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What can the Expediter do for you? 2009

[originally posted to my Expediter coaching blog]


I offer planning/workflow/productivity assistance to small businesses. I'm different from the usual sort of consultant in that I am offering my skills in small chunks of focused work together, rather than coming in with "my system" and trying to waffle-iron it onto you.

My goal is to spend 2.5 hours with you, help you focus on your priorities, knock away roadblocks, and improve the flow of your business processes. After the session I want to leave you unstuck and moving forward with a clearer understanding of your goals and the actions you'll be doing (or stop doing) in order to achieve them.

I've worked in a wide variety of positions from senior software product manager to office manager to bookstore owner. I've also been writing and presenting extensively in both my professional and personal life during the last decade and can bring these skills to bear along with my organizational, productivity, and planning knowledge.

We can cover a lot of ground in that time, but here are some of the kinds of things I can help with:

- listening to your project or business plan ideas and capturing them in a written form you can use as a base with which to move forward;

- exploring how you work with information inputs (e.g. email, feeds, physical mail/reading, phone calls). identifying where they help or hinder your ability to stay productive, and making adjustments to maximize the helping and eliminate the hindering;

- talking through a current roadblock (e.g. thousands of emails in your inbox, a teetering stack of papers including receipts you need to give you your accountant, unpaid invoices from your clients or client billing not yet done) and knocking it out of your way so you can get back in the flow;

- reviewing past goals, priorities and tasks you set for yourself to evaluate your current strategic position, updating your plans, and defining the future points at which to measure progress;

- discussing things that didn't go well (e.g. missed deadlines, cost overruns, and other painful experiences) and adjusting processes and plans to avoid these problems in the future.

Posted on April 21, 2009 at 12:25 PM in work | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sometimes it's time for less toleration 2009

For too long we as a country have been tolerating violent bigotry. We have allowed hypocrites to speak of God's love one moment while blocking legislation to protect the vulnerable the next.

It's been ten and a half years since I posted on this blog the beautiful speech from the Chaplain of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, about the death of Matthew Shepard. That's far too long to go without federal hate crimes legislation. Please support the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) which is about to go up for a vote in the House of Representatives.

Do that by writing to your representative - it's easy; they all have email and it can take you 2 minutes or less: just go to writerep.house.gov and say "Please support the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913)".

Now, for every friend you have who might at some time have been attacked because of their color, religion, sexual orientation, race, national origin, gender identity, or disability, I want you to tell one other person to go take those same couple minutes and send in their support. And do it where it counts; tell someone who isn't in San Francisco or New York City, where support is already strong. Make a difference where it's needed most.

If you have a friend who was attacked, show them your love and respect by spreading the word even farther. Reach 10 people for each friend who was the victim of violence - and make sure the people you ask to support this bill know that you're asking them this in the name of another friend of yours who was hurt or killed. This isn't something that happens to some isolated stranger; make sure they understand it's real and it's personal.

It is time for us as a nation to live up to the pledge of equality. It is time for us as a nation to stop pretending that this violence is acceptable or that it doesn't happen.

Ten years on, I would have hoped not to need to be reviving these words from that address at Trinity in October of 1998, but we sadly still need to hear them.

Chaplain's Reflection
From the Chaplain of Trinity College, Hartford, CT, 10/15/98

I saw on the news today that Matthew Shepard died. He was the 22 year old man from Wyoming who was beaten and tortured and left to die for no reason other than he was a homosexual. This tragic murder has raised a national debate again, the kind of periodic soul-searching our society goes through whenever a crime of hate startles us into awareness. The burning of Black churches, the bombing of innocent people, the death of a shy young man from Wyoming: these events suddenly shake us out of complacency and remind us that fear, prejudice and rage are always the shadows just beyond the light of our reason. And so people suddenly start to speak out. There are voices of outrage and grief. Voices of sorrow and demands to know why such a thing could happen. And predictably, there are also defensive voices: the governor of Wyoming trying to explain why his state has no laws to protect people from hate crimes and the leadership of what is called the Christian right wing? trying to explain why their national ads against homosexuality don't influence people to commit such violence against gays and lesbians.

In the days to come, these many voices will fill our media and the cultural consciousness it imprints until we are once again lulled into the more familiar patterns of our lives, dozing off as a nation until the next tragedy rings the alarm of despair.

As the chaplain for our own community, I would like to invite us all to consider Matthew's death in another way. Not through the clamor or denials, not through the shouts or cries of anger: but rather, through the silence of his death, the silence of that young man hanging on his cross of pain alone in the emptiness of a Wyoming night, the silence that ultimately killed him as surely as the beatings he endured.

Silence killed Matthew Shepard. The silence of Christians who know that our scriptures on homosexuality are few and murky in interpretation and far outweighed by the words of a savior whose only comment on human relationships was to call us to never judge but only to love. The silence of well meaning educated people who pretend to have an enlightened view of homosexuality while quietly tolerating the abuse of gays and lesbians in their own communities. The silence of our elected officials who have the authority to make changes but prefer to count votes. The silence of the majority of straight Americans who shift uncomfortably when confronted by the thought that gays and lesbians may be no different from themselves, save for the fact that they are walking targets for bigotry, disrespect, cheap humor, and apparently, of murder.

Crimes of hate may live in shouts of rage, but they are born in silence. Here at Trinity, I hope we will all listen to that silence. Before we jump to decry Matthew's senseless death or before we seek to rationalize it with loud disclaimers: I hope we will just hear the silence. A young man's heart has ceased to beat. Hear the silence of that awful truth. It is the silence of death. It is the silence that descends on us like a shroud.

At Trinity, as in Wyoming, we are men and women surrounded by the silence of our own fear. Our fear of those who are different. Our fear of being identified with the scapegoat. Our fear of taking an unpopular position for the sake of those who can not stand alone. Our fear of social and religious change. Our fear comes in many forms but it always comes silently. A whispered joke. A glance to look away from the truth. A quick shake of the head to deny any complicity in the pain of others. These silent acts of our own fear of homosexuality are acted out on this campus every day just as they are acted out every day in Wyoming. Through silence, we give ourselves permission to practice what we pretend to abhor. With silence, we condemn scores of our neighbors to live in the shadows of hate. In silence, we observe the suffering of any group of people who have been declared expendable by our society.

As a person of faith, I will listen, as we all will, to the many voices which will eulogize Matthew Shepard. I will carry that part of our national shame on my shoulders. But I will also listen to the silence which speaks much more eloquently still to the truth behind his death. I will listen and I will remember. And I will renew my resolve never to allow this silence to have the last word. Not for Matthew. Not for gay men or lesbian women. Not for any person in our society of any color or condition who has been singled out for persecution. Not in my church. Not in my nation. Not in Wyoming. And not at Trinity College...

Posted on April 21, 2009 at 11:23 AM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1)

(little animated construction guy) 2009

[originally posted to my Expediter coaching blog]


More information will be coming here soon about my new services as Dinah Sanders, Expediter.

I will be helping small businesses to eliminate problems slowing them down, improve their relationship with incoming information & tasks, and get back in the flow.

Posted on April 16, 2009 at 10:13 AM in work | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saying farewell and heading into a new adventure 2009

After over six & a half years at a good company, working with a lot of excellent people on great things for libraries , I'm striking out on my own for the next stage in my career.

I'm very proud of the work I did at [the company I still don't name here in my personal blog]. It's particularly pleasing that a colleague and good friend who I respect very much will be taking over my duties. The icing on the cake is that my library uses the product, so I'll get to enjoy the benefit of all those features I helped create.

As for what's next, I'm returning to my roots. The common thread across all my past jobs has been knocking down roadblocks in people's way. Much of it has involved making things more findable or easy to use, but I've also helped with workflow and productivity in general. A secondary, but closely related skill, is that of synthesis: collecting, integrating, documenting, explaining and teaching.

In all of this, the core is "getting unstuck".

Stay tuned for more information about my new business helping small businesses to eliminate problems slowing them down, improve their relationship with incoming information & tasks, and get back in the flow.



Posted on April 15, 2009 at 04:00 PM in work | Permalink | Comments (4)

dinner at Nopa with Lila and Derek 2009

Photo by Lila.

Posted on April 11, 2009 at 12:01 PM in Food and Drink, friends & family, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lunch with Grandma Susie on her birthday 2009

Photo by Uncle Larry.
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Photo by Uncle Larry.
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Photo by Lynn.

Photo by Paul.
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Photo by Larry.
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Posted on April 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM in friends & family | Permalink | Comments (0)

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