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Meeting Hell: Stop Wasting Time

April 24, 2012 at 7:54 am PST

Like most business leaders, my most precious asset is time – and when I look at my schedule I’m spending about 80% of my time in meetings.  Some studies suggest the average knowledge worker spends around half their time in meetings.  When I measure my own personal productivity, by definition, there’s no more important place to look than these meetings.

We’ve all been in “meeting hell,” where we’re asking basic questions like, “Who called this meeting?” or  “What’s the agenda?” or “What are we trying to accomplish here?”

If you’ve ever asked these or similar questions during meetings, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Increased collaboration means increased interaction with others, which means more meetings. And, with more work being done collaboratively and in virtual settings, often with people in different time zones or even different countries with whom you haven’t spent a lot of time face to face, imagine the opportunities to be more effective. That’s why it’s absolutely essential for your teams to systematically make the most of your time together.

It’s a great feeling when you conclude a highly productive meeting--wouldn’t it be great if you could dramatically increase the productivity of all your meetings? With this goal in mind, we developed what we call the Clarity of Purpose model for meeting management, which involves four straightforward steps meeting owners can take to ensure collaborative sessions of any kind are as productive as possible.

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The Engagement Factor & Collaboration

Have you ever sent an e-mail that’s been misinterpreted and it took a long time to sort out the miscues? I have. And I suspect that many of you reading this blog have too.

So, it wasn’t surprising to see that a recent study by the Economist Intelligent Unit found that 88% of business leaders feel that a significant misunderstanding will slow them down. And 75% believe that in-person collaboration is critical to their business success. Perhaps that’s because 54% consider gauging engagement and focus to be the most important part of communications. And you do that through a combination of visual and audio cues, such as facial expressions, gestures and body language, tone of voice.

In my own interactions I do believe this is critical, but in today’s world you can’t always be there in person. Read More »

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Connecting, Empowering and Inspiring Women in Technology at Cisco

April 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm PST


Birds of Feather Session

Women in technology have unique opportunities and challenges. Only about 25% of Information Technology jobs are held by women and this can lead to feelings of isolation. Additionally, when women don’t see a lot of role models in the industry, they find it harder to believe they can succeed.

In working with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, I’ve learned that it’s important to acknowledge these challenges and have open conversations about them. After brainstorming with my manager and getting great support from my VP, I rallied a group of women to create a day devoted to the development and advancement of women in technology.

On March 27th, we held our first Women in Technology Forum for Cisco employees. The main event in San Jose, California saw 300 attendees in-person. The nice thing about working at a worldwide leader in networking is that Read More »

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Recognizing Communities Around the World: Part 1

During the past several years I have had the great opportunity to work with the  leaders from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the annual Community Policing Awards (CPA).  

For the 14th year, IACP and Cisco are proud to celebrate and pay tribute to departments worldwide practicing the community policing philosophy. These departments bring change, address crime and terrorism, and make their communities safe places to live, work, and play.

Please help us spread the word and encourage others to share their success.  The application deadline is midnight EST on June 3, 2012.

Community policing organizations from around the world can apply now for the opportunity to be recognized for the ways it has made public safety a priority through the use of collaboration, crime prevention, and partnership formation. Winners will be honored at the 2012 IACP Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.

The Chiefs leading the CPA committee are dedicated and each your do a great job recognizing the winners and also sharing best practices during a session at IACP.  Last year was fantastic and we expect IACP 2012 in San Diego to be even better! 

Please let me know if you know any communities that deserve to be recognized. 

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It’s Not Enough to Be Connected

I attended Enterprise Connect for the ninth time this year, but it was the first time I delivered a keynote address. With the advances in technology today I could have delivered my keynote via TelePresence from Oslo, my home town in Norway. But I chose to attend in person because in this case face-to-face was the best way to tell my story.

I spoke to how “It is not enough to be connected.” This may sound strange coming from me, especially since I represent “the” networking company, but Cisco has evolved, as technology, businesses, and customer needs have evolved. Just being connected is not enough to drive the next levels of productivity. So, we need to think beyond connectivity. Read More »

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