Saturday, November 29, 2008

Advantages of a treadmill

A treadmill has been on my wish list for a long time. When Lillian began speaking about how much she wanted an elliptical machine (is that what it's called?) for her birthday, we suddenly just decided to buy them both. What a great investment.

Maybe you're like me; when you buy something a little more expensive than what's "normal" you start making a mental list of good reasons to justify why you spent all that money. Well, that's what I did. So far, here are my explicit needs for spending a fair amount of money on a treadmill (BTW, the picture displays exactly the one we bought):
  • We're spending quality time together getting exercise
  • Freedom to also doing other things, like watching TV, listening to talks, music or just socialize with the kids in the family room
  • Having the option to quit any time (it actually motivates me)
  • Help to maintain steady pace when tempted to slow down
  • Easily keep track of progress (time, distance, pulse)
  • Weather becomes irrelevant (rain, snow, ice...)
  • It allows me to look after the kids when Lillian is out, and still get my exercise
Maybe the list will grow as I think of other good reasons why a treadmill is smart..?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Launch of IKT Grenland site

I want to pay a public compliment to everybody involved in ICT Grenland with the successful launch of the new website. is the fruit of long and hard labour by many good people. I'll say! this is so much deserved. Congratulations on finally getting a site that will help this network move forward to new heights!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ICT Grenland monthly meeting

ICT Grenland gets together the last Thursday night of every month. Tonight we had a visit from Svein Torgeir Dale (author of the book "Humor and Psychiatry"). The program was packed with stuff for every type of role within a company.

One of the participants said: "Tonight I had to choose between ICT Grenland and a Christmas table with good friends. The choice was easy. I had to come here. Better yet, I don't regret it!"

Way to go, folks. We had a great evening. Not only did we a) have fun, but we also b) learnt a lot and c) made new business connections! View this 30 second video to check out the atmosphere for yourself.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I love Telemark

Today I did a 2 hour public speaking session for Telemarkreiser at Norsjø Hotell. What a fantastic group of people! But then again, what would you expect (slightly biased ;-)

I love Telemark is now a group at Facebook. I joined it a few weeks ago. Why don't you, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tribute to Jan Moen

This evening I received a personal visit from Jan Moen. Boy! how he impresses me. He has practically lived martial arts all his life. He's not just anyone, but the President of The Nanbudo Worldwide Federation. With the exeption of the Doshu himself, there's nobody that holds a higher Dan. His formal Nanbudo rank is "Renshi". But... titles can mean so little. What really matters is the type of person he is, which in turn should be a reflection of the title that's been placed on him.

Jan relates to everyone, he seems to attract positive people (all the other people associated with him here in the Skien Nanbudo club are simply fantastic, too!). Most of all I appreciate how Jan focuses on the new guys. And he's so right! If you take care of the newcomers then the rest will take care of themselves - almost ;-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

BI at LinkedIn counting 1000

On June 3rd this summer I did a lot of work to get the alumni group for BI running at LinkedIn. It had a slow start, and it took a lot of effort, but now former students and faculty are signing up regularly.

The power of linking up like this is phenomenal. One thing is to keep track of where everybody is. It's quite another to tap into a network of people you don't know, but with whom you share a mutual education and student experience. Personally, I tap into this human network quite frequently. I know some others do to, but mostly people still need to discover the opportunities that it offers. The BI LinkedIn "community" is also about to become a place where relevant or interesting news is shared, although it's a slow start.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Log Your Run

Last weekend I found an excellent website that allows us to keep track of the exercise we're getting. I've seen others, but this one is exceptionally good, I think. It not only focuses on a few types of activities, but several. It also calculates "stuff" and allows us to compare progress. Funny! it even keeps tracks of shoes and much more, if you want it. If you're a Facebook friend you can track my exercise here. Not too much to brag about, but it's fun ;-)

p.s. Soon I'll be doing a blog post about "energizing activities", of which exercise is definitely one of them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Franklin Covey Norway

Today I met with Franklin Covey Norway (or "Nordic Approach", which is the proper naming). Ever since 1994 I've been excited about this company and the values and philosophy it represents.

Funny thing is, I was introduced to both Franklin Quest and Covey Leadership Center appx the same time - before these two companies merged. The merger was in 1997, but the company only had formal representation in the UK at the time. In 2001 I met with Carsten Lindgaard who brought Franklin Covey to Scandinavia. A year after this I was actually asked to do a workshop presentation for Junior Chamber in behalf of Franklin Covey (FC). This was when I first met with Sissel Storesund, a really professional lady who knows what she's doing.

Needless to say, Sissel Storesund has been a good friend all along. She recently brought FC to Norway together with Georg Muri. That gets me so excited! I'll do my best to help them succeed. They're both fantastic people!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BI better than NHH

This blogpost is written with a lot of "unrighteous pride" ;-)

In Norway there are two major players when it comes to a business education (some would say there are several others, I know). These two are, addressed by their Norwegian names, Norges Handelshøyskole (NHH) and Handelshøyskolen BI. I myself have my Bachelors and Masters degree from the latter - of course!!

A recent study finally provides solid empirical data to support the long established rumour that BI is better than NHH. I'm glad we finally got that settled ;-)

p.s. Click the logo and find BI Alumni at LinkedIn - a huge group of quality people.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cultural intro to Grenland

Today I had a business meeting with a wonderful lady. Marit Lindvig Stampe has a great number of talents, one of which is singing. She recently released an excellent CD with a variety of songs. I got myself one of those CD's today.

Marit makes me proud to be from Grenland. I've seen her perform songs in front of a great audience. Combined with pictures and information about Grenland, her unique type of entertainment is a brilliant way to help brand this part of the world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Norseman Extreme Triathlon

Yesterday I told about the committee behind the "Sales and Marketing Forum". These are great friends of mine. One of them, Hårek Stranheim, is actually among the toughest guys I know. He not only does thriathlons, but he's the man behind the most demanding and longest triathlon in the entire world!!! It's the NORSEMAN EXTREME TRIATHLON.

Here's a clip when Hårek Stranheim was on National TV in Norway some years ago. Sorry, Hårek, but you'll never get me to participate. Just watching this exhausts me. I did however, buy myself a treadmill last week. That'll keep me running frequently ;-)

The Norseman challenge ends at Gaustatoppen in Telemark. My son and I spent an entire day just climbing its final stages. In the Triathlon this is just the last "30 seconds" of the distance. Imagine that!

The view is just amazing up there. Simply something that needs to be experienced.

Our company at the ICTG site

Today One-on-One AS was officially published on the ICT Grenland website. No too bad, I'd say!

p.s. The ICT Grenland site is all Norwegian, so if you don't read or speak the language, you'll just have to trust me ;-) Alternatively click the picture and find the home page of One-on-One.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sales and Marketing Forum

About a year ago we started the Sales and Marketing Forum in Grenland. We thought marketers and sales people might want to get together *** BOY! were we right *** In total we're now more than a hundred people. It has become a fantastic place to find like-minded and eager networkers. Everybody meets together the last Thursday of every month 8pm at Klosterøya.

Over time a standard pattern has surfaced. We always:
  • host experts to do "dialog based lectures"
  • invite a big company willing to be sold to (that's a lot of fun!)
  • do some speed dating to meet new people
  • eat some good food
Who's running this thing..? Reidar Stavseth, Pål Hårek Stranheim, Maria Furuholmen and then there's me. I love these guys!

Why don't you pop by and check it out? ;-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Skien Fritidspark for the family

Almost every Friday or Saturday our family goes swimming in the brand new Skien Fritidspark. The place is just huge and the kids love swimming and diving in all the different pools. Eivind and I both broke a new record in the water slide. Did you ever go faster than 12.14 secs? I challenge you to beat me ;-)

Best thing of all; they offer an annual ticket for the entire family (NOK 2,500). With five kids jumping around every week, that's a VERY good offer for such amazing facilities!!

First Lego League to Skien

Last week I attended "First Lego League" (FLL) with my family. Wow! I'd never heard of this before, until appx 4 months ago. These kids were so excited. Check out the international website of FLL.

FLL runs all over the world at the same time, eventually bringing winners to a world final. We were at one of the locations in Scandinavia, i.e. Kongsberg, Norway. Even though winning was clearly important, the dominant ambition was to succeed with whatever they had planned and worked on weeks ahead.

It just about broke my heart to see one particular young man of about 14 years old crying because he'd been preparing so hard to make that lego robot perform. Although disappointed about the outcome, I believe it prepared him for greater "battles" ahead. How the world needs people who give it their all!

p.s. We're now preparing to bring this event to Grenland next year. Want to get involved..? ;-)

One of many teams during a technical presentation. Listen carefully and you'll hear the crowds outside cheering each other on as they compete "next door". More pictures from this event.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ICT Grenland sound and intro

We asked Fredrik Farstad to produce an intro and "sound logo" in behalf of the new ICT Grenland website that's soon to be officially launched.

We've uploaded it to a separate ICT Grenland YouTube channel. Take a look!

p.s. I like the personal touch Fredrik gave this. What do you think?

Team of open people

If you want to collaborate openly with great people in the ICT sector in Norway, here's the team behind ICT Grenland.

The cluster consists of appx 70 companies in the Grenland region. We meet at Klosterøya, Skien the last Thursday of every month 19:00 - 21:00 CET.

Come visit to meet great people and eat pizza!