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Edzard Overbeek Appointed Head of Cisco Services

As Cisco continues to grow, there will naturally be management changes across the business—this gives us a real opportunity to empower smart, collaborative people with diverse skill sets to lead us into the next phase for the company.

Cisco’s leadership bench today already has such a breadth and depth of these capabilities that we remain focused on our internal talent pool to fill leadership roles as they become available.

Effective at the start of fiscal year 2013, Edzard Overbeek, SVP, Asia Pacific, Japan, and Greater China (APJC), will lead Cisco’s Global Services business from San Jose, CA, reporting directly to me.

I will continue to oversee the Services business until Edzard assumes his new role at the start of the fiscal year, and then I will focus full time on leading the daily operations of the company and aggressively driving our transformation.

Edzard has 12 years of demonstrated success at Cisco in geographic sales and channel leadership roles, most recently as the leader for our business in Asia and co-chair of the Emerging Countries Council, where he successfully drove adoption of new business models for the company. His background is ideally suited in the areas where we expect growth for the Services business.

The current services leadership team — Ed Baum, Nick Earle, Joe Pinto, Sameer Padhye and Parvesh Sethi—will report directly to Edzard once he assumes his new role.

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Making Culture More than a Nice Word

June 6, 2012 at 4:17 am PST

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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Arriving Soon in San Francisco – Meeting of the Minds 2012

Smarter and more connected communities – that’s not just a pretty vision, far off into the future. They are being built now, often on the basis of a renewed and intelligent city infrastructure. These communities have numerous advantages over other cities. Some of the most successful ones are approaching their development in ways that change how they deliver services to residents, how those residents work, how traffic flows are managed, how public transportation operates, and how real estate resources are best utilized.

We want those attending Meeting of the Minds 2012 in San Francisco in October as well as those watching via webcast, to build a world where everything is connected, intelligent, and green: from office buildings and appliances to hospitals and schools. Citizens will play a central role in that new world, working together with business and government and achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration, productivity, and economic growth. And it can all happen without compromising the integrity of our natural systems or our fragile environmental quality. Read More »

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A Story of Survival: Cisco’s Brian Dickinson Conquered Mt. Everest

One year ago, I waited anxiously with my teammates Ray Bellantoni and Jennifer Carole to get word on our new friend – and Cisco colleague – Brian Dickinson. He was ascending Mt Everest.

Brian had contacted us about doing a WebEx from base camp. He thought it would be cool to put our technology to the test and Ray, who produced events, jumped at the opportunity.

Little did we realize Brian would become a friend we cared about in a very personal way. As we learned more about his journey, we started to understand the dangers involved in the climb and the risks to his safety. It was a nerve-wracking time.

Brian’s over all goal, to reach the Seven Summits around the world – with Mt Everest possibly posing the greatest challenge. We ended up holding three WebEx events with Brian where many of you joined us to learn about his commitment and drive.

Before, During and After the Climb

For me, the most exhilarating WebEx was the one he did from base camp. To see him nestled in the mountain tops, glistening white in the background, was thrilling. At one point, we had to pause while we waited for a helicopter to fly out carrying climbers who had succumbed to altitude sickness.

As it turns out there was good reason for us to feel anxious that day. Read More »

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Overcoming Collaboration Challenges: Free Webinar

May 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm PST

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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