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Build Team Trust … Fast.

May 28, 2013 at 10:15 am PST

How to encourage people to do what they say they’re going to do.

Trust is weaved into almost every aspect of our lives. I trusted that my car would get me to the airport this morning, that the pilots and crew would get me to Washington D.C., and that my cab driver would find my hotel. This all comes so naturally. So why does the role of trust in collaboration inside organizations remain such a mystery?

For more than 150 years, organizations have been organized in silos that breed internal competition for resources. The psychology of competing with your teammates for resources, in turn, encouraged an insidious way of working:  passive-aggressive behaviors where humans work side-by-side but work subtly against each other even though they are employed by the same firm.

Trust anchors every successful collaborative team.

We researched at Cisco the most important factors in creating trust on collaboration teams, and the single most important factor is revealing:  do people do what they say they are going to do?

As leaders, it is up to us to be overtly aggressive at vanquishing passive-aggressive behaviors and building real, human trust.  We have no choice in our hyper-connected world where change is constant and work is increasingly global, mobile and virtual. As distance and time condense, it stresses out the calmest of us as we scramble to meet deadlines while working with people that likely we’ve never met.

So what’s the key to building team trust?

“Replace uncertainty with clarity. Articulate the team’s purpose and establish up front what you expect from each member.”  The Collaboration Imperative

How to build a team charter

A team charter helps clarify a team’s purpose, role, shared goals and scope; a charter eliminates ambiguity of expectations. As leaders, we can make a team charter the focal point around which the team builds healthy collaboration habits.

It’s possible to move beyond your gut feel and hope trust develops on your team; it is possible to operationalize it. Trust is too important to, well, just trust that it’ll happen. To that end, we’ve found that a team charter is most effective when it is composed of five elements:

  1. Team purpose:  describes specific challenges, opportunities or tasks the team will address (and also expectations).
  2. Team role:  teams form for different reasons.  Know why your team exists – is it to align a group around an initiative?  Is it to execute a priority together?  What are the different roles of individuals on the team?  Read more about various team roles in Chapter 5 of “The Collaboration Imperative”.
  3. Shared goals:  most collaborative teams have people from different backgrounds, functions and even companies. Make sure despite your differences, you’re all chasing the same goals. These goals allow you to create a specific definition of what success looks like and allow you to map your goals to performance management
  4. Scope:  establish well-defined boundaries of what you hope to do. These “guardrails” allow you to say no to ‘scope creep’! This helps members determine their time commitment and helps the team as a whole stay on track.
  5. Establish ground rules. Put ground rules in place for team procedures and processes (including meeting logistics), how you use your time together, who makes final decisions, how to resolve conflict, and how respect and courtesy are paramount.

A team charter is a powerful means to enable trust-building on your collaboration teams.  Keep in mind that a team charter should be paired with a common vocabulary. Sweat the details of your team’s vocabulary. Ask if everyone on the team has the same definitions in their heads for the vocabulary you are using to articulate the charter.  Don’t let the definition of a word be the reason trust is derailed!

The management science is pretty clear here:  teams that trust each other outperform teams that don’t. Are you outperforming?

Ron

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“Tomorrow’s Cloud Starts Here” Program at Cisco Live Orlando in June

Tomorrow’s Cloud Starts Here is an important starting point for your Cisco Live experience on Monday, June 24. This track of business-focused cloud sessions addresses the needs of both consumers and providers of cloud services. These thought leadership sessions will explore how organizations can best use cloud services to power their business and shows how cloud providers can leverage the latest in technology, commercial models, and delivery resources to bring quality-assured services to market.

The day will begin with an update on Cisco’s cloud strategy, perspectives on the enormous opportunity presented by the Internet of Everything and the impact cloud is having on both provider and company business models. Ellen Daley, Managing Director, Business Technology Client Group, at Forrester will be partnering  with Scott Puopolo, VP, Internet Business Solutions Group, to have a candid conversation of what’s going on in the market and how this affects certain verticals. We then will hear from Rebecca Jacoby, CIO and SVP for Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Technology Group discussing  Read More »

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Location-based Services in Education – Enhanced Experiences on Campus

Universities, or actually any campus environment, can gain a lot of value from the emerging location-based services (LBS). There are a few characteristics that render campuses as prime hotspots that enable richer WiFi-based LBS experiences. Firstly, there is a captive audience: students and staff spend a lot of time for almost 9 months of the year within the campus, with a proportion even living on campus during this period. Secondly, the growing trend is pervasive WiFi – indoor and outdoor always available. Lastly, due to widely available free WiFi, the proportion of people walking around with their mobile devices with WiFi switched “on” is very high relative to other industries, not surprising since students are happy to use campus WiFi rather than pay for their mobile data service.

campus

With Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences solution, universities can now bridge that gap between the WiFi they provide and the ever-growing number of mobile devices being carried by students and staff. Connected Mobile Experiences is powered by the Cisco Mobile Services Engine, which, when integrated with a Cisco wireless network, detects presence, locates and tracks all Wi-Fi signals—anonymously to ensure privacy—and then aggregates and enhances the data for location analytics and reporting. Based on this data, the engine delivers detailed analysis of mobile user onsite behaviors to optimize planning and operations. Cisco is working with leading universities that have some very interesting and innovative ideas where location analytics can provide a win-win solution for both the administration and all its patrons (students, faculty, staff, visitors).

Here are five applications of LBS in higher education:

  1. Enhanced User Experience
  2. Improved Campus Operational and Management
  3. Enhanced Learning Experience
  4. Enabling Specific Event Experiences
  5. Promotional and Marketing Opportunities

Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail. Read More »

Cisco’s Microsoft Tech Ed 2013 Primer: All You Need to Know for New Orleans and Madrid Events

May 27, 2013 at 6:39 pm PST

TENA

Next week in New Orleans Microsoft’s trade show season kicks off in earnest with Microsoft Tech Ed North America which will be followed a few weeks later with Microsoft Tech Ed Europe 2013.  Cisco will be a gold sponsor at each event showcasing our datacenter assets.

Cisco continues to double-down on investments for Microsoft oriented datacenters – new UCS SMARTPlays and Solution Paks, Cisco CVD’s for Microsoft’s Fast Track private cloud program, Nexus 1000V support of Windows Server 2012, and award-winning UCS Manager integration with System Center 2012.

At Tech Ed we will be demonstrating key technologies and solutions such as our compute platform UCS and our FlexPod BOTE2013_Finalist_Partner and VSPEX reference architectures for Hyper-V private cloud environments. For the network platform of course Nexus 1000V will be getting the spotlight. Nominated for a Best of Tech Ed 2013 award in the virtualization category, Nexus 1000V delivers support for key advanced networking virtualization scenarios via integration with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch.

Our UCS Manager solution, with its strong integration into System Center 2012 continues to evolve. Stop by for a demo and see why it is was the 2012 Best of Tech Ed Breakthrough Technology award winner.

Finally, we will be making available demos of our Cisco Email Security for Microsoft Exchange offering. This  Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for Network Access Control delivers peace of mind for your messaging networks.

Please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft to learn more about these solutions and others that help us to deliver to you an optimal Microsoft oriented datacenter environment.

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Desktop Virtualization Automation – Upcoming Webinar on Wednesday May 29th

May 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm PST

Last week I blogged on Desktop Virtualization Automation -- and how we in Cisco Services can help you develop custom automation software solutions for rapid provisioning of virtual desktops.

Cisco Desktop Virtualization Automation

Cisco Desktop Virtualization Automation

If you are involved in desktop virtualization, or interested in automation and orchesration, you may want to attend our upcoming Bright Talk Webinar, scheduled for May 29th at 8am PST (5pm CET), where you can see a demonstration of our Desktop Virtualization Automation solution in action- you can register for this seminar here.   Look forward to seeing you there!