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Catalysts for 10x Innovation (Part 2)

Innovation CartoonHatching brilliant ideas for the world’s next big innovation is the easy part.  Bringing those ideas to life — through new software, hardware or services solutions — is the hard part.  That’s exponentially true when it comes to the Internet of Everything because of the extra complexity of connecting people, data, process and things through technology.

In our corporate world, it’s called “execution.”  How an innovation is developed from concept to concrete is just as important as the original brainchild itself.

In my last blog, I focused on catalysts that can fuel innovation 10x:  Inclusion, diversity, inquisitiveness, observation, networking, agility and flexibility – they all fuel innovation.  Here, in part two, I want to share some game-changing insights on execution that I learned from industry leaders at Cisco’s recent “Walk the Talk” Leadership Forum.

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Running a Collaboration Program is More than just the Technology

“We already have program management,” is a typical statement I hear when speaking with a customer about collaboration program management.  The unfortunate truth is, most organizations do not have formal program management or know how to effectively manage a Collaboration specific Program.

Instead, when talking about program management you should ask “Why is a collaboration program different and what should I consider?”  Here are a few explanations:

There are many misconceptions about Collaboration Programs, but one of the biggest, and potentially most impactful, is that you only need to focus on the technology design and build.  I can tell you from my experience in running many programs; a successful collaboration program requires a lot more than a successful technology implementation.

I’m not going to bore you with the formal definition of a program and how it differs from a project, but I will tell you that a successful collaboration program typically includes several non-technology projects (component projects) that must be planned and managed in order for the collaboration technology to be deemed a success.  Examples include operational readiness, organizational change management, migration readiness, and more.  Many times, programs fail to identify and manage these component projects.  As a result, the collaboration program slows, business cases fail, ROI isn’t realized, adoption lags, issues arise, and satisfaction declines.

On the other hand, I have personally managed programs where these component projects were properly managed at many large enterprise, commercial, service provider, and government customers.  The positive impacts of following the Collaboration Program Management best practices were obvious and tangible.  The below metrics are some of the major documented impacts.

Steven harriett collab blog _ program management 1_17_14

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What is the benefit of hiring for culture before hiring for skills?

“Every organization needs employees who mesh with its core values — the principles that define who you are as an organization and that shape day-to-day business decisions. Employees who do not adhere to a shared corporate culture dilute it, detracting from the essence that gives your company its identity and helps it achieve aggressive goals.” – Harvard Business Review (HBR) Read More »

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