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Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Launch at CiscoLive!


On June 22, the first Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) session was held at the CiscoLive! conference in Orlando, Florida. It was an opportunity for Cisco’s female customers, partners and employees and their male allies to gather for learning, sharing and networking.

Among the many great speakers at the event were Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of Cisco, who spoke about leadership and Sheila Jordan, SVP, Communication and Collaboration IT,  who led a how-to discussion on personal branding.  The panel discussion moderated by Shari Slate, Cisco’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist, highlighted Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, IT and Cloud and Systems Management Group and Maria Teresa Lensing, AT&T Vice President Signature Group.

I particularly enjoyed hearing from Shahd Attar, Cisco Marketing and Engagement Manager, Emerging Solutions Advisory.  She is the first full-time, permanent cisco female employee in Saudi Arabia. She spoke about  co- founding CellA+, a nonprofit professional women’s networking group of more than 2000 members today.

If you’re interested in joining the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network, you can connect on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.


You can get a taste of the session from the video and the tweets posted below. Read More »

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A solo trip to Russia


When you hear about Russia, what images come to your mind? Grand Palaces, matryoshka dolls, vodka?

Since studying Russian history at school and in my endeavour to visit as many countries as possible during my lifetime (I’ve currently visited 42), I’ve always wanted to visit the largest country in the world and to see the Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace with my own eyes. Read More »

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Getting Away from Group Think

When was the last time you had a team meeting with someone outside your usual circle of colleagues?

This is a question – and a challenge – laid down by Peter McDonald, a collaboration expert that I met with last week.

Peter works for a consultancy that focuses on helping people collaborate. And they go about it in a pretty radical manner.

One of the things they do is run workshops with people with different profiles, roles and jobs  (and often diametrically opposed perspectives). Many of their workshops involve going into charities and finding solutions to their most challenging business problems.

The results are fascinating. Given often really difficult and complex challenges to resolve, often the more diverse and potentially conflictive the group is, the more disruptive the thinking. And the more creative and interesting the ideas, suggestions and solutions are.

Read More »

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Until Justice Rolls Down…On Martin Luther King Jr.


Maya Lin, creator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was commissioned to design the Civil Rights Memorial at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Lin found her inspiration in the words “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,” a paraphrase from the Book of Amos that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used in his “I Have a Dream” speech and at the start of the Montgomery bus boycott. Photo used with permission from this source.

It was a printer jam that made me realize the full power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream Speech.”  Growing up in the United States, I had studied Martin Luther King Jr’s  outsize impact on civil rights and American history.  That said, I had never heard the entire speech he gave in 1963  to 200,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Then, a few years ago, the printer at work jammed.  I pulled out the crumpled paper and power cycled it.  While I was waiting, I started reading the poster hanging in the hallway.  It was the full text of the “I Have A Dream” speech.  I was truly moved by the strength of the writing and the ideas it put forth.  I couldn’t believe that I had missed out on this powerful work for so long.  Kudos to people that put up guerilla art in offices!

Nancy Duarte does a great analysis of why the speech is so powerful.  I love her line about the speech “traversing back and forth between what is and what could be, and ending by describing what the new bliss of equality looks like.”

One of my favorite quotes from the speech is this: Read More »

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How Does Corporate Culture Impact a Company’s Success?

Culture exists in any organization, whether created through careful design and implementation, or through natural development as a company grows.

What exactly is “corporate culture”?

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