One initiative organizations can use to start 2008 off right is to more be more efficient and effective when scheduling meetings. Anyone that regularly tries to schedule meetings with participants outside his or her organization knows, a good deal of time can be wasted in email or on the phone trying to find common free time. The more parties involved, the more difficult those negotiations become. Shared calendars can be a way to avoid this, especially for dispersed or multi-organizational teams. Travel time, even over relatively short distances such as a typical suburban to metro commute, can really add to a person’s stress level. In a previous job, I used to get a lot of requests to meet in-person for briefings either in the city or for breakfast or lunch at a local restaurant. Given the stress of the daily workload, even though I loved meeting with people face-to-face, I did everything I could to minimize the impact of these on my day. After a while I realized even scheduling meetings around off-peak drive times or changing the time I went into the office, couldn’t make up for lost time. If you run into resistance or scheduling impasses when planning in-person meetings, go the audio or web conferencing route, it will save time for either you or other team members. Meeting online also benefits the environment by reducing a team’s carbon footprint. Read More »
Post by Michael Caton, Collaboration Evangelist, WebexExecutives looking for some prescriptive recommendations on business ideas for 2008 should look at Eight Business Technology Trends to Watch (registration required) from McKinsey Quarterly. These aren’t ’08 specific, each idea includes examples of how it has been put into practice by innovators, in some cases for several years. Actually the title doesn’t do the the topic justice — my recommendation: no watching, just doing. The authors tackle co-creation with the first two topics, and even that might not give the topic it’s due. Often times co-creation involves clearing a significant hurdle, “not invented here” syndrome. The authors point out the significant downside of loss of control of innovation and intellectual property, but developing that intellectual property costs time and money. Sometimes making use of another organization’s expertise makes for a winning go to market strategy. Another downside the authors noted, competing for the attention of the best and brightest contributors, isn’t just a problem when working with partners. That can strike internal projects as well, particularly at large organizations. That problem also falls into the “two-way street” category, partners aren’t the only ones that get distracted by other projects.
Part 2 of 2In my prior Collaboration blog entry, I reflected on the shift to rich media -how it enriches Unified Communications (UC) and heralds a shift back to more natural forms of interactions among people. Today I am thinking about undiscovered territory: cross-company, secure and flexible forms of communication, which, we believe, will unlock a new wave of productivity gains through reduction of”human latency.”In looking at most UC productivity systems, traditionally the focus has been on intra-company communications. In the flat world, however, competitive advantage is created not only in how companies work inside, but how well they work outside -with customers, partners, suppliers, and, even competitors. In the world where command and control over one’s business is giving way to various forms of collaboration -albeit some that are only sustained for a few transactions -it is essential to look at the workforce and the workspace differently. Indeed we are caught between two paradigms: Read More »
Post by M. Michael Acosta, Manager, EngineeringMac users everywhere are eagerly anticipating the upcoming Macworld Expo. As a prelude, this week Macworld.com published their set of predictions for 2008. One prediction in particular resonated with what I’m seeing at some of our customers and within Cisco. MacWorld senior editor Dan Frakes wrote:”A new Mac market: The debut of Leopard, along with a general dissatisfaction with Windows Vista, will open doors for the Mac in the enterprise market. In fact, we’ll see a few major U.S. companies switch to the Mac platform-some gradually, but at least a couple in a major public migration. We’ll also see a resurgence of the Mac platform in higher education.”Just a few years ago within Cisco, Macs were conspicuous mostly in their absence. Today, it is not unusual to find an increasing number of Apple logos across from me in meetings. For the first time in quite a while, Macs are again an orderable laptop option for Cisco employees. Read More »
Post by Michael Caton, Collaboration Evangelist, WebExMost businesses have wrapped up setting 2008 business goals and the methods and plans necessary to achieve those goals. For those that will spend the last couple weeks of the year wrapping up expenses and planning purchases, this time of year can also provide an opportunity to think about new work habits that will help reach those goals. Last year Butler Group authored a study on worker time spent searching for information. Per this Network World article about the study, Butler Group found the cost of searching for information in lost productivity to be equivalent to 10% of a worker’s salary. So reflecting on the day-to-day reality of 2007 can help identify and put in perspective where workers burn more cycles than they need to, including time spent searching in email for files coworkers sent. Read More »