As I wrapped up my monthly forecast call last week, it struck me just how drastically work has changed in the last decade. It was 10 p.m. and I was in my hotel room in Macau, face-to-face with sales team leads in Singapore, the U.K., Switzerland, and the U.S., over video. Ten years ago, mobile phones were just phones, and for many, the office was where you met with co-workers and got your work done.
Today we’re mobile. Our workforce is globally distributed. Deadlines are shorter than ever. We need to make decisions faster. With multiple generations in the workforce, we must accommodate a wide range of behaviors, outlooks, expectations, and work styles. To stay competitive, we need to look beyond commute distance to find the best talent.
I’ve said before that embedding collaboration technology into workplace design is critical to the success of any workplace transformation effort. Our activity-based work spaces must give employees secure, seamless access to the information they need to get their jobs done. But this must also extend beyond the walls of our offices so we can collaborate no matter where we are – at home, at a customer site, inflight at 30,000 feet, or in a hotel room in Macau.
Are your Master Builders free to create? Are your Ordinary Builders helping them to execute? And more to the point, are you acting like the evil President Business, hindering innovation, placing talent in silos, and keeping your organization frozen in the past?
If so, you may find an unlikely role model in Emmet Brickowski.
OK, Emmet may be an animated character made of plastic blocks, but don’t dismiss him so easily. If you are a manager looking to ensure your team is the best it can be, you may want to check out Emmet’s starring role in “The LEGO Movie.” I believe there is deep wisdom in what this little character has to say.
One of the key themes of the film is that many organizations adhere too strongly to their legacy traditions. Though such traditions may have served them well in the past, they can also sow stagnation and put a brake on agility and adaptability. This is especially true in the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, as a massive wave of network connectivity and innovation upends organizations, business models, and entire industries. In the process, longstanding assumptions around strategy and success are falling by the wayside.
Emmet lives in a world run by President Business, the head of a successful corporation that fears any change to the status quo. President Business will even resort to supergluing LEGO pieces to keep them in their rightful places. President Business divides the world into two kinds of people: Ordinary Builders and Master Builders. He rewards Ordinary Builders who follow the rules, building from their LEGO Kits; he disapproves of the “anarchic” creativity of the Master Builders, who like to improvise from a pile of blocks, and he is determined to capture all of them.
On a recent visit to my doctor’s office, I observed something that I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to in the past: When a nurse called the next patient back for her appointment, a young girl also stood up and explained that her mother didn’t speak English well and asked to accompany her to interpret.
I live right outside of Washington, D.C., which is fortunately a culturally diverse area so I am used to hearing different languages on a day-to-day basis. I guess I never really considered the impact of not speaking English when it comes to seeking medical care. Luckily, the example above, seemed like a routine office visit, but it got me thinking about what would happen in an emergency situation where seconds count.
Paras and Associates know this scenario all too well as they provide real-time language interpreters for healthcare environments using video collaboration. PAA’s service ensures that patients anywhere in the country, who speak any language, can gain access to high quality medical interpretation in an instant. Video communications has played a significant role in their practice and has significantly reduced “lost in translation” errors by allowing doctor, patient and interpreter to see each other’s faces. The power of video overcomes language barriers that can often be misinterpreted over the phone … and herein lies my passion.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Melinda Paras, PAA’s president and CEO. Melinda is a veteran of the medical industry and saw a need to deliver a better “business outcome” to patients and medical staff. In this case, the business outcome could mean the difference between life and death.
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
As usual, Sherri Liebo has some exciting things coming up. This week, she blogged about aiding partners in capturing their share of the $19 trillion opportunity in Internet of Everything (IoE). She is working to empower partners with the information, resources, and technology needed to build an IoE roadmap.
As part of this focus on Cisco partners, Sherri is holding a webcast on June 4 to show how partners can:
As we meet with key customers, partners, and industry analyst around the world, there continues to be growing interest in cloud-based services for contact center and customer care, among other technologies. At Cisco, our focus for the customer contact business is to enable companies to provide customer care, in a flexible fashion, to support their corporate brand and customer experience strategy, regardless of the deployment model.
Cloud-based contact centers have moved into the mainstream, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Businesses of all sizes and industries who move their contact center to the cloud are reaping the benefits, including rapid deployment, flexible scalability, pay-as-you-go pricing and access to the latest technologies and upgrades. In some cases, these are key differentiators between businesses that lag behind and those that thrive.
Migration to the cloud is not an all or nothing endeavor. In some cases, Read More »