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‘If You Build It, They Will Come’ – NOT!

baseball blog image_Frances_if you build it_2_28_14There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.
- Tommy Lasorda

Kevin Costner’s character in “Field of Dreams” hears the voice “If you build it, they will come” which drives him to convert his cornfield to a ball field, attracting legendary players to fulfill his ultimate fantasy baseball game.

When companies build video collaboration spaces, will employees rush to the field, eagerly start using these solutions, find immediate value and fulfill the dreams that justified this investment?  Not necessarily.

In our experience, companies need to drive video adoption by communicating the answers to the two most important questions that drive human behavior --  “Who says so?” and “Why should I?”

Regrettably, sometimes IT leadership takes the “Build It and They Will Come” approach, driving the design and deployment of an extensive video architecture without the right partnership with the lines of business.  Decisions about where to put video solutions -- such as immersive TelePresence, multipurpose rooms and other endpoints – are often based on assumptions about 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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Five Best Practices To Get ROI From Video Solutions

In my experience helping customers  implement video solutions, their goals are usually to increase efficiencies, reduce expenses and even generate new lines of business. Cisco Collaboration Change Management Services (CCMS) helps customers accelerate adoption of collaboration solutions to achieve your targeted business goals. CCMS has a global team of experts in change management, communications, training, governance, marketing, operational processes and adoption analytics ready to help.  View this video to learn how one company realized the full benefits of their video solution.

Overall, our team has noticed there are 5 common traits among successful customers:

  1. An organization’s strategic objectives drive how, where, and why video is used
    Customer A’s strategic objective was to aggressively expand in emerging markets over the next 3 years.  This strategy was widely communicated and cascaded into operational goals throughout the company.  Significant investments were made to increase the size and quality of the sales teams in the Brazil and China sales offices.  Additionally, the customer purchased Cisco TelePresence video units for these offices to accelerate growth. The ‘boardroom ROI’ for this investment would be realized by achieving the expansion goals in Brazil and China.
  2. A business unit sponsor leads the deployment (not IT), communicates their vision, and sets expectations about how video will make a difference. Read More »

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Migrating a Cisco UCM Cluster to UCS from a Small Village

Upgrading a critical enterprise call processing system to a completely new virtualized server platform sounds pretty tricky. Doing it from 5,000 miles away, in the public square of a sleepy Spanish village using your laptop and a VPN connection over the free municipal WiFi service sounds … well, maybe a little crazy. Recently, I did just that, migrating our Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) cluster in Johannesburg, South Africa to the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform from the small village in Spain where I was vacationing.

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The QWERTY Complex: Un-jamming our organizations to thrive through change

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Sara Roberts, President and CEO of Roberts Golden Consulting, Inc. She is known for her expertise in large-scale transformation, particularly in driving culture change for enterprise innovation and collaboration, and has provided strategic guidance to dozens of the world’s top global companies over the past 15 years.

Navigating in today’s workplace can be disorienting.  It seems that the minute we reorganize, restructure, merge, shift… we need to do it yet again to keep up with new demands.  We lament, when are things ever going to be normal again? Things are changing so fast.  We can’t possibly keep up!

In our organizations, we often point to ‘agility’ as critical to our success – yet the ironic part is that our organizations are still trying to command and control our way into being more nimble.

What exactly is going on?  For starters, witness the last twenty years.  There’s been an explosion of vastly more information, globalization resulting in larger and farther-flung teams and, not to mention, greater competition coming from unexpected and untraditional sources.  Think: NetFlix and how Blockbuster didn’t see it coming. There has been a serious tectonic shift and our companies are at the epicenter.

In our organizations, we often point to ‘agility’ as critical to our success – yet the ironic part is that our organizations are still trying to command and control our way into being more nimble.  Often times we don’t fully realize that these old hierarchical structures, we’re holding steadfastly to, are unable to process information quickly enough to make the necessary day-to-day business decisions.  We think we can simply optimize to do it better, faster and cheaper but in reality, we need a transformation in our workplaces.

As I was writing this last paragraph, it made me think of a cognitive behavioral theory I recently read about, called “path dependence.”  This term refers to the notion that “something that seems normal or inevitable today began with a choice that made sense at a particular time in the past, but survived despite the eclipse of the justification for that choice.”  For instance, typewriters used to jam if people typed too fast, so the manufacturers designed a keyboard that would slow typists. We no longer have typewriters, but we are stuck with the letter arrangements of the qwerty keyboard.

Let’s ask ourselves: do we really want to be stuck with qwerty organizations?

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