Meeting Kwame

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Recently I finally met Kwame.

The Kwame in question is not himself a famous freedom fighter, but an esteemed colleague. He happens to have made the upgrade from “cyber-friend” to face-to-face friend while I was at a conference in Barbados last week.

Lest you immediately get the wrong idea about Kwame, he is not the son of that Nigerian ”prince” who needs your help to transfer $10 million, “with your kind help.” Instead, Dr. Kwame Charles is a pioneer in the field of Caribbean employee surveys, and he has the best and most comprehensive data on what the region’s employees think about their companies. See his website Quality Consultants for more information.

My point here is not to shamelessly advertise Kwame’s expertise (although companies would be crazy not to use him, and I do have his cell phone number if anyone wants to get hold of the man himself AND he is coming to Jamaica to next week’s HRMAJ conference.) Instead, it’s interesting that Kwame and I have known each other for about 3 years, but only met last week in person.

How did that happen?

Via the internet we have become colleagues by:

  • lobbying on CaribHRForum for the establishment of a regional HR conference
  • sharing leads and contacts within companies for future business
  • visiting each other’s websites
  • talking on the phone from different countries and timezones
  • writing chapters of the same book (*note to self… start writing chapter of book, as promised)
  • trying to arrange a meeting over drinks

So, last week, we finally met.

And it made me think how much more rich my life is, due to the existence of the web, internet and cyber-space. Instead of finding a stranger sitting beside me, I found a new, old friend.