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Why? – Why not
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Femke Goedhart    

Sometimes something inspires you, hits you or just speaks to you. Today I saw this fragment on a Dutch tv show and it hit a nerve.

I’m not in science but I am in IT and I still get asked sometimes “why?”. I’ve never really paused at that question, I knew when I started I was an exception in a sea of men (my then company employed 160 male and only 4 female IT consultants) but I never felt inhibited or held back in any way to become or do what I wanted. The ‘why?’ that I’ve been asked hundreds of times never really bothered me.

Until last week. And weirdly enough it wasn’t even about my work in IT when it did.

Apart from working in IT I also like LEGO. As a kid we had LEGO but I was always told it was my brothers’, so I could only play with it if we played with it together. problem was, we didn’t really play well together so I never got to play much with it and as opportunity dwindled I eventually forgot about it. After all, It was a boy thing.

30 years on and hearing from more then a few people (mostly men) in my circle who still loved building with LEGO I finally got over my own inhibitions and bought my own LEGO set. I loved it!

Showing a picture of my latest set (model of the Mini Cooper) to a coworker who also likes building with LEGO (yes, it’s an IT thing, nerds seem to love LEGO) he quizzically looked at me and stated “you really do love it don’t you?”, and then it hit me.

Even though we are the same age, spend roughly the same amount of money on LEGO and have been talking about LEGO for a while now, the fact that I’m a girl somehow still makes it an oddity for me to enjoy it. And although I’m certain he didn’t consciously mean anything with it I suddenly felt 10 again and being told: “Why do you want to play with LEGO? Isn’t that more something for boys?”. It made me aware of how much some cultural concepts creep into perception and into our culture and how even a simple question can make you question yourself when it is asked often enough.

This speech is not about LEGO, it’s not even about IT but it is about the power of cultural concepts and how those influence us in who we become.

The next time you ask someone “why?”, perhaps ask yourself “Why not?” first.

 

 

 



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Aug 18, 2014
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Recent Blog Posts
1
What is IBM Connections? And how to explain it to users!
Thu, May 25th 2017 7:53p   Femke Goedhart
In my work a big part of what I do is to explain both the reasons as well as the interface of IBM Connections. Why? Well because once you get the hang of it it’s not that hard but to a newbie user who opens it up for the first time it can be veryContinue reading →
2
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Thu, May 18th 2017 5:04p   Femke Goedhart
It has been a while since I posted and it’s time to catch up. Times have been rather busy so this post is mostly to just distribute my slides from Snoug & engage. Both wonderful events that really do deserve a big round of applause for setting up great events for people to come togetherContinue reading →
1
It's conference season!
Fri, Mar 3rd 2017 5:51p   Femke Goedhart
With IBM Connect just out of the way, SNoUG (The awesome Swiss usergroup event in zurich) coming up in just a few weeks, followed by Engage in May and then being part of the organization for Social Connections in early June my agenda is happily buzzing with event prep and travel plans. I love this!Continue reading →
2
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Wed, Feb 22nd 2017 5:16p   Femke Goedhart
Yesterday I had the pleasure to present with my coworker Franz Walder a session on: Socialytics: Accelerating IBM Connections Adoption with Watson Analytics These are the slides for the session. [slideshare id=72468063&doc=connect2017-dev1223socialytics-170222170058] Abstract: Social adoption is a challenge for many companies. What is the most effective utilization of the environment? Who is using which resources,Continue reading →
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Wed, Feb 15th 2017 2:03p   Femke Goedhart
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Thu, Dec 15th 2016 8:19a   Femke Goedhart
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IBM Connections Explained: all about files!
Mon, Oct 31st 2016 12:00p   Femke Goedhart
Ok, I admit, this one was a long time in coming but it’s finally here! The next video in my little series on IBM Connections usage questions. This time it’s all about files and especially about the difference between : Attachments vs Files Personal vs Community files I hope it helps explain a little whatContinue reading →
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Excited about data!
Mon, Sep 26th 2016 3:01p   Femke Goedhart
As a business consultant that focuses primarily on enabling organizations to collaborate better with their ecosystem of employees, partners and customers, a big question is always for me: “What are the numbers saying? How are our systems being used, what data is out there that I can use to analyze what is happening?”. So thatContinue reading →
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ICONUK Slidedeck “IBM Connections Adoption Worst Practices”
Sat, Sep 17th 2016 1:51p   Femke Goedhart
During ICONUK last week (15-16 September 2016) I did a session on “IBM Connections Adoption Worst Practices“. Slides for this session are available on my slideshare and here: Iconuk 2016 – IBM Connections adoption Worst practices! from Femke Goedhart Regardless if you’ve implemented IBM Connections, are considering it or in the middle of the planning stages – there are wrong (and right) turns to take at every step. Join Femke to learn about misconceptions and tr
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IBM Connections explained: Activity stream
Sun, Sep 11th 2016 10:19a   Femke Goedhart
This one I had already posted to my youtube but not linked to from my blog. It’s all about how to make the update streams work for you. Enjoy!




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