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Employee Engagement Goal: Encourage Laughter

January 22, 2014 at 7:27 am PST

I like to laugh. I find humor in all sorts of places and situations. Often unlikely ones. I’ve laughed in the most appropriate of situations and some of the most awkward. And I laugh at work. A lot.

Frankly, I think the Food and Drug Administration should have a recommended daily allowance for laughter along the lines of those identified for Vitamin C, Iron, and Riboflavin.

Peter Bregman recently had a great post on Harvard Business Review blog network. In “Why You Should Treat Laughter as a Metric,” Bregman writes about the lack of laughter as a symptom of a problem within organizations. And he suggests that increasing the opportunity for laughter should be a leadership priority. Read More »

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Running a Collaboration Program is More than just the Technology

“We already have program management,” is a typical statement I hear when speaking with a customer about collaboration program management.  The unfortunate truth is, most organizations do not have formal program management or know how to effectively manage a Collaboration specific Program.

Instead, when talking about program management you should ask “Why is a collaboration program different and what should I consider?”  Here are a few explanations:

There are many misconceptions about Collaboration Programs, but one of the biggest, and potentially most impactful, is that you only need to focus on the technology design and build.  I can tell you from my experience in running many programs; a successful collaboration program requires a lot more than a successful technology implementation.

I’m not going to bore you with the formal definition of a program and how it differs from a project, but I will tell you that a successful collaboration program typically includes several non-technology projects (component projects) that must be planned and managed in order for the collaboration technology to be deemed a success.  Examples include operational readiness, organizational change management, migration readiness, and more.  Many times, programs fail to identify and manage these component projects.  As a result, the collaboration program slows, business cases fail, ROI isn’t realized, adoption lags, issues arise, and satisfaction declines.

On the other hand, I have personally managed programs where these component projects were properly managed at many large enterprise, commercial, service provider, and government customers.  The positive impacts of following the Collaboration Program Management best practices were obvious and tangible.  The below metrics are some of the major documented impacts.

Steven harriett collab blog _ program management 1_17_14

The impact of “doing it right” Read More »

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Finding More Time through Better Collaboration

January 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm PST

“Time is an illusion.”

―Albert Einstein

Time is an illusion. And an obsession. And apparently time is endangered because everyone is trying to save time, find more time, use time more wisely, or just plain stop time.

Time is of the essence, after all. And in the wonderful world of business, it always seems that we’re trying to find ways that let us move faster. We want to reduce the time it takes us to do what we do, whether it’s responding to customers, making decisions, adjusting to market trends, or getting the latest-greatest whatever-it-is to market.

You can’t reduce an illusion, but you can find ways to be more effective and make better use of the time you have.

Executives and managers consistently believe they need at least 20% higher performance from employees to meet their business goals, according The Corporate Executive Board, in its report “The Future of Corporate IT, 2013–2017.”

That’s a tough number to hear from the employee side of that equation. Maybe I spend time with the wrong crowd, but I don’t know too many people who consider their performance to be only 80% of their potential. So where does that additional 20% come from? Is it an illusion too? Read More »

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Video Changes the Equation

December 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm PST

At our recent Collaboration Summit in Boca Raton, I had the opportunity to sit down with some of our customers and talk about how they are incorporating video into their organizations. It’s clear that many of our customers are already seeing the business benefits of video – whether it’s using remote expert services to improve pipeline conversion or launching new services more quickly through video collaboration.

But what if you looked at video not just as a way to help you improve what you are already doing, but as a way to allow you to do things you couldn’t do before? Things that previously were not feasible because of cost, resources, or other perceived barriers?

What if you could offer health services to a segment of the population you could not previously reach?

Read More »

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Santa’s Special Connections

Since they graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post, the illustrations of Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker have created many of the Christmas holiday season’s de facto images. For many families, the reality of their Christmas celebration doesn’t match the picture-perfect, however. That’s especially true when the family member with the strongest belief in Santa has pressing questions like “how will Santa find me if the hospital has no chimney?”

The good news is that as he readies for Christmas, Santa is taking extra time to visit with children who are hospitalized this season. Instead of just making a quick stop on his whirlwind worldwide delivery route, he’s checking in with some of these very special children from his communications headquarters at the North Pole. Not content to have one of his shopping mall stand-ins do the work, he has personal face-to-face videoconferences with kids who can’t leave the hospital. Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, posted a great video of Santa’s visit from earlier this week.

Connected Santa is a collaboration in which volunteer elves visit hospitals to help make the connection between children and Santa. Using Cisco TelePresence and Jabber technology, the elves conference a child with Santa so they can have the ever-important conversation about good, bad, and wish lists.

Just the other day I Read More »

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