The Role of Teamwork in Technological Innovation

When I am contacted by meeting planners, corporations, and members of Associations about speaking at their events I am most often asked if I can speak about teamwork and team building. As a keynote speaker I can tell you that this is indeed a subject which seems to be on the minds of company executives, workers, and to some degree most of us. We all seem to value highly the idea of working together. During companywide and executive retreats often times there will be some sort of “team building exercise.” Management constantly talks to staff about “the Team.” Many books have been written on the subject. Continue reading

“Independence Day” – Day 7

November 19, 2008, 9:09 PM

Thus far my work and bonding with Africa have been progressing well. Already we have had many adventures. Yesterday Todd informed me that today our first route was to be the infamous “independent route”. It is a route that is considered “independent” because the trainer does not walk with the student and dog. Usually, the student is told their starting location and then, when dropped off, they are asked to make their way to the Guide Dog lounge.
The route is not overly challenging to anyone who has good mobility skills. In a training center where blind people are learning to walk as blind people they will travel many independent routes including some where no instructor is observing them. These are true independent routes where blind people are expected to gain confidence in their own ability to travel from place to place. Continue reading

“The Streets of San Francisco” – Day 5

Monday, November 17, 2008, 7:58 AM

Today was another gorgeous day around the bay at San Francisco. I haven’t mentioned the weather we have experienced during our training. In a word, the weather has been great! California has been experiencing drought conditions for some time. I hope that we will move beyond them this winter. However, for late November and needing to be outside training with a guide dog I must admit I can’t complain about the warm sunny time we are experiencing. The temperature has been in the 70s and 80s during the day. We’ve had little cloud cover but rather lots of sun. Southern California has been facing many severe wildfires which we hope will soon be under control and out. All of us in California fear the severity of fires during the dry conditions we are experiencing. I hope we get no more fires this year. All I ask is three more days of sunny weather and then let the clouds open and the rain poured down. Continue reading

My New Guide Dog “Africa” – Her Daily Training Journal

Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 7:11 AM

The day has finally come. This is the day I receive Africa, my new guide dog. Africa is the seventh guide I have had the pleasure of working. All seven guide dogs were trained at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael California. I received my first guide dog on June 28, 1964 when I was but 14 years of age. That day is still as fresh in my mind as if it happened only this year.

My fifth guide dog, “Roselle”, is by far the most famous one of them all as she was with me when I worked and escaped from the 78th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. You can learn more of Roselle’s life elsewhere on my web site. Continue reading