualising the Rise of Collaborative Spaces

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Business through pleasure

Living social strategy at the Swedish AffairAfter an intensive and enjoyable three days in Los Angeles, the Swedish Affair is over.  And yet, it has only just begun.  The intent for connecting the Swedish creative industries with their peers and potential partners in LA was accomplished.  Fun was had by all, and deals were made by some.  The connections on site ranged from reconnection, to friends of friends, and some totally new faces.  All had something to share, even if it was a smile.  Personally, I made some great contacts and got insight into what it will take to take my transmedia project from concept and content to product and reality.  There is a lot of work to be done, but potential partners identified and interested conversations is a good head start.

My project began as a method for delivering research in a usable format expressive of the concepts delivered.  Somehow just writing about how social technologies impact leadership just didn’t communicate clearly.  It would be like using bullet point laden powerpoint to teach  the importance of visuals.  The stories needed to be told, shared, and experienced.  So the journey begins to create what will be Who’s Next, Leadership in the New Social Paradigm as a transmedia project.  For those of you not geeky enough to know the term: it is multiplatform storytelling.  In the case of Who’s Next,  it uses film, online networks and mobile gaming.  More to come as the story progresses.

I enjoyed catching up with Nolan Bushnell to continue our conversation on gaming in education. I was happy to hear that he had evolved his approach to supplemental rather than as a replacement.  I look forward to seeing where his project goes, especially having a son who would thrive using the formats he proposes.  Best of luck to you  Nolan.  Thanks for charming us with your rendition of the Swedish classic “Helan Går.”

Ewa Björling was a welcome guest who shared the groups enthusiasm for events such as these to build relationships and highlight some of the greatest capital Swedish has to offer, knowledge and creative.  Let’s hope she encourages more events of this type in the future.

The investor panel encouraged the groups to be bold, be prepared and be strategic.  It is a big pond over here for little fishes, but that also means there is more money to support the pond.  Make sure you do your homework to know what kind of pond it is and what the other fish are doing in it.

Thanks to Media Evolution, The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles and Sten Selander for inviting me to join as a Swedish delegate.  A special thanks to Frankie Verdugo and the Home Foundation for getting the word out about Who’s Next and the Swedish Affair.

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Sketchnotes: Nordic Game 2013

It was a great Day One at Nordic Game. Louise Wester and I had the pleasure of digital sketchnoting the keynotes. We managed to sneak in a few extras and enjoyed the day. Please feel free to share and let us know what you think. Several people asked us about using visualisation for ideation and storyboarding for games. The answer is YES! It works well, we can help and let us know if you need it. Thanks for a great event and congratulations to the winners of the Nordic Game Awards. Cheers!

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Interview on Research on Value of Visual Practice


130418 Rock the Monkey with Heidi Forbes Oste from Alphachimp Studio Inc. on Vimeo.

Thanks to Peter Durand at AlphaChimp Studios for a great opportunity to share my research with the visual practice community. The  video (click on image to right) shows the visual recording he did while we spoke as well as being able to hear the interview. He breaks it down into sections in his blogpost, if you only want to hear specific parts.:

I am glad to know that the research has been helpful so far to the community of practitioners. I hope it will help grow the field and the adoption of these practices in formal meetings and events. I am happy to share my research and further thoughts on the practice at events and meetings. If you have any research or materials that provide evidence, please share them.  Together, we can strengthen the argument. Education will lead the visual practice from a “nice to have” to “must have” in the first stage of planning.

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Social and Visual Leadership

The paradigm has shifted, and the learning curve is steep. Some will rise and some will fall. Social media marketing is only a small piece of the picture. Understanding that social is people, and people are not just our customers is a start to the journey.

Organizations are made up of people in many different roles. Their jobs require people both internally in the organization and externally in partners, product & service providers, new hires, investors, and so on. Relationships are what count whether business to business or business to consumer, it comes down to people.

Each person has a story that contains knowledge, experience, passions, interests, skills, and people.  Each individual is a unique part of the whole organizations and defines its collective story.  It is this story we share and grow in social technologies.  Leadership must take active part in the story for an organization to succeed in this new paradigm.

Social Optimization, the building and maintaining of MUTUALLY beneficial and effective relationships, is a key behavioral shift when mastering the Art of Social Strategy.  This does not come simply from balancing the gives and takes by counting interactions.  The behavior change must be a result of recognizing the value of all relationships as part of the whole.  It comes from understanding who we are (as individuals and organizations), what we have to offer and what/who we need and how to reach it/them.

Social technologies are tools that help us optimize this change in behavior when we learn how to best apply them.  They simplify our processes for supporting our networks and communities, receiving that support in return.  Sharing knowledge globally through different sensory stimulus has never been easier. It has evolved beyond text.  It is visual, interactive, musical and memorable. Language and time are no longer limitations for creating a global community of advocates.

Understanding who we are and who is part of our story is the first step of the journey.  How you apply social optimization is what will determine your success over the long haul.

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Reflections on Reflection

The greatest gift that returning to school to become a PhD has given me is the obligation and therefore license to reflect.  One classmate described it so beautifully as she fought for her moment in the bathtub. “I’m working” she cried as her husband questioned her actions.  Yes, those moments of reflection are equally and often more precious in terms of time well spent.  Opening up our eyes to the world around us, the people around us and to ourselves.  In slowing down long enough to reflect, I have improved my productivity and results.

I look at my clients that have to-do-lists a mile long, full of important things, schedules packed with meetings, balancing on a thread and missing their treasured moments that pass unnoticed or un-recognized.  I to do this, but am given a moment to pause and think about where I create value and what creates value for those around me before I leap.  I take a moment to reflect, and am thereby giving myself a chance to make better decisions about how to use my time.

Break it down to efficiency: my cost per hour, versus the cost to hire someone to do it (ie. fixing computer issues, bookkeeping, doing laundry, cleaning the house).  Others need work too, they can get it done faster and cheaper when I put these things into equations.  By the way, my weekends are worth much more than my office days as there can be no price put on quality time with my family and friends.

So I reflect and I even dream a bit about innovative and crazy ideas that would make life, mine and the world, better.  What is my role in this and how do I make it happen.  I imagine this is what Trine Grönlund means in her GoSlow Family movement.  Being crazy may not be required, but a little out of ordinary thinking might help.  I guess we could ask Simon Kyaga who looks at whether creativity comes from madness or is socially derived.  But I do think my best ideas come from reflection (often in the bathtub, in the car or in nature).  Perhaps this goes back to my Emersonian roots.  Either way, I am sure that there is a great deal of value to reflection, rather than reaction.

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TIAW World of Difference Award

Heidi Forbes Öste Recognized for




The International Alliance for Women

honor 100 Awardees at

Global Forum on October 27


Heidi Forbes Öste, Global Social Strategist, 2BalanceU AB, has been selected by The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) as a recipient of the 2011 TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards. Along with fellow award recipients, Heidi will be recognized October 27, 2011 as part of the TIAW Global Forum at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. Read More

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5 for 2011: Walk the Talk to the Finish

I admit, I have always been a little impatient with technology.  Somehow I was born with the “when” gene not the “if”.  It has served me well in deciding where to live, what path to choose and the methodology to get there.  As one friend so aptly told me, “you are one of those people that has to swim across the river with the rope to determine where the bridge will be placed.”  I admit, there were times, when the current was too strong and I swam back to safety in order to survive. I realize I have had the luxury of a safe shore to return to.  For the most part, my tenacity (others might call me “stubborn”) eventually got me to the other side.  What it takes most of the time is neither the tenacity/stubborness nor the strength, but rather the belief in the path and the result.  Often this takes a leap of faith, but that is part of the process of acceptance of the result. I have always been determined to conquer my “what if’s.”

So enough of metaphorically speaking, as there is much to be said there, but may risk being “fluffy.”  After a nice off-line break in which I had the opportunity to catch up on much overdue reading and sleep, I found myself excited for many things in 2011.  This is what I wish to share with you.  You can call them predictions, you can call them wishes, you can call them dreams.  I will do whatever I can in my power to help them come to fruition. Read More

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