Friday, July 23, 2010

Endurance

IMG_0886 If you're not from Holland, you probably don't know the largest walking event in the world is currently going on in Nijmegen, my home town. It's called the 'Vierdaagse' (in Dutch. Literally: the 4 day one) or 'the Walk of the World'. It's a great event for participants and spectators. The whole city of Nijmegen is flooded with people from all over the world (people from 67 countries participated this year!). Men and woman of 65 years and older have to walk 30 kilometers for four days to get a medal. Men younger between 16-65 have to walk 4x50 kilometers. And ladies walk 4x40 k's. Very long walks, that require lots of training, focus and determination!

Yesterday I volunteered to give water to the walkers (- you may have noticed my tweets/here are some pictures). I love doing that. It brings back lots of memories of the hardship and joy I experience walking 4x50 two years ago. It's great to see about 45.000 people walking by focused on reaching the finish, which is today.

Standing there yesterday, a question popped up, that I also had during my course about 'realistic influencing'. In our work a lot of time is spent on convincing others and influencing employees, managers and groups. I love doing that. Just like the walkers you have an end goal in mind, you are determined to reach the finish. And many reach their goals. But some don't. During this year's Walk of the World about 3.000 walkers had to stop due to blisters, fatigue, etc. They had to make the hard decision to stop.

And here's my question: When do you decide to stop influencing and convincing people that e.g. social media/KM/information management is a good thing for business? When do you decide that convincing an employee, a decision maker or a company is wasting your time and energy?

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