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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

May is the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. For those who aren’t familiar, the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May commemorates two major United States events in the Asian American and Pacific Islander history –The first group of Japanese immigrants arrived in America on May 7, 1843 and the transcontinental railroad (thanks to the labor of many Chinese immigrants) was completed on May 10, 1869.  The month of May–to celebrate the Asian-Pacific American traditions, culture, and history–was officially designated by the Congress in the 1990s.

It is June and although this seems a little belated, technically speaking, every month or day for the matter should be a celebration of whatever your heart desires–whether it is your family and friends, your culture, your favorite band… you name it! For Cisco, everyday is a day of inclusion and diversity, and it is evident in Cisco’s extensive efforts in supporting more than 10 different Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), participation and sponsor for world-wide inclusion and diversity events, and so much more.

At the Cisco Asian Affinity Network’s (CAAN) Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month celebration event on June 6, 2012, I learned that Cisco is recognized by Asia Society as a finalist in three different categories for the 2012 Diversity Leadership Forum Awards: (1) Best Company for Read More »

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Making Culture More than a Nice Word

At its essence, collaboration is about working together to accomplish a common goal. You can buy all of the latest and greatest tools – and yes, by the way, we have the latest and greatest – but without an organizational culture that supports collaboration, it’s a lot like giving a fish a bicycle. Or a school of fish a fleet of bicycles. Or parachutes to snakes. Or Post-It notes to squirrels.

Organizations like to talk about their collaborative cultures, but it’s often more marketingspeak than an accurate description of the work environment. Culture is one of those feel-good words that makes a business sound like less of a money-making venture and more of a community.

Compared to traditional hierarchies, truly collaborative cultures are characterized by increasing levels of interdependence between leaders and employees. It’s a lot like what Mrs. Blackburn emphasized in my kindergarten class: share, listen, play nicely together. Somewhere along the way to a paycheck, we stop eating paste and stop playing so nicely. Read More »

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Overcoming Collaboration Challenges: Free Webinar

Collaboration isn’t always easy. Admittedly, that’s not groundbreaking news.

Free Online Seminar: Wednesday, May 16th at 10 a.m., Pacific

When we were kids, my little brother and I collaborated only when absolutely necessary and only when there was mutual benefit in the end result. Eating broccoli, for instance. We grew up in a “we serve it, you eat it” house. Little brother, being a renegade in many ways from the start, preferred the broccoli stems to the flowers. I preferred the flowers. A simple collaboration and we both accomplished the task necessary to be excused from the table. When it came to eating liver, however, there was no such deal to strike. And, as little brother discovered, climbing a tree to avoid eating liver was not a solution. And cold liver? Worse.

Come to think of it, that’s not too different from business organizations. Read More »

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Talking about my Generation

I recently read an article by Deloitte and something really caught my attention: voicemail.

Apparently voicemail is antiquated.  It’s out of touch. It’s not an efficient way to communicate with people.

Did you know that? I didn’t. But according to the same article, the reason I didn’t know is because I am too old.

I’m a Generation X-er. I’ve lived through the digital revolution. And whilst I, like any good Cisco employee, love the fruits of technology – the Internet, smartphones, SMS texts, blogs, IWE – I also remember a time when telephones had cords and emails were word-processed and delivered by postmen. And apparently that makes me a whole different ball-game to Generation Y-ers and “Millenials.”

Read More »

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Digital Britain: The Rise of the Intrapreneur

Today, the term Entrepreneur is used freely by a lot people, typically to describe someone who has started their own business or launched multiple new ventures.   Since being a part of the Shoreditch tech scene, I’m now starting to understand the unique characteristics of people that can best be described as “entrepreneurial” — and then letting my mind wander back into my own life experiences.

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