Pivotal People

Back in the 90ies when I did my dotcom journey we started working with business intelligence for municipalities in a novel way. For example, displaying on the web the results from evaluations of the care for the elderly in different parts of a city. That's when I learned about pivoting tables and how to use them to change your perspective on data. Now this kind of work is part of the big data and smart city movement, providing local government with useful data to base their decision-making on.

People can be pivotal too. They can make you change your course and have a really big impact on your life. Sometimes you don't realise that until long after. Often they have no clue of their impact on you.

One of my pivotal people is Birgitta. She gave me books about Appreciative Inquiry to read when I was planning on starting a consultancy business. Not only did I start the consulting company Apprino with two of my friends, I made a lot of new friends in the AI community all over the world. I have also continued using the approach in many new ways.

Another pivotal person is Michael who recruited me to the IT company LINQ. I'm not sure I would have left academia if it weren’t for him. I continue to use what I learned during those turbulent five years, since they provided a good foundation for starting companies as well as working with innovation and industry-academia collaboration.
My sister Maria has also had a major impact on me, in many ways. She started playing football with club with a strong policy against smoking, alcohol and other drugs. Quite a few members were also vegetarians. I, of course, wanted to do everything my big sister did why I also joined Sjövalla Frisksportklubb. I still don't drink any alcohol and I've been a vegetarian for 30 years. It's very much a part of my persona.

What I have noticed is also that not many people talk about what their pivotal people have meant to them or the moments when they have had a big influence on somebody else. This often means that their children or even their spouses don't know about this, although sometimes they get a glimpse at the funeral which is very sad.

With many holidays coming up and with them often family dinners, I strongly recommend bringing the subject up. Ask everyone at the table to talk about a person who had a major positive impact on their lives. I think you'll be surprised!

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