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We Can Learn Some Things About Collaboration From Duke’s Coach K

Duke University Basketball Coach, Mike Krzyzewski, Coach K to his fans, is arguably the most successful college basketball coach of all time. Under his leadership, his teams have won numerous national championships along with recording a win percentage that is the envy of any team, regardless of sport. In little more than a decade he managed to build a mighty record of success.

However, during the 1994-1995 season he left after twelve games to have back surgery. Quite surprisingly, Read More »

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Healthcare Collaboration Customers Shine at the Olympics

August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm PST

I love Olympic Opening Ceremonies because they are so larger-than-life. It’s also fascinating to see which aspects of the host country’s national heritage are selected for display on the world stage. I was surprised and delighted to see the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) prominently featured, along with the UK’s National Health Service which the hospital is a part of.

At first I was wondering why in the world they were wheeling out kids in hospital beds in the middle of such an extravaganza (see video clip at end of my blog), but it soon dawned on me that many in Great Britain see their healthcare system, and the young patients it serves, as a national treasure. It also reminded me of two customer case studies our team produced recently.  Read More »

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Productivity Gains Through Culture, Visuality, and Collaboration (Part 3): Extended Workplace Visuality and Pervasive Collaboration

In Part 2, I explained why organizational culture and leadership are probably the most important factors contributing to gains in employee productivity and innovation. This week, I’d like to describe two additional, highly essential enablers: extended workplace visuality and pervasive collaboration.

Extended Workplace Visuality: A visual workplace is one in which information needed to collaborate, engage, and stay productive is made available at the right time and place, rather than hidden away in spreadsheets and other documents on various employees’ laptops.

Visual displays have complemented lean manufacturing practices on the plant floor for many years, significantly reducing work-in-process inventories and manufacturing lead times, while driving cost and quality improvements. Visual thinking has also been adopted in environments such as airports and hospitals to improve operations, customer service, safety, and quality. Read More »

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Real-Time Collaboration Helps Optimize the Performance of a Distributed Workforce

July 31, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

Do you ever feel frustrated when you just cannot access the right information right when you need it? Or when you spend several hours chasing multiple sources, verifying if something is accurate or not when you have urgent issues to resolve? Well, now imagine this scenario in a business environment where your personal performance or the performance of your team is affected with these exact same challenges every day.  And then imagine situations where you may miss the boat on closing a very important deal, resolving an urgent, technical customer issue, or misinterpreting data for an important report, because of all these communication barriers.

When we access information in a static, asynchronous environment, we have several dependencies, factors, variables, and therefore a higher chance of error. Our inability to verify data instantaneously, and having no version control in place, can make collaboration in a business environment quite challenging. Imagine an employee trying to verify if the document that was emailed to him or her on a specific date is indeed the latest and greatest version. Then imagine the string of email communications to various colleagues in order to confirm if the version he or she has, is indeed accurate. Let’s keep this story going; Read More »

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Embrace transparency

July 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm PST

The main obstacle I teach people to overcome when they take a new step in collaboration is their fear of transparency.

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