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Lessons from LEGO To Drive “Out-of-the-Box” Thinking

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.

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When Minutes Matter, You Can’t Afford to be Lost in Translation

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.

Video communications can Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014 at 7:40 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each 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:

Be sure to register for her upcoming webcast and join her next Wednesday to learn more. Read More »

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Is Your Contact Center Ready for the Cloud?

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 »

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Thursday Recap

May 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm PST

The collaboration momentum at continued today. First up this morning was a Cisco Live Executive Interview with Peder Ulander. In it Peder talks about how the way people work is changing and how Cisco is adapting technology to meet those changes.

He covers our latest DX Series products as well as shares how American Express is using remote expert and video to better serve customers. In a pilot program, premier customers could get an instant connection with the right person, whether to resolve billing problems or find concert tickets.

Today’s Locknote: Sal Khan, Khan Academy
Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, Standing room only. Inspiring. Fantastic. Riveting. Followed by a standing ovation. Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization focused on providing free, world-class education globally.
sal khan quote

And when it comes to Khan’s thoughts on collaboration, I can’t disagree: Read More »

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