Tag : collaborate

Executive Wanted to Watch My Toys

Every parent of a two year old has heard the cries of, “mine.”

Every person who has worked at a large (or perhaps small) company has heard the same thing. None of us want to think of ourselves as uncooperative… but many of us have attitudes about our work, our reputation and our ‘stuff’ that prevent us and our organizations from progressing.

The article, “Do Organizations Need a Chief Collaboration Officer,” struck me as both ridiculous (really another executive position?) and telling. A significant enough topic to be written about in the revered (by some) Harvard Business Review in 2010, the notion that collaboration is so important to business today that we need to give someone the authority to override silos, fiefdoms and ‘it’sallaboutmes’.

The idea here is to have someone at the executive level assuring that technology, people and culture are focused on how the new tools (web 2.0) and attitude (social) are moving the company towards increased sales and improved customer and employee relations.The holistic view of the way the company adopts and adapts to creating community for employees and customers is best seen from 30,000 feet.

Large organizations have had some advantages in technology (Lotus Notes was a revolution in communication in its day.) But now, they are at a real disadvantage as they try to control 1,000’s of employees. Real-time collaboration tools like yammer and dropbox are making it fast and inexpensive (or free!) for small companies to outpace their larger brethren.

Bottom line: the executive best suited for the new responsibility is not selected by title but by who collaborates the best.

If you believe that Web 2.0 and social networking are revolutionizing business from top to bottom, then you get this. If you think that social is for marketing and maybe human resources… then this all seems likes child’s play.

 

Photo credit: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

What's the Matter With Kids Today?

Every generation thinks the ‘young people are lazy and ungrateful. That’s just the nature of the beast. What’s happening at work today is 3 (sometimes 4) generations trying to get along at work.

Boomers are workaholics, GenX are more balanced but are still pretty ‘go along with the system’ type folks.  And then there are these GenYers (aka Millenials). I have CEOs and executives asking me everyday… what’s the matter with these kids?

My response to them is, “There is nothing wrong with them.” We expect them to somehow automatically know what to do at work; how to dress, how much time to spend on their phone, when to show up, etc.  We get upset when they don’t do everything we think they should.  How would they know? Osmosis? I can only speak for my own 2 ‘twenty-somethings” when I say they have minds and goals that are all their own.

According to CPA success in a blog post about Millenials, there’s a comment I agree with:

“You can’t pigeonhole Millennials as entitled and self-centered. Sure, some fit the bill … but many of them don’t. Many of them blow that generalization out of the water. Many of them are ready — are starving — to lead. All they need is our support.”

What they don’t tolerate well is sitting around, blah, blah, blahing about stupid stuff and not doing anything.  So what are you and I going to do about this? We can complain about  how they “don’t get it” and “take away their phones” when they are work or we can engage them in a conversation about what needs to be done. I am Board Chair of a small non profit and we have 8 GenYer’s on the Board. They are caring, involved, willing, kind and hard working. They want to make a difference so let’s give them a chance.

How about starting the dialogue with an item or two from this list:

  • Life balance
  • Leadership
  • Proactive, goal-focused planning
  • Networked collaboration
  • Embracing and adopting technology

If you have an open mind and heart, I’ll bet you hear some amazing things.  Let me know how it works out.

Image credit: Marilyn Manson Back seat Cuddler

The One Million Masterpiece is a world wide online art project.  Anyone can create a drawing and submit it to be part of a huge printed banner that joins images from a million other people.

What’s it all about?

“Get together one million ordinary people from all around the world, and get them to work on the picture  in the world’s largest ever artistic collaboration; where everyone is equal and all outcomes are valid.”

This is a great example of the power of collaboration.  Any one artist can make a statement about their point of view of the world.  This project uses the power of art, the ease of the computer and the web to create a global expression of where and who we are.

Check out the website. See the artwork. Sign up, draw something, be a part.  It’s free, it’s fun and you might just feel connected in ways you never expected.

And remember, we’re all in this together.

I have a friend who talks about the power of two. One person can make a huge difference in the lives of many people. However, 2 people, joined in purpose and intent, can move mountains.

I believe that the way that we work, play and innovate is undergoing a revolution and social media/web 2.0 are at the heart of it. Beyond Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are wikis, online communities, videos, ning groups, meet ups, blogs, podcasts and so many more cool ways to communicate that we have barely begun to scratch the surface.

Back in the mid-1990’s, we used altavista to search for information on the then new “world wide web.” Remember?  If we had to use a search tool like that today, we would be tearing our hair out. The tools we have for collaboration are similarly unsophisticated compared to what we’ll have at our fingertips in just a few short years. The ways we want to work together are already evolving faster than the toolkit.

I have started this blog to share ideas and get us thinking not only about tools for sharing ideas, but also how we work together. I came across a book called “The Power of Two” and from it, I took this excerpt;

Effective allies agree with these 3 statements:

  • We focus on each other’s strengths, not weaknesses.
  • We accept each other as we are and don’t try to change each other.
  • We are understanding of each other when one of us makes mistakes.

In those cases where you work with one other person, how effective are you as a partner? When we focus on the power we have to make great things happen, guess what; great things happen.