Spring into innovation.

Innovation has lots of definitions, but my favorite way to describe it is simple. Innovation is doing something in a new way to make life better for the people who matter.

BD19092_[1] Who matters is not the same for everyone and that’s the best part. It just spreads good stuff around that much further as we point our energies towards what we care about and others do the same some place else. Our new ideas and energy get spread around and just like fertilizer in the garden wonderful things start to spring up.

Innovative ideas are sometimes revolutionary, but more often that not, innovation is just a little thing – one new thing we can add or do to make a difference for ourselves or others.

A great example was sent to me this week by my friend Debra Johnson, CEO of Eco-Edge.  The company works with businesses to take their diesel fleet and industrial operations to new levels of profitability, performance and sustainability with Award-Winning Technologies for:

Improved Fuel Economy

Reduced Maintenance Costs

More Efficient & Effective Operations

Reduced Environmental Footprint

I first met Debra when she was starting her business in 2002 at the Arizona Venture Capital Conference.  We were both checking things out for the first time and got to chatting.  We’ve stayed in touch ever since and it has been so great to see her company move forward.  She’s progressed from an entrepreneur with an idea to national recognition as a finalist for last year’s Stevie Award.  Here is what she shared with me… and gave me permission to share with you.

j0400732[1]Do you know what many people believe may be the greatest invention of all time?

The lowly toothbrush!

One day long ago when someone said this toothbrush will improve your life – very few people responded with: “I must have that!”  Today, we can’t live without our toothbrush, and we know it can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. The cell phone, the Internet and the CFL bulb all went through this process.  Many inventions did not, not because they weren’t good, but for whatever reason, they never gained broad acceptance.

Are you wondering why this is relevant from a company that helps fleets and industrial operationsimprove profits and reduce environmental impact?   Eco-Edge understands that not every company should be using every new product on the market. But companies willing to take those first bold steps with someone they trust recognize that once they have validated solutions, they reap early benefits and set the table for others to confidently join in.  Our process relies on customer advocacy to match the right innovative products to your goals and challenges, as well as to your requirements for assurance.  We do the due diligence on innovative eco-efficient products to ensure that, at the end of the day, you are 100% satisfied with your decision.

And, our job is to constantly look for innovative, best-in-class fleet and industrial products that will save you money and reduce your environmental impact – guaranteed.  To that end, new solutions we’ve added in the last few months can, at the very least, reduce your operating costs and cut accidents, all while making the world just a bit healthier.  We just celebrated our 7th year helping businesses like yours do just that.

Debra makes some great points here – and sets an example we can all benefit from.  You see,  inventions do not become innovations until we use them to make a positive difference in our lives or our businesses. She addresses each question an adopter will be asking or thinking…

1.   How will this product or service benefit me?

2.  Is it to risky to change from what I do today?

3.  Can I get support to help me make this change?

And best of all, she promises to keep the innovations coming.

If you were telling your story – could you answer these questions as well as Debra did?

Spring is a great time to make a list and start to think about what YOU can do to make life better and how you can interest others in joining you on the journey.

A little innovation goes a long way.  Harness a little of that spring time energy and do something new.

Thanks for tuning in and please stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Want to Share Your Message? Be Remarkable

Someone asked me the other day, what it meant to be a successful professional speaker and how do I become one.

Hmm, what to say.  I never not set out to be a “successful speaker”. My goal was to run a successful company. For me, speaking was a way to move my company’s mission forward towards our goal. Taking the platform was a way to bring our message out to a larger audience.

jkw big stageThe first part of the process (and the first step we still take today with any new program) is to ask – “What do I have to share – and who cares to hear it?” We all have lots of things to say, but if there is not an audience looking for that message – no one will stop to listen – let alone pay you for it.

The next step is to craft the message so others will remember it and want to share it with their friends and colleagues. In a word, be “remarkable.” Nothing is as powerful as someone who has heard you speak, read your article or blog, or seen you on TV or video and wants to share what they learned from you with others.

Step three is to walk your talk. Don’t just spout witty lines from the stage. Actions always speak louder than words. Do something to demonstrate your message.

· If you speak on how to grow businesses, be sure you are growing yours!

· If your message is to help others in the community – be an active volunteer.

· If you speak on Leadership – be a leader.

· If innovation is your gig – do something innovative.

Get the message? So, you may be asking…”That’s great, but does it work?” The answer is simple. Yes.

I’ve used this simple three step process and achieved what I set out to do. My business has grown and spawned other businesses. Today we have divisions in consulting and publishing. I even got to take two years off – while others ran the business for me – so I could take a two year sabbatical to pursue my personal passion for helping other businesses achieve their goals as CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association. With friends we have founded new ventures in social entrepreneurship, been asked to help lead new and exciting companies – and I’m getting ready to buy and grow another one. And through it all I have kept speaking. Whether the audience is a small group of 15 or a ballroom filled to capacity, following these three steps keeps people talking about what we say and do. It’s remarkable.

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

My Momma Told Me…

It has been said that the difference between family and friends, is that you  get to pick your friends.  Well, when it comes to Mothers, I really lucked out.  My Mom is the type of friend anyone would be lucky to pick.  Here’s why…


Great friends are there when you need them.  They tell you the truth – even when you don’t want to hear it. And, if you are really lucky, they are people you can learn from by listening to them and watching what they do. 

mom and dad tightMy Mom is a pretty incredible lady.  She makes good choices in her life – and it shows!  She and my Dad are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary this year.  My Dad he still thinks she its the best thing that ever happened to him.  They’ve raised five kids together and then after the kids were gone, took care of my Grandmother at home so that she could live out her final years in a loving environment with the best quality of life possible.   She is a valuable member of the team where she works and is a committed and active contributor in her church and her community.  She has lots of great friends – some of whom go all the way back to high school!

I’ve learned lots of important things from my Mom over the years, some that she’s told me and more that she’s demonstrated by just being who she is.  Here are a few things, that by her words and actions, my Momma told me…

If you believe in your self and are committed to do what it takes, you can do anything.

Be the best person you can be.  You have a responsibility to use the gifts God gave you.

Get an education – and never stop learning.

Check your work.  (She’s been know to even find typos in my blog posts.)

People have different skills and talents – learn to uncover them and treasure them.

You were not raised in a barn – don’t act like it.

If you want to get something done, find the busiest person you know.

Stand by your convictions – If you don’t, who will?

If it’s important to get the job done – sleep’s optional. 

Say I love you – often! 

You can have it all! 

At the end of the day, nothing is more important than family.

See, I really did luck  out in the Mommy Lottery.  So this Mother’s Day, I just want to say – Thanks Mom!  I love you.

Standing Together this May Day

It’s May Day today (May1, 2009).  In different cultures and different places, May Day has different meanings, but interestingly in one way or the other they link to a common theme.  In each face of May Day we see people coming together.

When I write these weekly wrap up blogs, I often add a song or video so you can listen along.  This one – Stand By Me by Playing for Change is a favorite of mine – I hope you enjoy it as you read on.


So, back to May Day and its meanings…

For some, May Day is the celebration of Spring, with communities coming together to celebrate Spring in all its glory.  It is a time to look toward the future – to celebrate growth and new life.

In come countries, May Day is Labor Day or Labour Day while here in the United States, we celebrate it at the end of the month.  Around the world, May Day gatherings have not always been just joyous gathering and picnics.  May Day has long been a day of often marked worker protests, rallies for change, and calls for equality.  May Day became a significant rallying call for the Socialist Parties in many countries and in many cities around the U.S. this year there are gatherings about immigrant rights and issues.

May Day is also the internationally known distress call.  Not tied to May 1st, it’s origins come from the French phrase  m’aidez which translated means ‘help me’.  Only used in times of serious distress or danger, May Day calls are monitored 24/7 (on VHF channel 16, or HF 2182.0 KHz) so that help can be sent when needed.

Well on this May Day, some might say that we live in a time of distress calls.  War, unemployment, homelessness, business failures, and frauds mark the news daily.  Disease is on the rise from cancers, to autism, to the newest outbreak of swine flu around the globe.  But the good news is people and organizations continue to come together to do something about it.  Here are a few examples:

  • OTEF – The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation – launched  Blueprint for Survival to help displaced workers through entrepreneurship skills.
  • The government continues to launch new programs daily to help on the Recovery. (Agree or disagree with the strategy and tactics as you may.)
  • New Global Citizens is teaching young people how to “be the change they see in the world” (Ghandi) while Playing for Change is is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.
  • SARRC reaches out to offer support and solutions to a growing population of families touched by autism.
  • AACR recently held it’s 100th Annual Meeting of Cancer Researchers where people from all over the world shared ideas and innovations.
  • RiboMed is imagining (and working towards) a future when getting a noninvasive, multi-disease diagnostic test at your annual medical exam is as routine as having your temperature or blood pressure taken. Imagine tests that can detect early biomarkers of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism or heart disease long before symptoms present. Imagine that when disease is detected, doctors can prescribe a treatment plan designed specifically for you.

In spite of all the  challenges we face, for me this May Day means Hope.  You see, when people come together to build solutions, magic happens. 

Please leave a comment and share ways you have found or seen where people are coming together and making a difference.  Leave your mark this May Day! 

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

It’s the real thing…How will you deliver your message?

A TV commercial came out when I was in elementary school that I remember to this day. We lived in a different time.  The 1960’s had ended and we were at the start of a new decade.  It was 1971.  People were protesting the war (in Vietnam this time).  Richard Nixon was President, Chairman Mao had declared the Cultural Revolution was ended (1969) and the door to China was slowly opening to the West. New technologies in semiconductor science and computing were evolving and a new environmental movement via Greenpeace was born.


A commercial came out in the fall of 1971 that captured the people’s mood and helped embed a brand – Coca-Cola – in the hearts and minds of a generation. (See video from YouTube above.)   The story of the how the now famous “Hilltop” ad came to be is a good one and a legend in the ad industry.  Two top 20 Hits came out after the commercial, one by The Hillside Singers and the other later by the New Seekers.  You can hear and see their version here.

At the Great Wall copyright Joan Koerber-Walker 2001Fast forward 30 years – and my husband Chris and I were in China seeing the sights.  It was just weeks after 9-11 and the world was still reeling in shock.  It was not a time of global love and trust.  One sunny morning, we made a visit to the Great Wall of China.  As we made our way up the wall, I watched a man helping a little girl climb step by step.  We stopped, as they did, along the way to take a break.  I took a Coke out of my backpack and caught the Dad’s eye and pointed at his little girl.  After he nodded yes, I turned to offer it to her.  She did not speak English, but her eyes lit up as she giggled and sang out “Coca-Cola!”  Perhaps they did teach the world to sing after all.

How will you build your brand?

Most of us can not afford the $250K Coca-Cola spent just to create the famous ad in 1971. (That’s $1.3M+ in 2009 dollars and without airtime!)  But, that’s OK.  You see, they learned the most important secret of business growth and branding. 

It’s not what you say about your company that matters.  What matters is what others say about you.  Especially in times like these – times of challenge and change -actions speak louder than words. 

It does not matter how big or small your company is.  Your decisions can make or break your brand.   The next time you have a business decision to make – ask yourself, “How will others see this – and what will THEY remember?” 

People have long memories, and you never know who might be writing about YOU thirty days or thirty years from now.

Stay Tuned…

-Joan Koerber-Walker

Overcoming Challenges…Getting back Up

Have you fallen lately?  Been knocked off your feet?  Are you facing a challenge through no fault of your own?  Is it tempting to feel sorry for yourself, to think that times are too hard, to just give up? 

My old friend and mentor Don Sweet sent me this video last week.  It really struck a chord and got me thinking.


After you’ve watched this video – its hard to be negative or give up.  Few face challenges on a daily basis that are anything like this.  If Nick Vujicic can get back up and finish strong – how can we ever stop trying with the challenges we face.

We’ve seen this week that dreams can come true.  Just look at how the world has embraced Susan Boyle, a woman who lives in a little Scottish village, definitely does not look like the typical ‘superstar’ and unlike Madonna – Susan’s never even been kissed.  But she pursued her dream of being a singer.  Her dream took her to Britain’s Got Talent…that took her to You Tube where close to 20 MILLION people have watched her WOW the judges and touch our hearts with her incredible voice, and now she takes the next steps and gets ready to take her place on a larger stage.  See the newest videos on Today for more. 

As a make my way around the community, I meet with lots of Arizonans.  People who are looking for new jobs, who are struggling to meet payroll, or are facing other challenges in their lives or in their businesses.    But what gives me hope is the resilience and determination I hear when we sit down and talk.  Whether it’s over the phone for in a local coffee shop, I hear stories of people working together to make a difference, sharing ideas, asking questions, and finding answers and solutions to challenges.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Allan Starr started a new discussion forum on Linked In called Marketing Partners Memos.  An established business leader and marketing expert, Allan asked his friends questions about things like SEO and reaching customers – you’ll find of tips and advice from a number of folks in the Valley –  great ideas.
  • I am NOT a Social Media expert.  But I have friends that are.  They have helped me understand how to effectively use social Media as a tool for starting conversations.  When I put out a post on it this week, it spread like wild fire.  If you missed it and need some tips – see the ones I got from the experts and examples you can use as models at A Busy Person’s Tool Kit for Social Media.
  • For fun, I shared a quote from Albert Einstein on Facebook – “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. ”   This quote sparked such a great discussion about the power or asking questions and the importance of collaboration and partnering that I moved it to the blog so that people can keep the conversation going in an open forum.  You can join the conversation too at Question of the Day – How can I  help you?
  • Tax Day – A crowd gathered at the Capitol to share their feelings on the state of the economy, government and taxation.  I chose to skip that particular gathering.  🙂  But if you want a flavor for the issues and answers around the question at the state level see the posts  Opportunity Springs Up and Doing the Right Things in Arizona.
  • Jeremiah Trnka’s new Arizona Edition of The Performance Magazine launches next week.  Wednesday night he introduced me to some of his friends at CEO Space and we got a sneak peak.  Keep an eye out for this new publication full of great business ideas from leaders from around the country and Valley experts too.
  • Francine Hardaway of Stealthmode Partners sent me a note with and introduction to Jo Ellen McNamara, Executive Director of the West Mesa Community Development Corporation.  We met for breakfast at Chompie’s yesterday to share ideas.  What a great addition to our Economic Development community.  Jo Ellen is very experienced and is doing exciting things in the East Valley.  We could have exchanged ideas all morning!  I look forward to working with her in the future.

So, the next time life knock you down, pick yourself up.  Think of the inspiration of a Nick Vujicic or a Susan Boyle.  Find a dream – and some friends and colleagues to partner with – and go for it!

Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

Question of the Day…How can I help you?

An important conversation started when I shared a quote from Albert Einstein on Twitter and Facebook today.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. ”  

This video is a great example of the types of collaborations that began at ASU when people started seriously asking questions.


When the tweet hit, a conversation started on Facebook – but since everyone can’t get to it there, I am moving it to the blog so that anyone can chime in.  It started like this:

Joan Koerber-Walker “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. ” Albert Einstein. 

And then a conversation started…

Carl LundbladCarl Lundblad at 9:28am April 15

I have a question…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker at 9:33am April 15

And it is…

Carl Lundblad

Carl Lundblad at 9:38am April 15

Just responding to Einstein’s counsel that we never stop questioning…guess it wasn’t very funny…grin.

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker at 9:43am April 15

🙂 Ah but that’s the point – if we figure out the right questions – we may just find an answer. So let’s have some fun. Pose a question. 🙂

Carl Lundblad

Carl Lundblad at 9:48am April 15

OK…are the average citizens of this country – folks like you and me – really committed and empathetic enough to help our brethren through these turbulent economic times and confirm the greatness and mettle of this nation? (You and I have both seen folks preach collaboration, but not all practice it well.)

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker at 10:18am April 15

Well, let’s see. My guess is there have always been those who try to help and those that don’t. Some who want to work together and others with no desire to.   Maybe we ask the question – How can we find partners who want to work together with us and are committed to making a difference?  That answer may actually get us what we are looking for. (I’ve seen Francine Hardaway build collaborations like this over and over again when something needs to get done.)

And as to the ‘average American’ part of the question – I believe that any solution has to come from us – the good things – the ones that really work in this country –
all come from “average Americans.”  So let’s narrow the question. “Who do we specifically what to help, and how. Then we can put out the call and ask ” who wants to help in that way.”

Lisa J. Ellis

Lisa J. Ellis at 10:44am April 15

I want to help in this way and make a difference! I enjoy collaborating and growing business through partnerships. The one for all, all for one mentality can work when we not only recognize our opportunities when they arise, but deliver opportunities to others – our partners. We can do this together…keep yourself open to the possibilities.

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker at 10:50am April 15

OK Carl and Lisa – we’re up to 3 people who want to work together – and make a difference. Anyone out there care to make it 4?

Joan Koerber-Walker

Carl Lundblad at 11:28am April 15

Hi Lisa! Great reply…most of my biz dev effort for ASC and my other client, FDI is to find collaborative partners. Especially now! Cheers.

Eden Sunshine

Eden Sunshine at 12:02pm April 15

I want to help… Has anyone read the book “The Go-Giver”? It’s a very brief story about a guy who learns some very powerful lessons about letting go of his agenda and goals to support others. You all know the end of the story right? He goes broke. Just kidding. It comes back 100 fold.  I believe the operative question worth asking and listening to is “How can I help your business.” If we intend to collaborate that must be our focus. But frankly people are afraid to ask and FOLLOW-THROUGH.
So let’s see how much courage I have, “How can I help your businesses?”

Carl LundbladCarl Lundblad at 12:09pm April 15

Eden – check my email reply from yesterday, 4.14…let’s book that lunch and keep the dialogue going re collaboration in both directions…

And then there were 4 people in the conversation.  We need to keep asking questions, help each other find answers, and build solutions together.  Who knows what might happen?  You see, powerful things can happen when you ask questions.  That’s why I decided to move the conversation here so that everyone can join in.  (Thanks to Carl, Lisa, and Eden for giving me permission to share their thoughts.)

You may be viewing this from Facebook, Linked In, TypePad, or WordPress.  To keep all the comments together, let’s all put our comments on WordPress – you will find the string here: http://ow.ly/2XU7 

PLEASE, join in the conversation. Leave a comment on my WordPress Blog.   I believe that there are lots us.  Just Average Americans, with lots of questions.  Together we can find answers and better yet collaborate to make a difference.  If you are looking for help with a question you are already working on – ask for it.  If you are struggling with a new question, put it out there and see who might have an answer or want to lend a hand.

Some people may believe that asking questions and expecting people to  answer the call is a bit naive.  A bit like looking for the Holy Grail.  So I’ll end this for now with a clip from a movie that came out back in my high school days.  I think you’ll recognize the characters.  Think about the importance of asking questions – and think like a King!


I’ll be watching for your comments.

Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

Opportunity Springs Up

It’s Easter weekend already.  It’s a time of growth, a time of new beginnings, and time of opportunity.  As I have been making my way around our community, I’ve seen new starts, new business, new partnerships, and new information all examples showing positive change is not so far away or out of reach.  Enjoy the attached song by Pete Murray and performed with John Mayer while I share what I have seen and heard this week. 


Tuesday, at ASU I found a great new FREE tool.  It’s called Economy@W.P.Carey and contains up-to-date economic insights including the Blue Chip Economic reports, articles from thought leaders in the AZ economy like Dr. Lee McPheters, and much more.  As soon as I got home, I loaded it into my RSS feed reader on iGoogle so that as new developments appear I see them right away. Oh and what are the economists saying?  Well, not surprisingly – 2009 for AZ looks pretty tough – but the consensus of all the different economists reporting was that we would see upward movement at the end of 2009 with sustained positive momentum in 2010.  That’s very good news and economists rarely agree.  🙂

A visit to the DW Sports Group yielded great conversations with Dane Platt and William Carey…not to mention a tour of their facility and the chance to pick up their newest innovation ‘Green’ Golf Balls from Dixon Golf.  Look for William to be sharing his experiences as a Serial Entrepreneur at the 4th Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference on November 12, 2009!

Bill Swartz and I got together at Kierland Commons to exchange ideas and get caught up on the exciting growth industries we both see emerging in the valley. 

Lisa Ellis of Metro Studios got me caught up on all the latest innovations in the world of Digital Marketing and Media – and helped me critique my newest YouTube videos on Economic Gardening, Small Business, and Healthcare.

Thursday, GPEC held an event at the Tempe Center for the Arts called Convening the Community.  (To see all the presentations and video from the event – click on the Convening the Community link.)  On one stage, in one morning, we got the news and proposed solutions from both Governor Jan Brewer, with her finance team (Tom Manos and Eileen Klein) , along with the Arizona Legislature’s take and budget solution from Kirk Adams(AZ Speaker of the House) and Bob Burns (AZ Senate President).  An education panel of Dr. Michael Crow (President of ASU), Dr. Debra Duval (Superintendent, Mesa Schools) and Dr. Rufus Glasper (Chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges) shared their insights on the impact cuts are having on K-20.   Not all of the speakers agreed on all of the topics, tactics, and solutions.  (Not a big surprise.) But over 800 members of our community attended, listened, and learned.  More importantly, after the event there were many conversations springing up with between organizations – discussions of partnerships existing or forming – appointments being set – opportunities for solutions being discussed. 

Also on Thursday – a Grand Opening for the new offices of Perfect Power.  Congratulations to Lynn Paige and John Balfour – not just for opening a new expanded facility, but more importantly for being a key component in Arizona’s push towards a vibrant solar power industry AND  North America’s Most Award Winning Solar Company!

Friday – Good Friday – I headed over to meet a group of executives at the Shea Group for a great exchange of ideas on navigating the Healthcare Maze and what’s happening in our community and our economy.  Talk about a brain trust all in one room!  Special thanks to Tom Freeze for allowing me to sit in.  🙂

Saturday, I’m off to NSA Arizona top see my friends in the Speaking Community and share more ideas.  Thank goodness Sunday is a day for Family, Rest and Easter Eggs!

So think back on your week.  Who did you see?  What ideas did you share that could lead to new opportunities?  How can you partner with someone to overcome a challenge?    And while you are thinking it through, click the link to watch the official “Opportunity” music video and look for the writing on the wall.  😉

Happy Easter Everyone.

Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

Is Anyone Listening?

It’s been said that ‘country music is the voice of the country.’  We have seen it in times of national crisis from John Rich’s Shutting Detroit Down (2009)


to  Alan Jackson’s 9/11 tribute Where Were You When the World

Stopped Turning (video – 2001), and Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA (video -1984) 

Cross over artists like John Mellencamp tell America’s story. Songs like  Little Pink Houses celebrated the dream of a home for everyone.  The link takes you to a video of his performance at the Obama Inauguration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while other songs bring the constant plight of the small farmer back in view with Blood on the Scarecrow. 

Our country’s music has reflected the voices of its people since its inception – from Yankee Doodle, to the spirituals of slaves, the rallying calls on both sides of the Civil War, Woody Guthrie’s tales of America during the Great Depression  or another popular hit of the day, Brother Can You Spare a Dime  (audio-1932). The music of the 60’s brought us Joan Baez and Bob Dylan’s rallying cries for Peace and Equality as they searched for an answer Blowing in the Wind (video-1971.)

If music is the voice of the country, I sometimes wonder who is listening. 

Each day I try to keep up with what is happening as we struggle through our current time of crisis.  Reading the NY Times, the Financial Times, & the Washington Post.  Scanning from MSNBC to CNN to Fox and reading through the Republic and the Business Journal, I look for signs of progress.  When I find them, sometimes I will send them out on Twitter or Face Book – or blog them out through Plaxo or LinkedIn.  The Challenges are out there for certain – but good stuff is happening too.  It’s important to show both sides of the story.

Don’t worry – I have no intention of penning songs, re-stringing my guitar, and serenading you with my own songs of the times.  There are others who can do it so much better and my family has begged me not to.  😉 

So please, turn up the volume and listen to the voices of America around you.  Use your voice.  Sing out if you have that talent.  Speak out about what you believe in.  Volunteer to help others – and while you  are there – listen to their stories.  Share a story of hope.    Every voice makes a difference – especially as it blends with the voices of others around the country.

Thanks for listening  – Stay Tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker

Too Much Information?

Image Credit - http://techie-buzz.com

We live in an information age.  Google, Twitter, MSNBC, Face Book, TV, Radio, and Newspapers are all online.  Blogs are creating global conversations and with Skype, I now have to actually wash my face and brush my hair before sitting down before my computer at 5AM.  It only takes one video call while in your bathrobe and curlers to wipe our your smooth and savvy image.  (;-)

I  can find out almost anything through my computer.  All it takes is some search creativity and a bit of persistence. The challenge is getting the information you need and filtering out all the noise.

It’s getting louder. Can you hear it? 

Whether it’s the volume of spam attacking your email folders, the tweet of a friend who has just found Twitter and has to share their EVERY action all day long, or the three-year-old, bogus email warning or ‘favorite blessing’ that is again making the chain letter circuit.  Sometimes the noise is so loud you can’t hear or find the important stuff.

The point of all these information and communications tools is to share information…and at times – spark a conversation.   But at times, it feels more like whoever makes the most noise is winning.

A good example  is the annual Time100 Most Influential People List.  For decades this has been the true A list of people shaping our world.  Now Time has posted the ballots on-line.  If you can wade though the over 200 profiles to vote on, you probably have too much time on your hands.  I visited the site this morning and after a few minutes realized that it could take hours to go through them all.  Later today from Twitter, I got the news of how the voting was going and that Moot was in the lead.  Huh?  Who or what is a Moot?  I guess I was not the only one so out of touch.  They created a video to explain it. 

Today was my day to do my part in updating RiboMed‘s business plan so that it was ready to present to potential investors after we exhibit at AACR’s 100th Annual Meeting next week.  (The team’s work in the lab is taking us closer to a breakthrough in early cancer detection daily.  We need to raise more capital to take it to the marketplace.) Unfortunately, I can only spend so much time running financial models, analyzing future markets and writing about epigenetic theory, bio-markers, and all that stuff before I start to go cross eyed.  I guess I’m getting old.

So I took a break to check in on my social media pages at AllTop and HootSuite to see what was up in the world.  And then braved my email to see if the note I was waiting for from New York had come in.  After sifting though my inbox and not finding it, I checked my junk box  scanning through 500+ spam messages just in case it was there .  Did not find it – but there were two emails from my parents.  Hoping for some happy family news, I opened them.  My folks sent me important emails they people send to them.   One was on the horrific dangers of Aspartame (the sweetener found in Diet Coke) and the other was quoting the LA Times on 10 disturbing ‘facts’ about illegal immigration.   Dashed off a couple of quick emails to Mom and Dad explaining that neither of these emails were accurate or even recent – the LA Times hoax started in 2006.  Attached a couple of tinyurls with links to the actual facts, added an “I love You” and got back to work.

We’ll wipe out cancer in my lifetime..I’m not so sure about spam.

Stay tuned…

– Joan Koerber-Walker