Cisco Blogs

Your Workspace, Your Culture… Your Way

October 15, 2012 - 7 Comments

Last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with fresh insights on business mobility, BYOD, and collaboration.  Cisco worldwide sales leader Chuck Robbins highlighted recent research commissioned by Cisco from the Economist Intelligence Unit.  His blog talked about the risks and rewards that come with a business mobility strategy.  The research showed that business leaders see this new mobile way of working as inevitable, even though it comes with a certain amount of risk for corporate data.

Chuck’s blog also briefly touched on another concept:  culture.  I recently spent some time speaking with customers about their mobility strategy, and culture came up in some of these conversations as well.  When I think about Cisco and other companies I’ve worked with, a big part of corporate culture is  defined by how we (as individuals) work, how we share, how we collaborate, and how “close” we feel to others in the workplace. Have you ever reminisced “when I worked for xyz-company, I really felt like I was part of a family?”  I know I have.

In today’s non-stop global world, preserving culture is more important than ever, but technology and geography can conspire against culture – and so we have to actively work to preserve culture in modern business environments.  One way to promote culture is to create a collaborative and open environment through the use of video collaboration, not just for remote employees, but in every meeting.  While ideally every meeting would be face-to-face, the reality of mobility and BYOD is that we’re not always at our desks.  Video puts us front-and-center.  It forces us to tune in and focus on the conversation at hand.  But it also drags our culture and our surroundings into the meeting.  I saw this first hand speaking to a customer on WebEx this week, when he unexpectedly turned on his iPhone video, and marveled at how he could walk through his home, streaming video while speaking with me on the call.

And there it was!  That simple act of sharing video turned a regular conference call into a vibrant, two-way engagement. If we can make it easy and enjoyable to use video collaboration in the new global, virtual, mobile workspace, we share more than just words – we share culture.  And to do that in a mobile environment, you’re going to want a strategy and a partner that can get you there regardless of the device you are using at the moment, be it a traditional PC in an office or cubicle,  a thin client delivering a virtual desktop, or a smart phone or tablet.

One thing is for certain – freedom to use a wide variety of items is having a profound impact on society and culture.  Putting those devices to use to nourish and extend your corporate culture is an idea that some forward looking IT leaders are already turning into practice.  How has, and how will video and mobility impact your workspace and corporate culture?  The following info-graphic highlights some of the trends that are driving the need for a seamless blend of mobility, video, and collaboration across all your devices.

Click the tall info-graphic above to learn more, and them come back and post a comment!  Tell me how the consumer usage of video and mobility are changing the culture of your company.


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  1. Great to see someone posting about cultural importance within an organisation. Very few companies are aware about the importance of culture, languages and values within an organisation. Like your idea of using technology to spread cultural awareness among people. Nice one Joel…way to go 🙂

    • Thanks Kiran! Language is another important aspect I hadn’t considered. While the majority of employees at Cisco speak english, it is not always their first language. There are interesting ways that technology can help in this space, too. In the Unified Workspace, we have a solution called remote expert. One application that remote expert excels in is the ability to add a translator into a video conference call. That translator can be in a call center, operated remotely, or could be part of the company’s own staff. We typically see this sort of service used when the company (or government) needs to offer multi-lingual customer/citizen services. Thanks for sharing your insights!

      • Yes Joel I completley agree with you. Technology is the way forward. Cisco is if I may say “The Leader” in the world of Technology and Innovation. Had never heard about Cisco’s Unified Workforce solutions and remote expert. But seems like a gret tool which can be used by organisations. Since you have mentioned about translations I would just like to inform you that in case Cisco needs any translation help you can get in touch with us. I will try and keep up with your future blog posts. Seems really interesting and informative.

  2. I will talk about mi experience; i am working from home, and as a lot of people may think, the work from home is not easy as it looks. Because you lose the sense of organisation and start combiying your personnal life with your professional one.

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    • Thanks – The impact you discuss is exactly what I am writing about in this blog. How do you connect with your team and stay in touch? How often? What tools do you use?

      • Hi Joel

        When it comes to the tools necessary , i think email and text messaging make communication with my team easier. You know it is very important to have effective communication tools in an organization. These tools are provided by technology and they facilitate the flow of information across departments with in an organization. Technology is very good as long as we can find a balance of work and personal life.

  3. One of the most important uses of technology especially to a a business person, is the ability to do what ever you want from any where. Lets think of it as an accelerator of business growth. Though it also disrupts our culture to a certain extent. The more mobility , the more people get addicted to their works and give up on other aspects of life like family. Lets look as at a business person who takes work home on his Ipad. The time he has to spend with his family is taken up by the mobility technology which enables him to work from any where. I think technology is very good, but Humans misuse it