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Speaking Engagements

UPCOMING
Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

PAST BUT AVAILABLE FOR REPLAY
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

PAST BUT NO REPLAY AVAILABLE
Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

Remembering 9/11/2001: Let’s Give ’em Hell!

blog-911neverforgetFor this 15th anniversary of jihadist Islam’s declaration of war on the United States, I wanted to express my anger at what this war has cost all of us in the loss of privacy and freedom as well as in human lives and treasure.  It’s a war whose enemy combatants wear no recognizable uniforms, dwell in the shadows, and do not recognize the Geneva Conventions.  And it’s a war that cannot be won solely on the battlefield.

But there is one weapon that has emerged over the last fifteen years which does have the power to help defeat our enemies in this global struggle between the forces of modernity, of diversity, of individual and group freedoms and those who would turn back the clock to the dark ages, enslave women, drives Jews into the sea and generally reduce civilization to pre-enlightenment brutality.  That weapon is social technology and the ubiquitous access to same via our smartphones.
Thanks to this technology, we have all listened to the twitterstream and seen the smartphone pictures and videos of freedom movements across the Arab world — and those leading and participating in these uprisings have used social and related information technologies to plan and coordinate their brave actions in the face of almost overwhelming and violent crackdowns by the worst possible governments.  When the brave citizens of Iran tried to rise up against their truly scary leaders, we changed our location on Twitter to Tehran in an effort to confuse Iran’s computer security forces who were trying to track down the rebels.  And many in the technology community have worked hard to keep vital social technology operational even as these repressive governments were trying to shut it down.
But none of that social technology was available to us on 9/11/2001, and our cellular networks weren’t able to keep up with the traffic as we all tried to get to safety and to make sense out of what was happening.  What follows is an email I wrote to friends and family on 9/13/2001 after arriving home safely in what can only be described as the great HR Tech Conference (it was held in Baltimore that year) evacuation of 2001.  It was a very scary time, and what I wrote captures both my fears and my anger.  If I’d had a blog then, I would have written this as a post.  And if I’d had a smartphone with camera, I would have recorded our flight from Baltimore with pictures.  But reading this now, the pictures are VERY clear in my mind.

“Dear friends and family,

I arrived home in Fort Myers last evening after driving for two days in a commandeered Dulles Washington Flyer taxi from Baltimore, where I had been speaking at the HR Tech Conference.  We avoided all metro areas just to be on the safe side.  Emily Eason, a dear friend whom some of you know, and I decided that staying in Baltimore wasn’t where we wanted to be (she’s from Seattle), so we called upon Ozzie, the driver we used when we both lived in the Washington area.  While our usual driver was in Turkey to see his sick Mom, the colleague answering his calls had heard of us and, after confirming with Ozzie that “our check was good,” he agreed to drive us to Fort Myers — and to take our check.  We’ve been checking on friends and family too, and so far, so good.

I know you all remember the start of the Yom Kippur war.  I remember it vividly.  Sitting in Kodimoh (my family’s orthodox schul in Springfield, MA), in the women’s section (can you imagine me being told to go sit in the women’s section?), deep in prayer, when the sabbath goy (the schul’s handyman) ran in and right up to the rabbi waving a note.  We all continued the traditional chanting, thinking that the interruption was some housekeeping matter.  And then the rabbi stopped the service to tell all of us that Israel’s enemies had chosen that day of all days to attack the Jewish state.  First there was absolute shock and silence, then the murmurs began, and then I remember (but perhaps I only imagine it in my memory) that the sound of singing broke out, spontaneously, as we raised our voices in the Israeli national anthem.  When the congregation took their seats again, our then Rabbi Weisfogel challenged us to do whatever we could to demonstrate our solidarity with Israel and to show our commitment to the failure of our enemies by succeeding.  Success not just in war but in living.  Again, it may be more in my memory than it was in reality, but I came away from that day really believing that in our individual and collective success lies the failure of our enemies.  Where did you think they got the expression “living well is the best revenge”?

All of that came back to me Tuesday morning when, at the HR Tech conference in Baltimore, I was sitting on an industry analyst panel moderated as always by Bill Kutik, when a man walked in and up to Bill with a note.  Bill stepped out for a moment while we continued the panel discussion, thinking it was some housekeeping matter.  We finished the panel and then Bill announced, with utter disbelief, that the enemies of the US — the enemies of every civilized human being — had attacked the World Trade Center.  We all know now just how extensive was that attack, and how well-planned.  And I wish now that I had stood up and broken into our national anthem, but I was too shaken.

After two days of silent driving, it’s time to speak.  If a small country like Israel has survived, surrounded by so many enemies, and Israelis have learned to live fully and richly in spite of the best efforts of terrorists to steal their freedom and their joy, can we do less?  I for one intend to show these bastards that they’ve messed with the wrong woman.  I’m back at work this morning, and I’m going on with a long-planned vacation to Italy at the end of September.  With every successful business venture, with every successful volunteer effort, with every step forward, personally and professionally, that we take individually and collectively, we demonstrate our solidarity with our countrymen and our commitment to the failure of our enemies. ”

Let’s give them hell.  Naomi

Update: 9-10-2016  Ron’s and my commitment to living large, to living well, to showing those bastards that our vision of civilization won’t give in to theirs, is even stronger now than it was fifteen years ago.  We know that they’re spending their 15th anniversary of 9/11 plotting murder, mayhem and the overthrow of all that we hold dear, but we refuse to spend our 15th anniversary in fear of what they may do next.  And to those in our own country who would preach fear of “the other,” who would preach isolation from this dangerous world, who believe our best days are somewhere in the past, I say you couldn’t be more wrong.  So let’s sing out:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ETrr-XHBjE

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