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The $100 Billion Collaboration Stimulus Plan of 2009 – Part 2

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people. -- F.D.R., Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937

In my first blog on this subject, I outlined the financial and emotional costs of poor meeting and collaboration practices among knowledge workers worldwide. Indeed, improving just a reasonable fraction of certain work patterns would provide as strong a stimulus plan to business as many of the planks in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 www.recovery.gov.With a tip of the virtual hat to the new Administration, following is my 6-point plan for reinvigorating the knowledge worker segment: 1. Knowledge Worker Productivity Revolution. Increasing the productivity/output by 2%-4% of knowledge workers is the equivalent of adding millions of jobs to the economy. At the dead center of this strategy is a set of new rules, new ways to work. The simplest way to look at this is from 3 perspectives:• Culture • Process• TechnologyCisco’s strategy in this area was recently presented at the World Business Forum by our Chairman and CEO, John Chambers. For more insights in this area, Cisco has launched an {encode=”https://www.myciscocommunity.com/community/technology/collaboration” title=”online collaboration community”} for best practice sharing. 2. Clinical Collaboration. Health care now represents approximately 16% of the U.S. economy and according to a recent poll by the Henry Kaiser Foundation people rank health care near the top of their economic concerns. We are at an historic crossroads in how medical care is delivered. There is an opportunity to save costs and improve the delivery and effectiveness of medical care through technology-enabled solutions such as HealthPresence, which supports effective delivery of care and medical expertise in remote or even rural environments without travel 3. Energywise Collaboration. Gartner recently predicted that Telepresence will replace 2 million airline seats by 2012. I think this prediction could be off by an order of magnitude. While Gartner predicts that $3.5B will be recovered through this reduction in air travel, I believe the full sweep of collaboration technologies could be multiples higher. It will also address some of the $41B that is lost to travel delays cited in my first blog. Increasingly, a range of Collaboration technologies are reducing not only the need for air travel, but providing other carbon and time benefits through even local movement (e.g., train, car, etc.)4. Boundary-less Information and Education. An enormous drag on businesses remains the sheer time involved in finding and utilizing information across a broad range of stakeholders on any work project. As detailed by my colleagues Nader Nanjiani and Dave Butt, the creation of an effective virtual workspace dramatically improves the overall experience and time/cost equation for effective work practices. In addition, there is another benefit for the Education sector. The ability to provide the best talent and skills to any student at any time will dramatically reshape how education is delivered and its resulting benefits to the emerging workforce. This is a cornerstone of our 21st Century Schools program, an environment were collaboration technologies are part of everyday learning and where the world’s reservoir of knowledge is available right from the classroom.5. Improving the effectiveness of Remote and Mobile Work. The Internet and Mobile revolutions of the past four decades have dramatically improved our ability to communicate over distances. Yet the real productivity gains emerge when we can effectively collaborate remotely, dramatically reducing the needs for physical facilities.6. Inter-company Collaboration. All too often, most companies believe their productive intellectual assets are stored within the confines of their own corporate structure. Indeed, many collaboration theorists like Clay Shirky have done amazing work detailing how to unlock the “cognitive surplus” of corporations. Businesses are not only comprised of internal assets, but external ones, including the capabilities of partners, supplier and customers. Unlocking that surplus -- or, probably a better metaphor, finding it between the cracks of companies -- can be an enormously significant part of a collaboration stimulus plan. The ubergain in my plan is when your partner’s team is seamless with your team, and your information and people and theirs are seamlessly and securely aligned. The first stage in this revolution was provision of distance meeting tools like our Webex offering. Increasingly, tools like inter-company TelePresence solutions are now mining these inter-company collaboration assets.

Favor comes because for a brief moment in the great space of human change and progress some general human purpose finds in him a satisfactory embodiment. --F.D.R.

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1 Comments.


  1. Jennifer Geisler

    Hi Alan,Thanks for discussing your plan with me on Fact or Fiction. We would like to have you come back to discuss how businesses are actually taking advantage of this plan.For your followers, they can check out our discussion at the following link://http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns726/fof_detail_pages/FoF_E08.htmlJennifer Geisler, Fact or Fiction hostCisco

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