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Extraordinary Teamwork When Teammates are Remote

July 19, 2012 at 9:33 am PST

I enjoy being part of a team. It’s great for generating ideas, getting support for my ideas, feeling like I am not alone and knowing I can get help if I get stuck. And then there’s the celebrating when we pull off a big project and get to share in the glory and excitement.

But these days, at least half my team members are somewhere else.

While I can walk down the hall to talk to some of my co-workers, I find I am on email or WebEx for others. Keeping everyone on track is my main goal. In this article on the Seven Habits of Extraordinary Teams, they confirm communication is an important ingredient:

Depending upon the goals and time frame, teams should meet at least once a week, and more often if necessary. More importantly, team communications must be tooled (or retooled if necessary) so that each team member understands what’s going on–and, perhaps more importantly, what is expected of him or her before the next meeting.

But it also cites the complimentary requirement that goes with good communication, sharing resources.

For a team to be successful, members must be willing to share whatever resources they control that are required for the team to achieve its goal.  These include physical resources (money, materials, office space, computers, etc.) as well as mental or emotional resources (like ideas, suggestions, encouragement, or enthusiasm). When team members hoard, teams are weakened–often to the point of total failure.

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Record Your Next WebEx Then Share It. Here’s How.

July 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm PST

A great way to get more from your next meeting is to record it.

By recording you can focus on the interactions and worry less about taking notes. You can also share the recording with those who couldn’t make the meeting. You can even intentionally record a session to share publicly on your website or via social media.

Here’s what you need to know. Read More »

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This Cloud is For Me

In my first job as a nurse manager every morning I was delivered a stack of interoffice envelopes.  Some mornings now when I open my email and find 40 messages have come in overnight, I think wistfully of those simpler days.  I could send a response and not hear about it again for at least a day.  Now, I can’t even read the next message before the one I just answered is back in my inbox.  And I still think whoever created mail groups must be the spawn of Satan for developing corporate sanctioned spam.

But I do love IM.  It might be the single most impactful tool to influence productivity ever.  I kept a tally one week and it saved me an average of 20 phone calls a day, or in real terms, 20 delays in getting my work done.  My friend Bethany told me the other day her company doesn’t use IM.  Are they nuts?! It is instant, focused collaboration without calling a meeting or picking up a phone.  I can go to Webex Connect, our IM tool, and instantly contact anyone in the company. Well maybe not John Chambers, but anyone else.  I will also know if this is not the time to interrupt them.   I’d give up my dishwasher before I would give up IM.

But it never occurred to me until this morning how much of the change in how I work was because of the cloud.  From the photos, music, Facebook, to email, IM and web conferences our day is comprised of many clouds.   One of the great things about working at Cisco is the abundance of data.  Global cloud traffic will increase 12-fold from 2010-2015.  And data center traffic will equal 4.6 quadrillion  emails by 2015.   I think most of that is in my Inbox.

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Three Ways a Free WebEx Basic Account Can Help Kids Learn

July 11, 2012 at 9:35 am PST

The new WebEx Meetings is here and with it comes a free basic account that anyone can get and use. We invite educators to get their own account and start using it in the classroom. Here are three ideas to get things started -- and we have more here. We’d also love to hear your ideas. Please comment on this blog!

Interview an Expert

Use WebEx to bring an “expert” into your classroom. Distance or location is no longer a barrier. Use the video conference capabilities of WebEx to take your students into studios, laboratories or even into the field! All the other person needs is an Internet connection and a webcam to broadcast from wherever they are. They could even engage with you via their iPad or iPhone or Android. Anyone can get the mobile application at no cost.

Classroom Connect

Share your classroom with another classroom! You can aim your webcam at your students and have your partner aim the camera at his or her classroom and away you go. This is a great way to demonstrate to the students that they are similar and different from students in another location. You can also use desktop sharing Read More »

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With WebEx Meeting Spaces, Meetings are Better from Beginning to End

July 10, 2012 at 7:23 am PST

WebEx has always let you easily share information and files during a meeting but with the new WebEx Meetings, now you have access to tools that help before and after your meeting. And with a new free Basic account, you can start hosting online meetings today.

Get your free WebEx Basic account.

With WebEx Meeting Spaces, you and your guests can share relevant documents prior to a meeting, access recordings of past meetings, and initiate conversations in the space. You can also see if

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