One of the things I enjoy most in my role leading Product Management for Cisco’s Customer Collaboration business is listening to our customers and partners to ensure we deliver products that meet their needs. Our focus on delivery and execution sets Cisco apart in the industry.
So I’m very pleased to see that, for the second year in a row, Cisco was recognized as highest in “Ability to Execute” in Gartner’s Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI) Magic Quadrant. Gartner bases Ability to Execute on a number of criteria--including the quality, maturity, and overall breadth of a vendor’s applications; their customer support capabilities; and their ability to deliver solutions in formal contact centers within companies, outsourcers, and service providers. In addition, we improved our positioning in “Completeness of Vision”, with noticeable movement to the right in the June 2013 CCI Leaders Quadrant.
Cisco’s achievement in this year’s CCI Magic Quadrant is the latest recognition that our contact center business is truly firing on all cylinders. The product development aspects Read More »
Two weeks ago, I was sitting in front of 250 people at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco talking about a subject most Fortune 500 companies are dealing with today: how to prepare for the thousands of Gen Y employees about to descend on the work place. Last Tuesday, July 16th, I had the pleasure of speaking on this topic with Google’s Todd Carlisle, Director of Staffing, and Twitter’s Melissa Daimler, Head of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning. Doug MacMillan with Bloomberg BusinessWeek moderated the discussion.
During the course of the evening, we discussed an assortment of topics around how companies are creating an environment that these new generations of employees will want to work in. It’s clear Gen Yers work and interact in different ways and companies are having to adapt.
For example, all of the panelists agreed that companies must provide lots of opportunities for training and coaching. I firmly believe that the number one predictor of job satisfaction is great coaching. In five or ten years, I may not remember how I was paid in that particular position, but I will remember an impactful mentor and a skill I learned. Todd from Google brought up an interesting Googler to Googler program that they’ve implemented, that connects people to share their skills – everything from debugging a complex piece of code to teaching yoga. Melissa agreed, saying that if there is just one question that managers ask employees every quarter, it should be “what is the skill you want to learn.” After all, people are more loyal to building their skill set and their career path than any type of company.
The topic of work-life balance also came up, and each panelist talked about that in a different way. I believe that what used to be a work-life balance is, for Gen Yers, a work-life blend. This newest generation of employees is used to constantly flipping back and forth Read More »
Extroverts get too much credit. There, I’ve said it. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by “credit”, but extroverts tend to stand out through their natural behavior. Extroverted leaders glide into rooms and engage instantly in the most important conversations. What makes collaboration so challenging for many organizations is the nature of the work: teams come together, solve a problem and move on to a new challenge. Extroverts by nature fit easily into these stimulating situations where human-to-human interaction and engagement are the keys to success.
At this point you might be thinking, especially if you’re an introvert like me, “Is he about to give me the ‘buck up’ speech about ‘stepping up to the plate’ and ‘putting my voice on the table’”? My real message is simple: Both introverts and extroverts can help collaborative teams move faster and be more innovative – as long as you play to your strengths. Read More »
Change is afoot on a big scale and fast. We see it around us, we feel it, we talk about it, we experience it. We even know its name — the Internet of Everything (IoE).
Briefly put, IoE is a new way of connecting people, processes, data, and things. Looking back, you can almost say that the Age of the Internet and of the Internet of Things have merely been preliminary stages designed to lead us where we are today: on a course that radically changes how we interact with the world around us. We have started on a new exciting journey. At every step we are uncovering new ways to create and share value, not just for the organizations we work for but in our personal lives as well.
Let’s take the world of business first. It’s changing dramatically as we speak. Here are a few leading transformational trends the effects of which I’m sure you have experienced yourselves in one way or another.
We Are More Interdependent
More and more expert surveys are finding that employees are working more collaboratively now than they were in the not very distant past. For instance, according to research from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), two thirds of employees are doing more collaborative work today than they were just three years ago. Collaboration technology is a big part of making us increasingly effective in this environment, delivering benefits including those that help us become: Read More »
We’ve all heard about Gen Y, or “millennials,” and how this new generation is poised to take over the workforce and change the face of Silicon Valley. Next Tuesday, July 16th at 6:30 pm, I’ll be joining thought leaders from Twitter and Google on a panel at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, to discuss an issue of critical importance – how to attract tomorrow’s talent and prepare for the incoming Gen Y workforce.
Gen Y is expected to make up nearly 75% of the workforce by 2025. How will this change the way we work, and what kinds of opportunities and challenges does this pose for local Silicon Valley companies? During this panel, I’ll share my thoughts on the biggest shifts in culture, management style, and recruiting strategy needed to attract the best talent of this new generation.
As many of you know, using today’s enterprise tools can feel like taking a trip back in technological time. For businesses to succeed in the future they are going to have to adapt to the needs of Generation Y and that will often mean offering them more flexibility. According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 66% of employees place higher value on workplace flexibility than on salary.
But it will take more than offering a flexible Read More »