Tag Archives: Innovation

Let’s stop being wasteful – in consumerism and in life!

9 Aug

I’ve had a great summer with more beach time than I can recall in recent years. It’s funny how peaceful and contemplative we can become when we sit still and listen to the repetitive lull of the waves lapping at the shore.

Times at the beach lead my mind to wander and wonder – about all sorts of mundane things… like what’s the point of so much consumption of “new” products when yesterday’s products still work?

Last week when I was in New York City, my daughter and I visited a few clothing consignment shops (formerly called second-hand stores) and I realized just how much greener our society could become if we all decided to reuse, recycle, and restore.  It was amazing how good were the clothes as the shops showcased next-to-new clothing, gently worn, at a fraction of the original price!  Some of the pieces still had the tags on them!  Why do we keep churning out miles and miles of new textiles when the ones already fashioned are still wearable?

As I was thinking, it occurred to me that another “wasteland” is in our heads… Have you noticed lately how people love to plant “waste” in your psyche with negativity the minute you mention something good has happened?  I have “friends” who chide me about wearing fashionable black nail polish that I love (“you’re not really wearing that color to work are you? That’s not professional!”) or who project jealousy through my clothing choices (“I don’t think your shirt really looks all that good with that skirt”) or who can’t wait to disparage a new interesting person in my life (“why would he like YOU?”).  When you stop to consider what  a waste of time and energy it is to: 1. listen to them at all; and 2. to allow their negative waste to invade your good day!

My new “recycling campaign” is to repeat and reinforce positive ideas in my head so that I can spread GOOD cheer and not “fertilizer” (aka waste).  I would be ashamed to say the things some people say to me!

Today, more than ever, we need to sustain and nurture our spirits with environmentally friendly thoughts and actions – why not plant seeds of positivism and recycle good words to others today?

Have a great week!


Post-a-week for 2011

31 Dec

WordPress has launched a challenge to keep all of us “bloggers” posting more often and as one of my end-of-year 2010 resolutions I’m committed to joining the Post-a-Week for 2011.  (At least one new posting every week!)

One of the most challenging aspects of blogging for me is to decide what topics to write about, and how to express my thoughts in a coherent way that will keep readers interested.  One of my goals for 2011 is to simplify my life by getting rid of things I no longer need, streamlining my bookshelves, and setting a new direction of optimism with positive thoughts and surrounding myself with positive people and relationships.

Sunset in Istanbul

Sunset in Istanbul

2010 was a tough year

filled with financial challenges, ghosts from past relationships, negative influences, family stresses (with a few scary moments), friendships that dissolved (or were not good for me), work that disappeared (more than 10 weeks) , and promises by various parties that never materialized (both work and personal).  And somehow I survived through it all…

2010 was also a good  year

in many other ways with new friendships (hurrah for positive people who grace my life!), self-growth (and increased self-love), expanding career opportunities (not yet profitable), increased respect from project management experts (and peers!), an international award (Thank you BFPUG), foreign travel (US Virgin Islands, Montreal, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, Denmark, and throughout the US), love from my children (they are my grounding), and new keynote speaking experiences (International Function Point Users Group, International Project Management Association, Danish Technology, and others).

2011 will be stellar

2011 will be Stellar!

2011 will be a stellar year (along the lines of a self-fulfilling prophecy)

and I hope you’ll be along for the journey with me.  I know that I’ll still face challenges (doesn’t everyone?) and I am optimistic that they will fade into the background with the light of an increase in positive relationships, new friendships, love, career success, health and happiness with my children and friends.

Thank you for reading in 2010 – and PLEASE comment (otherwise it feels like a sea of empty chairs I’m talking to) — it’s important to know what you think, even if you don’t agree!

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, love-filled, positive, and prosperous 2011… and a safe New Years Eve!



Should I stay or should I go?

7 Dec

Today marks the 100th post

on this blog over the past 2 years… and as people typically do when there is a landmark, I feel like celebrating in some small way.

But, before I do, I’d like to ask you to venture back with me, about where The Dekkers Report started, where it’s going, and whether it is even worthwhile to continue.  I started writing to have a dialogue with you – readers known and unknown – about current affairs (things like Technology Barbie, Bullying, etc.), and to express my thoughts (and elicit comments) about  everyday life happenings.  From my writer perspective, the blog has done that – I know that I’ve meandered through a variety of topics and ideas and thoughts, but I don’t have a real sense on whether it really has connected with any of you.  (Is this the curtain call?)

Evanescence - The Open DoorI thank you for the various comments I’ve received over the 2 years, they have kept me writing when, at times, I’ve felt that I had nothing real or worthwhile to share.  Your responses and comments have been valuable and insightful – I appreciate them all.  So, having done 100 posts, I’m at a crossroads. Readership is small (that can be a good thing) and growing ever so slowly (a writer needs to increase readership!) I could continue to use creative energy to keep penning my thoughts a couple of times a week, or I could funnel it into something else and chalk it all up to an experiment in blogging.

So, I’m going to put it out to you:  what do you think – should I stay or should I go? Do you get anything out of my posts?  Can you think of any compelling reason that I should continue with The Dekkers Report?  Or should I pack it in and spend my energy elsewhere?  Are there any topics that are (or have been) worthwhile to you?

If no comments come back on this post, then the writing is on the wall and the masses will have spoken with resounding silence…

Here in Florida our temperatures are dipping down into the teens (F) tonight so it’s a chilly week here in the “Tropics”… stay warm and healthy wherever you are!  I’m going to celebrate with a spiced latte.



Whose Opinion Matters Anyways?

25 Aug

Last evening was the Florida primary election and as I was watching the election results pour in, I realized just how much a politician’s future depends on what the electorate thinks of him or her.  It is said that you must have a “tough skin” to survive in politics and it certainly was true as I saw how Rick Scott, the millionaire at the center of a healthcare scandal, bought his way into the Florida Republican choice. Scott spent an unprecedented $30+ million dollars of his own (healthcare business) money to throw dirty advertising at his opponent – and the money paid off as he defeated the incumbent “career politician” he faced off with.

opinionIt didn’t matter during the primary ad campaign whether the accusations and mud-slinging between the opponents was based on fact or fiction – the only thing that mattered in the end was the opinion of the Florida electorate and what we voters believed about the candidates.  Our opinion of the candidates and their truthfulness about themselves and their opposition was the only thing that mattered in this and many elections.  But is this true only of politics – or does this same premise hold true for the majority of us in many aspects of our own lives?

Self-help books proclaim that the only opinion that should matter to us is our own – yet unless we live on an island apart from society, this is more idealistic than realistic.  Even the most hardened and tough skinned among us can be influenced by the opinions (especially negative) of others about us. As you read this you might say that you are immune to the opinions of others, yet I challenge you to consider:

  • The opinions of our bosses, clients, customers and peers translates into money and contracts. Can you truly say that you don’t care about these opinions when your livelihood and income depends on such opinions?
  • The opinions of our family members (sons, daughters, parents, siblings) comes out when we share our ideas with them.  If you’ve ever gone in to work and second guessed your decision about child rearing based on someone else’s opinion – you know how these can affect your judgment and your own intuition.
  • The opinions of a spouse, partner or significant other can be dished out often without due consideration of their effect. When we’ve been with someone for a significant time and consider them important to our life, sometimes both we and they can take each other for granted and as such, opinions can be thrown out without considering their full effect.  Do you give added weight (or less) to your significant other’s opinion (especially if it is negative towards you or your views)?
  • The opinions of friends can affect your choices – especially when such friends are judgmental or intolerant.  If you’ve ever reconsidered a restaurant choice or what you wear to an event based on a friend’s less than complimentary comment about your choice, you know exactly what I mean.

It should be true that it is only our opinion – especially of ourself – that matters, but unfortunately we sometimes let the opinions of others overrule and override our own.  Remember that you are the only one, when push comes to shove, who will stand up for you, so it becomes survival and essential to nurture and  honor your opinion above all others.

Aside from politicians, I hope you learn to trust and realize that the answer to “Whose opinion matters anyways?” is more and more often just YOURS!

Have a great week!


Danger Will Robinson Danger! – Social Media wants ALL your Contacts

26 Apr

Do you ever get so busy that your multitasking thwarts the high productivity we’re trying to gain?  I confess that I’m a chronic multi-tasker (I never have just one window open on my PC).  But, I do realize the importance and value of concentrating on one task at a time when I need to get it done right the first time. Over the years, I’ve suffered the consequences that a lack of focus can cause in terms of unintended outcomes and rework.

Last week, I tripped myself up yet again when I found yet another social media site that is overly zealous about exploiting my multi-tasking tendencies. These sites offer to check your address book (with permission) to find out those who are already using the site so that you can increase your own network with people you already know.  Not a bad thing at all.  However,  when you hand-select those in the list who you want to connect with, the next screen does something insidiously genius (on the part of the site’s marketing efforts) and really ought to be labeled the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER” screen.  You’ve assumed that they have invited those who already use the site to connect with you, and this screen looks extremely similar to the previous one (where you did your choice) and asks you to approve the wording on an email composes on your behalf.

I assumed that this email was intended for those I hand-selected, but as soon as I hit “next”, I realized that the site was sending emails to everyone else who was not already a member of the site! The almost identical screen had redisplayed the list of my contacts but had now completed a check box on the names of  EVERYONE ELSE!  This included my ex-husband, competitors, anyone who I’ve ever sent or received an email from in the past.  AND there is no undo or stop button!

Last year this happened to me with TripIt.com (danger Will Robinson danger!) and the latest offender was one of my favorites:  Skype!

So a word of caution to any of you who think it might be safe to multi-task when adding contacts to a social media site (I was on the phone – shame on me!) — Danger Will Robinson Danger !  If you want to safeguard your contacts and do not want to INVITE all – be very cautious of the second screen.

Today I don’t use TripIt.com at all because it now connects me with people with whom I do NOT want to exchange my itinerary information (and accidentally allowed TripIt to invite!)

Wishing you a highly productive week!


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

Social Media – Friend or Foe?

13 Apr

Social Media (the term used collectively for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Naymz, Ning, even Second Life) has gone “viral” (meaning out-of-control with “hits”).  Did you know that if Facebook was a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world?  And, that it is unremarkable when a teen racks up tens of thousands of text messages on their cell phone a month, yet may be grounded all the while they are texting and tweeting?

facebookIt was interesting to read in the St. Petersburg Times about a reporter who “Unfriended Facebook“.  Yes, you heard me right – she defriended (quit) Facebook outright.  Her rationale came down to that the fake relationships Facebook garnered represented a lazy person’s way of making friends, and she found herself neglecting her real life relationships.

Can you imagine life without social media?  Can you remember what it was like not to be tweeted at, friended (and defriended), connected, tagged, blogged to, linked-in to networks, groups, and invited to join hundreds of fan-clubs (pages) and attend a myriad of events – not even in your geographic area.

It is seldom these days to get phone calls on my home phone from anyone but solicitors or to talk to anyone in person without e-mail confirmation, e-vites, or texting.  And, what happens when it all does NOT work together?  What happens when an e-vite (email invitation) doesn’t work and people feel rejected because an invitation isn’t delivered?  Or when a text message is delayed (sometimes for days)?  Or when voicemails don’t register or the caller id fails?  When any of these things happen, we are so tied up in the e-world that we can end up reacting or feeling something when there was nothing to react to.  In the past, we’d call people on the phone when we’re feeling neglected or rejected to ask about a potentially waylaid piece of mail or a potential missed phone call. And often we’d be relieved to find out that our imaginations created a situation that simply wasn’t.  Mail got misdelivered, phone calls were missed, answering machines failed. It’s just life as humans.

But, with social media we forget that it too is faulty.  Texts don’t always come through (even when the sender gets a “confirmation of delivery”), voicemail and emails get corrupted, cell phones go out of range (too often) – and yet we collectively don’t confirm our assumptions with technology.

So, do you think social media is a friend or a foe?  It all depends on whether it furthers your human relationships or strains the ones you have in real life.  If the latter, then unplug (quit the sites) for a while and see what happens. You’ll be forced to work your human magic on real life people who can talk, breathe, and listen back – and isn’t that what relationships in the real world are all about?

Have a happy week!


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

Got business?

6 Apr

As a project manager / published author / international standards expert / speaker /consultant, I’ve spoken to audiences in over 25 countries.  When the economy and business were booming, life was easy and most of the professionals and people I met were upbeat and optimistic about their industries and life in general.

Unremarkably things are different these days:  businesses are closing, people are losing their homes, and relationships are strained.  Lately, I’ve been using my down time to brush up on the latest social media, blogging, project management advancements, and business development in general.  During the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a marked increase in the flood of emails celebrating the recession’s end (mostly from overseas) from colleagues looking to do software development and related business with me.

My question to you is:  got business?

In reality (i.e., real $$$) – has your business or job or industry seen such an upswing in cashflow, contracts, or activity lately? Or is it the feigned promise of an end to the recession that people are using (along the lines of the Secret: what you think becomes your reality) as optimistic thinking to “wish us” out of the recession?

Have you seen new business coming in?  I know that a lot of people are heavily invested in the “social media” sensation (Twitter, Facebook, linked in, plaxo, etc.) that is sweeping the nation – did you know that if Facebook was a country it would now be the third largest country in the world (with more people than the U.S.?) – is this where our new economy is going?

Got business?

Wishing you a productive and profitable week!

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