Sunday, July 22, 2007

Walk the talk

Finally, we made it! I met with Susan today on the sports ground in Greenside to start the 702 walk. As the driver behind this whole thing, she was already there 7.30 am for the start at 9.30 am. Next, Wanjikou arrived - a bit coy as usual, she wanted to give us moral support only and not participate in the walk. Thank God to peer pressure, she took the spot of a no-show and became a happy walker like the rest of us. Then, Mwangi and Valentin arrived, both of them a bit confused, maybe it was the crowd or the early morning. Just before the start, Lesly and Jean graced us with their presence. And off we went.

It was a jolly walk - the area was like one big park. It was all fun and laughter - all for a good cause and for some a test of endurance. Towards the finish, they all became quieter until they could party at the arrival. And off we went to Melville for a well-deserved breakfast and plotting about the next steps for the book project. We shall be back next year and hopefully, we will have the necessary GPS to find our cars afterwards.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Walk is upon us!

This sunday the 2007 World of Work Team will join the 702 Walk. Some will do the 5 km walk while others opted for the 8 km. Thinking of it, I should have signed up for the 21 km run. After all, a bit of sweat is good for the heart and mind. I can't wait to see our t-shirts. I am even more excited about the book. The more I read about South Africa's labor market problems, the skills deficit, the difficulties university graduates have in getting employment, the more I believe this book will make a signficant contribution to alleviate these problems and create more happiness. And this should be a good thing!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hooked on 'le tour' or team building revisited

Bruce Arden gave us an introduction to team building during the World of Work seminar. He rounded up his presentation with an excerpt of a behind-the-scenes documentary about the brave cyclists of the Tour de France. At the time, I found his focus on the tour, a heavily gendered environmnent, and its relevance for modern team building problematic, yet the documentary got me hooked on the tour. As the riders roll through the French mountains, I catch myself sitting with excitement in front of the tv and following the daily drama of a gruelling competition. Indeed, this is some gripping television in real time.

Today is also Jean-Bertrand Aristide's birthday. All the best to South Africa's most famous visitor and hopefully he will be able to return soon to his native country.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Much entertainment

So far, so good. Work is all very jolly and we should not forget the entertainment side. It's been ages I have not been to a proper Jazz concert and last night, I could indulge - the Swiss-South African Jazz Quintet was at the Bassline. It was great. There is nothing as stimulating and relaxing for the mind than music played well. The band was an electrifying mix of old cats such as Stefan Kurman on bass and Makaya Ntshoko on percussion, Feya Faku on Flugelhorn and trumpet and two young Swiss players, Domenic Landolf on sax and Collin Vallon on piano. It was a cold and wet night but the players heated the audience up. Afterwards, I went for a sneak peak to the Horror Cafe. Reaggae night was on, with live contributions from Bongomuffin's Appleseed. The crowd was young, stylish and excited - it was truly time to let it all hang out!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A psychometric test for racists

Scientist in the UK are developing a test to find out your attitude towards people of other races. They suggest it can be used in the not too far future for screening potential employees and weeding out racists. I am not familiar with the science of psychometrics but I am a bit sceptical of such tools. I mean surely people have prejudice but should the score on some test say if they are hired or not? What about people who have prejudice, given their background and upbringing, and how do we evaluate their potential to change? For instance, for many young students at Wits, being in such a diverse environment, with staff, students and lecturers of all races and origins, they live through a real culture shock. Eventually, they get used to diversity and even appreciate it. With a psychometric race test, would it mean that employees would no longer have the chance for change?