No debate. Just sweet smiles between bikes and cars.

I love my bike.

For Christmas last year my dad gave me an IOU voucher to do up my old bike. And he did. New breaks. New cables. New tyres. New seat. New colour. I chose green. It’s great. It takes me to work. To the market. To the pub. Through the rain, the wind and the sunshine. Always for free and always on time. There are the the odd moments of abuse when he pops a tyre or snaps a break cable. But I forgive, fix, forget and get straight back on. I ride on bike paths and on the road. I have three bikes. I ride slow in cool clothes on my cruising green machine and I ride down beach road in lycra on a bike that cost me too much. I also own a car.

I have a little yellow thing that some Japanese company pumped out in 1991 and it’s called Bertie the Banana. He is a cool car. I like to drive him.

Even though he doesn’t get out that often, the admiration I have for my bike and my car is almost equal.

When I am driving I get frustrated by cyclists that run red lights and don’t use arm signals. They give me a bad reputation. As much as I feel unique and special when I am on my bike, to drivers, we are one. We are bikes. So when I am on my bike I always smile at cars. I always let them go first. I apologise – even when I am right. I want to bridge the divide and foster mutual respect for each of us.

I am sick of the driver-cyclist divide. The debate is tiring – I am on both sides – and I am not sure my smile and friendly cyclist attitude is having much impact.

So lucky there are people giving more than a sweet smile to oil the creaky love between cars and bikes too. These are two of my favourites:

* Cycle Space: Today I funded a project on Pozible called Cycle Space. It is a book which connects cycling, architecture, design and urban planning to create healthier and better looking cities. Awesome.

* Why do you Ride?: The other week I supported the Why do you Ride blog by being profiled about what keeps me on my bike. It is a blog dedicated to sharing the various reasons people choose to ride a bike. No preaching. Just nice, honest snapshots.

Time to move past the debate between bikes and cars. Just accept we are both on the road and make roads that accept us both. Done.

Why I like excessive realness in our dynamic digital world.

Most of the time I like things that make life easier. Simpler. More organised. More efficient. Tram tracker, VISA pay wave, Evernote, elastic laces. All nice little creations that make it that much easier to get things done. But sometimes the best part about things are when you have to work for them. When you actually enjoy the process and don’t necessarily want it to pass by any quicker or be any less memorable.

I like peddling my bike and would never get one of those ones with the lawnmower motor. I like grinding my pepper and slicing my bread and the electronic version of both those items will never find a home in my kitchen. I like real herbs and spices and not the kind that come in a handy bottle and last way too long. I love loose leaf tea made in a pot and real coffee ground and brewed. Even though all their efficient new age cousins would save time and energy – I don’t want them.

The time that goes into riding my bike, cutting my bread, grinding my pepper and making my tea is time I enjoy.

I like being efficient and fitting lots in. But I don’t want all those everyday moments to go past so effortlessly and efficiently that they happen without me remembering them. Tired legs, wonky bread slices and tea leaves in my cup make me feel alive.

I live the rest of my life online, in a space that is evolving at such a rapid pace that I need the apps and tools in an attempt to keep up with it. I love the excitement of digital and the real time information flow and the ease of connection with social media. But sometimes so much happens. So fast. So easily.

Maybe this is why I like the excessive realness of my everyday moments.

They are nice little reminders that there is beauty in doing things slowly. That I can balance my life embedded in our evolving digital world by keeping the other parts driven by my own human effort. That not everything is dynamic and exciting but that some things stay the same. It’s kind of a relief.

A healthy dream check.

I love dreams and people who aren’t afraid to share them.

To divulge your deepest hopes and desires takes guts. When you open up your dreams to others you are also encouraging the extent to which you have accomplished those dreams to be put on a realistic scale. It shifts your dreams from up in the hazy, day dreaming space in your head to the action orientated reality. It forces you to think about who you wanted to be and who you actually are. To honestly ask yourself if what you are doing and where you are is what you want to be doing and where you want to be. This can be scary. No-one wants to realise that they are heading in a direction they didn’t want to go, doing something they don’t like and living somewhere they hate with someone they don’t love.

But this is why the intersection between dreams and reality is important.

Scary yes. But totally worth it. Some people like to call them reality checks, but I think dream checks is better. Not prioritising that you are being realistic but prioritising that you are living your dreams. Dreams are realised, they change, they evolve, they adapt. So thanks to the inspiration from Kyle, Richenda and Rachel – who all wrote about their dreams, today I am having a dream check.

Sunrise cartwheels on the beach in Thailand.

When I was about 10 I decided I was going to be the sports physiotherapist for the Australian Olympic team.

I would work once every four years when the Olympics was on, I would get to travel the world, and in between I would have a family and be a writer. Easy. I had the best plan. I would be perfect for this life. My whole child hood I was either playing sport or reading books, writing poems and talking. My school reports alway said I was good at spelling and sport but talked too much and was a little bossy. However, when I was in my last years of senior school and started doing work experience, physiotherapy all of a sudden stopped appealing.

It seemed too much of a distinct, definite and decided career path for me.

Instead I began coaching kids in all types of sports and did a science degree and a commerce degree. I travelled lots. Read lots. Exercised lots. Talked lots.

Although I never became the physiotherapist for the Olympic team (note that I wanted to be THE physio not just one of…) I do feel content with achieving the reason behind that. I wanted to understand the human body and be surrounded by inspiring people who are driven and challenge themselves. I wanted to encourage people to live happy, healthy and active lives. And I wanted to travel. Over the past decade I have coached, encouraged and motivated children and adults to row, ski, run, play netball, do aerobics, attend spin classes and just do stuff. I have also travelled all over the world, met my perfect man and through a degree in human physiology and neuroscience, I get some of what makes the amazing human body tick.

Me and my perfect match at amazing Palmyra in Syria in 2008.

Along the way I also realised that not everyone has the opportunity to live a happy, healthy life.

So this was my next dream. I wanted to help make the world a better place.

I started a masters in international development and spent the next few years managing everything digital and social at Save the Children Australia. I wanted more children to know the feeling of being happy and healthy. To grow up running around outdoors, eating nutritious food and having a family that encourages and supports you to live your dreams. It sounds corny, but I wanted to be part of changing the world. And I was. And I still am. After a few years in the non-profit sector I realised you do not need to work for a development organisation to change the world, and that perhaps it was not the most effective and efficient avenue for me. That my skills, knowledge and passion could have more impact elsewhere.

Today technology is the catalyst for change.

So now I am connecting and empowering people in companies, governments, universities and non-profit organisations with Yammer. We are enabling people to do their job better. They can find information faster, work more efficiently, share knowledge easily and collaborate effortlessly so the bigger problems are solved. Yammer is changing the way organisations work. And that is changing the world. It’s exciting.

I don’t feel like I am done with this dream just yet so I am going to keep on chasing it. I want to be part of technology making the world a better place, by connecting and empowering people. While I do that I am going to write and run and encourage others to do the same. Sounds good for now. But you never know, tomorrow I might wake up with a new one. I love dreams.

Have you had a dream check recently?

Disconnected but 100% connected.

Last night I went and saw Dallas Green of City and Colour at the Palais in Melbourne. I was inspired by his voice and the venue, but today I have been thinking about his words.

He asked everyone to put their phones away. To disconnect from everything else happening simultaneously around the world. To forget about twitter updates, instagram filters and Facebook.

To stop trying to remember the moment so hard that you forget to live it.

People listened. The light of the iPhone screens went dark and we were all in the moment. It was beautiful. I felt the music. I absorbed the changing tones in his voice. I watched his fingers glide over the guitar. I heard the lady in front of me crack her neck. And I saw the moths flapping in the lights above the stage. I was 100% in the physical moment. My senses were sharp and it felt great.

I don’t have one photo of Dallas rocking on stage. And I am actually ok with that. 

I remember the night just as it was. Not with a filter or a hashtag.

Anyway if I do forget, I am only a google away from everyone else’s recollection of the evening.

I am going to try this more often. Disconnect myself from online so I am 100% connected to the physical moment. It’s kind of exhilarating.

Pushing past the impossible is entirely possible. I am not a cynic.

I like being good. And usually I am good at obeying rules. I am a law abiding citizen, and a girl that never once wagged or got a late mark in six years of senior school. But in the last three days there have been three separate reminders that some rules need to be broken. That if we always work within the boundaries then nothing is going to change. Nothing evolves or innovates. And we would all live in a monotone and static world.

So here are my three timely reminders of how and why we should  do the impossible:

1. On Tuesday comedian Daniel Kitson reminded me that pushing past the impossible is entirely possible.

I like life lessons, but I love them, when they arrive with laughter. Daniel Kitson was awesome. An intelligent, funny man with an amazing vocabulary. His whole show, Where Once Was Wonder, is about how we need to let go of our comfortable ways of wisdom and achieve things that others say are impossible. Before they happen it almost hurts our brain to think about it, but once it is here we can’t imagine how we lived without it. All the best innovations are like that – planes, tv’s, iPhones, those fake gas fireplaces. We need people who break stereotypes, say completely inappropriate things, mix sweet and savoury and remind us that if you keep trying different things you will push past the impossible. And there is exciting, and funny, stuff on the other side of the impossible door.

2. Yesterday, optimist Mark Stevenson, reminded me that cynicism is not cool.

He calls himself an optimist. Mark Stevenson looks at everything, sees the positive and thinks ‘what’s next’. He looks at a process and wonders how we could do it better. I think that is a good thing. And I think that I have a lot of that in me too. When it rains we get wet, but the plants get watered. When we run out of milk, we try juice on muesli. Some people find it frustrating. But I like that it makes us try something different. That it keeps the innovation ball rolling and that I might accidentally discover something really great.  I am often asked, why am I always so optimistic. I am not sure. My Mum is like that too, so maybe it’s genetic?  But instead of defining yourself by who you are be what you create.

Mark also proposed that today optimism is seen as naivety and that for some reason it is cool to be cynical. To be the one that always say no. That it is not possible.

Cynicism is like smoking. It might look cool but it is bad for you. And even worse for the person next to you. Cynicism is the ultimate enemy of creativity.

Breaking rules allows for innovation. Don’t look at boundaries as limitations but as opportunities.

3. Today Yammer made Microsoft Office Social

If some body had asked me last year, would it be possible for numerous people all around the world to work on the same word, excel, or powerpoint document at the same and be able to see each others real time changes, then upload it to an enterprise social network where all their colleagues could simultaneously view, edit or download it…. the underfed cynic in me would have said, ‘no. BUT that would be amazing.’ And now it will be possible. Pretty damn cool. Yammer has made Microsoft Office social.


So the impossible is entirely possible and to do it we need to break the rules.

I had three great reminders of that this week. One from comedy. One from an optimist. And one from work.

Some rules and ways of traditional wisdom need to broken. And when they do the world changes. We just need to make sure the right people are creating the new value systems. So put your hand up and say it is possible. Let’s give the cynics the flick and make the impossible happen.

Living the morals of your career.

My partner was in the hospital today. He is a healthy young man and was just getting a regular checkup. He came home and commented on how he noticed lots of the doctors were overweight. He said it frustrated him that they sit and provide actions – advice, drugs, operations – all in the motivation of helping people live a a healthier life. However, they do not appear to prioritise that themselves.

So it made me think – should you have to practise what you preach?

Should it be an obligation to live and breath the words that you speak?

Of course, the best professionals are passionate about their line of work. So you do hope that passion extends to the actions in their personal and not just professional life. But for some reason that is not always true. Often people state something and but actually do the opposite. I know that most companies do try and have an element of the recruitment criteria which is related to the values of the organisation. But there is nothing like this for actual career choice. I know that I have had sports coaches that are overweight and worked in non-profit development organisations with selfish and materialistic people. I find this conflicting. Not only from respect for the individual, but also in regards to their personal choice.

Why would they choose to work in an environment where they do not live the values?

Is it because the available passion and energy for that area of life is zapped at work? No time for the chef to cook nice meals at home, the sports coach to do their own exercise or the doctor to eat healthy heart meals. I find it harder to understand this, than the opposite (and more common) way – the accountant who has a fashion blog on the side or the receptionist who is an opera singer. People who save their passion for hobbies and not for work. Not everyone manages to blend work with passion and not everyone has a choice. But to conflict what you preach professionally with what you practise personally confuses me.

I struggle to respect people in any area of life that are hypocritical. Maybe I am just too idealistic. But I really do hope my energy and passion for the things that I love continue to have more longevity than 9-5.  How about you? Do your values carry from the professional to personal sphere?

Yammer on Tour Melbourne

A fantastic event held at Crown on Thursday 29th March.

The afternoon kicked off with a keynote presentation from Simon Terry, CEO, HICAPS at NAB. He showed screen grabs of their internal NAB Yammer network, and the slides he chose to share were actually crowdsourced on Yammer itself. Awesomely admirable. A well stocked panel discussion followed including Pete Williams, CEO Deloitte Digital, Bernie Sheehan, Digital Skills Development Manager at the ABC, and Annabel Rees, Head of People, OAMPS. The best way to sum it up was with sharing the live discussion that occurred during the event.

So this was Yammer on Tour Melbourne…

  1. Share

    Stop, Yammer time! #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 00:25:54
  2. Share

    #yamtour @yammer Yammer on tour in Melbourne is teaching me a lot
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:10:45
  3. Share
    Breaking down the hierarchy – post your change on Yammer and start the conversation #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 00:53:56
  4. Share
    1 Like the way @yammer facilitates connections & collabn & can help tap into wealth of org or group knowledge. #yamtour (MT @davidahood)
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 00:59:56
  5. Share

    Great demo by @rosshill at melb #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:00:59
  6. Share

    Some great insights from Simon Terry from @NAB on the world of @yammer in the bank. #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:05:19
  7. Share
    “there’s no PR or comms spin happening in our Yammer network…people are engaged because they want to be” Simon Terry, NAB #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:18:11
  8. Share

    Great event by Yammer. Makes me all excited this innovation/collaboration stuff… #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 02:22:07
  9. Share
    Terrific and innovative uses of Yammer being shared by the #yamtour panel. Deloitte Digital built their own Foursquare with the #yammer API
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:38:13
  10. Share
    RT @tloh Take a large complex org and give them one place where they can all connect – on @yammer #yamtour #collaboration #staffengagement
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:21:01
  11. Share
    Knowledge management in @yammer means getting access to the knowledge inside all our heads, says @rexster at #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:36:19
  12. Share
    “No “yammer nightmare” in over 4 years as network is “self moderating” via @bernie_sheehan at #abc #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:42:05
  13. Share

    The #yamtour Twitter control tower feat @bryonycole & @sarfos
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:43:37
  14. Share
    Yammer is a great training ground for external social media says @bernie_sheehan from ABC #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:47:37
  15. Share
    #yamtour love that we are all using twitter to have our own #yamjam 🙂
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:48:20
  16. Share
    “For overall ESN growth, focus on incorporating #Yammer in all training programs”. @bernie_sheehan #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:48:24
  17. Share
    “@Yammer: What is Yammer? “It’s like a room full of mentors” Says Simon Terry of NAB #yamtour” #yam
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 01:56:34
  18. Share
    Comms with #abc team using a @yammer group led to 30% less email and exemplary performance. Great insight from @Bernie_sheehan #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 02:00:14
  19. Share

    RT @BrianMurray333: Samezies before the #yamtour with @matthewpartovi and @lukemccormack
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 03:53:09
  20. Share
    RT @Yammer: Yammer now has over 4 million users in over 150 countries and 20 languages. #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 07:46:24
  21. Share
    Thanks Aussie @yammer crew for hosting such an excellent afternoon. Great tips for use & strategy for implementation. V practical. #yamtour
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 04:08:04
  22. Share

    RT @sarfos: Oops with pic 🙂 RT @sarfos: Time for a YamJuice post-Melb #yamtour with @rosshill @sarahmoran @juleshughan
    Thu, Mar 29 2012 16:55:39
  23. Share

    overview text analytics #yamtour Melbourne
    Fri, Mar 30 2012 03:40:43

Yammer on Tour Sydney

A little storified snapshot of our first Yammer on Tour event in Australia. It was awesome!

Tomorrow we hold our final one in Melbourne. So if you are in the lovely city and feel slightly tempted, jealous, curious it is not too late to register and join us tomorrow afternoon.

So this was Yammer on Tour Sydney…

  1. Share

    Yammer crew registering for the big event! @stevehopkins @Cama #yamtour
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 23:05:09
  2. Share

    #yamtour taking off!
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 23:54:24
  3. Share

    Loving the collateral in the #yamtour handoust. Particularly this page they made for @susannahlynch
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:00:48
  4. Share
    How Yammer fits in with intranets? Overtime it will be a viable replacement #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:07:13
  5. Share
    Australia has the 5th biggest Yammer user base in the world. 270,000 users across 15,000 networks. #YamTour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:11:22
  6. Share

    Great teamwork on the pages demo at #yamtour cc @bryonycole @stevehopkins @rosshill
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:17:04
  7. Share
    Wow live collaboration on Yammer Pages is like Google docs that actually works #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:16:50
  8. Share
    Awesome live demo of pages at Sydney #yamtour by @Yammer. Can’t wait to implement at @InsAdvisernet.
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:18:21
  9. Share
    “Impress your friends – Facebook. Impress your contacts – Linkedin. Impress your co-workers – Yammer” @joe_robens #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:09:00
  10. Share
    According to @wittering the speed to information at Deloitte is 430,000 km per hour! Wow. Information travels fast. #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:26:25
  11. Share

    Deloitte have created the Yammerverse while exploring Data Analytics #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:27:08
  12. Share

    Amazing graphics coming out of @wittering ‘s #yamtour pres. Impressive what he can do with stats!
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 01:42:15
  13. Share

    Such an insightful panel at #yamtour Congrats @rosshill @andrewmic @earthhourandy @maverickwoman @joe_robens
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:25:52
  14. Share
    Pick the nonprofit – earth hour yammer network is 100% business conversation #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:30:36
  15. Share
    Great comments coming from @joe_robens on the panel “I love me a good lurker” #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:33:09
  16. Share
    Thanks to our amazing panelists! @andrewmic @earthhourandy @maverickwoman @joe_robens – so insightful and engaging! #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:35:15
  17. Share
    Employee recognition and shout-outs can be a good way to increase yammer usage in the enterprise by @maverickwoman at #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:40:35
  18. Share
    Copy and paste rude e-mails into yammer and answer it politely, in full view of the organization. #protip from @earthhourandy #yamtour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 02:44:00
  19. Share

    #yamtour afterparty – thanks everyone for joining us today!
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 03:05:59
  20. Share
    The yammerverse got a lot bigger today! Love it! #YamTour
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 04:33:59
  21. Share
    @rosshill – #YamTour #Sydney was a great opportunity to see how much we @originenergy can learn from @Green_Dot and @yammer. Thanks!
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 06:10:28
  22. Share

    Tue, Mar 27 2012 09:05:20
  23. Share
    #yamtour is the next best thing to actually being there.
    Tue, Mar 27 2012 18:11:34

Yammer will if you will. Join our Earth Hour challenge.

Yammer has joined the Earth Hour challenge to help save the planet. In the next 4 weeks, if 1,000 people pledge to pick up 10 pieces of rubbish each, the Yammer global team will volunteer our time in local cleanup efforts. If 10,000 people pledge, we will volunteer and donate $15,000 to the cause.

So check out the video below and take the pledge.


P.S. Bryony and I both feature on this video and please do not judge us by our ‘jump’ . It is for a good cause :-). Go on – join our challenge. All you have to do is pick up 10 pieces of rubbish. Easy. 

The beauty of being proud. My brother is going to the Olympics.

It is hard to beat the feeling of pride. That warm and fuzzy feeling when someone or something meets and beats all your expectations. When you feel so special just by association. Today that is me. My brother just got selected for the Olympics.

He is awesome. So tonight I have nothing much to say except that I am feeling proud. And when moments like these come along you need to enjoy them. Sit back, hang out with your family and tell them just how great you think they are.

Karsten Forsterling in 3 seat (second from right) of the Olympic Mens Quad with Dan Noonan, James McRae and Chris Morgan.