Archive for November, 2009

High Tech Multi-Tasker

During our road trip from Texas to Virginia it is very obvious how technology has changed our lives. My husband and I  make this trip every year so we know exactly what is needed for our travel. We both like to read so we were sure to include our favorite books. In previous years we would pack a large bag with several books for each of us. This year all we needed was the Kindle.

Since it is always difficult to find a good radio station without static we travel with our favorite CDs. This year all we needed was the Droid (Verizon Multi-Media station cell phone) with the Pandora app.

Travel over the years meant we were busy with three children in the car trying to keep everyone entertained during the trip. They were forbidden to ask “are we there yet?” This is the first year we were traveling alone and all  we needed was to entertain each other.  After a few hours of reading and  conversation I decided to reach out to my network through Uber Twitter on my Blackberry and engage in conversation. I was able to catch up with my  friend @JeffMello from Atlanta , @Justinthesouth in North Carolina, @itzabitza in Seattle and many more. I was also multi-tasking and sending text messages to Cyndee Perkins and my adult children in NJ, TX and AL. I had the capabilities to send emails to Lorri Wyndham regarding the 2010 COMPUTER EXPLORERS conference.  With the Facebook app on my Blackberry I checked in with  family and friends.

On Saturdays I like to listen to the Computer Corner radio show hosted by Ken Colburn in Phoenix AZ if possible. The show is streamed live through their web page so to tune in all I needed to do was set up my computer with the wireless aircard. This week Ken was discussing “To switch or not to switch (to a Mac)” which I thought would be of interest to others so I posted a reminder on Twitter along with a photo and message documenting how I was tuned in. Ken lifted the photo and posted on Data Doctor facebook page and announced on air that I was the “most special fan in the world”.

Technology has changed my world and I am a happy high tech multi-tasker!

Strategic planning is never easy. Brutal facts need to be addressed and it takes a team of individuals that work together constructively and honestly to have a successful planning session. Jim Collins author Good to Great insists that you must have the right people on the bus when developing a team. Fortunately, we did!

Nov 13 2009

COMPUTER EXPLORERS Strategic Planning Group

The team photographed in the front row: David Rhodes (NJ Franchisee), me, Cyndee Perkins (Curriculum & Program Development Director, Collette Howell (CA Franchisee) and Kathy Muller (Director, Sales Training & Development). In the back row: Vicki Ziesemer (WI Franchisee), Robin Scott (NC Franchisee) and Lorri Wyndham (Operations Manager). Not photographed: Steve Hammerstein, President, I.C.E.D.

As I worked on my notes from the session my horoscope arrived on Twitter. It’s a great little feature and most times right on target. Today it said:  “You often take the path of least resistance and choose stability over innovation. Now, however, you are being given new ways of responding to a familiar situation that has become a bit of a rut for you. Rather than repeating history, you are on the verge of breaking out of an old habit. Taking a risk isn’t always advisable, but this time it should work in your favor.”

Chose stability over innovation? I would like to say that is far from the truth. But I can’t! I don’t want to repeat history and I’m ready to put an action plan together that involves risks! Based on our session yesterday my first priority is building brand image. As one of the team members said “it’s time to set clear and strong directives and set restrictions”.

There is a lot that needs to be done but I have a bus load of the right people to make it happen. As Bob the Builder, a software character in our COMPUTER EXPLORERS pre-school programs asks “Can we build it?  The reply is always “yes we can”!


From Acoss the Pond


Nigel Toplis

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling with Nigel Toplis, ComputerXplorers Master License for the UK. I have known Nigel since 2004 but each time we meet I walk away with something new.

Things that I did know about Nigel:

  • 15 years in franchising, Managing Director of 4 major franchise companies,
  • former chairman of the British Franchise Association (BFA)
  •  received franchisor of the Year under BFA in 2003
  • loves horse racing and fine wine

Things that I learned during our travel:

  • author of 5 books which are 60 minute guides to business (2 related to franchising) and he is working on his 6th
  • I know that Nigel has a driving ambition for business but until last week I didn’t fully understand his passion for franchising and his desire for his business or businesses to be the best in the industry.
  • He has a strong belief in hard work not only for himself but his staff and his franchisees and nothing less is acceptable.
  • He believes his responsibility is to assist prospective franchisees in selecting a franchise that fits well with their experience, expectations, resources and skills, Steps in the process are : suitability; investment level; industry; comparing franchise options; advice; and making a decision.
  • Plays piano!

I am comfortable speaking for the entire COMPUTER EXPLORERS team when I say that Nigel always sends us strong franchisees for new owner training. I think my next step to get to know Nigel and the entire ComputerXplorers team is to make a visit across the pond myself!