In business, clear and rapid communication is always important, but it’s most important in healthcare, where saving minutes or even seconds can make all the difference. A growing number of healthcare organizations are adopting video conferencing to improve communications both internally and with patients. The potential benefits are huge.
Internal video conferencing and telepresence technology can help healthcare organizations better manage rapidly escalating costs, accelerate innovation, deliver high-quality care, and maximize the use of skilled resources. Doctor-patient videoconferencing has the potential to broaden access to healthcare, add convenience, and lower costs, according to a recent InformationWeek article examining the results of its 2013 Healthcare IT Priorities survey. (The survey found that 28% of respondents are already using some form of doctor-patient video communication.)
I often get asked by customers and partners what it takes to create an activity-based workplace – one that gets employees out of assigned cubicles and gives them a variety of spaces to use based on what they need to do and who they need to connect with throughout the day.
There’s no doubt that the physical environment in which we work is important. Spaces that are clean, well-lit, and attractive can go a long way towards fostering productivity, positive attitudes, and teamwork. But configuring your physical space is just one part of the overall solution.
Embedding collaboration technology into your space design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Employees need seamless, uninterrupted access to the information they need to get their jobs done. And the tools they use must be as intuitive as their own personal devices.
By “intuitive,” I mean being able to:
Make and receive calls on any device, whether it’s a desk phone, laptop, mobile phone or tablet
Access email and corporate intranet anywhere on campus – wirelessly and securely
Find people in your organization, check availability, and connect using instant messaging, voice, video, desktop sharing, or conferencing
Engage in real-time, face-to-face collaboration and team building sessions – both planned and spontaneous – with colleagues around the globe
These are the ways in which workplace transformation can improve productivity Read More »
Collaboration is an inherently social concept. It’s about people and connection. It’s about communicating, working together, interacting to meet goals, accomplishing tasks, innovating, and creating. Just as people have unique personalities, so do the ways they collaborate for business, whether 1:1 or in groups, in structured meetings or hallway conversations, sitting at desks or on park benches, in real-time conversations or long-term interactions.
As technology evolves and geography becomes less relevant to connecting with others, the options for how we collaborate multiply. And multiply again. But technology itself is an enabler of collaboration, the value is in the connections that people make – with each other, information, and ideas.
Finding ways to improve the connections between people and the information they need to share is critical to improving business. From our perspective we want the technology to disappear; providing the ability for people to interact in the ways they interact best, wherever they are.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”―Helen Keller
We see great value in providing social solutions to our customers. Bringing together social networking with communications technology provides people with the means to collaborate and gives them flexibility to do the best work they can. Like Helen Keller, we believe people working together can achieve extraordinary things. We believe the same is true of companies.
Increasingly, organizations are looking for ways to integrate social solutions into their collaboration tools and business processes. Throughout the past decade, Cisco has continued to weave social into the fabric of our own collaboration portfolio. At the same time, we continuously looked for opportunities to collaborate with other companies to integrate new technologies and improve what we can offer our customers – bringing the best of the best together to provide our customers with the ideal solution to fit their business needs.
In the quest for speed, how leaders are engaging employees differently
I recently had a Fortune 100 CEO tell me he wants to “flatten access” in his organization. It’s a familiar theme talking to customers around the world, as leaders seek out innovative ways to get their teams executing faster. More and more I’m hearing about leaders putting a modern twist on the classic “town hall” meeting format – sort of a New England-style public meeting and social media all mixed together – as a new way to mobilize their teams.
What’s at stake, of course, is the company’s ability to get to opportunities faster – faster than competitors. Shortening the time it takes to move from a decision in a conference room to galvanizing action on a team is the most often cited pain-point I hear when I ask customers about their collaboration challenges. Here’s the rub: most organizations aren’t great at engaging their employees, according to Gallup – only 30% of employees feel engaged.
When we think of innovation, we tend to associate it with technology. The innovation being demonstrated in the online, virtual town hall meetings comes in the form of employee engagement, shifting dramatically how you communicate to your team. At the heart of the innovation is the recognition that people need more than “goals” or “priorities” when being lead. My friend Peter Guber said recently that people have a need for “emotional understanding.”
The new town hall meeting is intrinsically designed to foster understanding – and in doing so, mobilize teams even faster for execution.