I know. You get that video is going to be big. You've heard the animals talking about how they video skyped someone and you wonder whether charges being filed can be far behind.
Actually, that's not fair. I think we all understand video, especially with an ever-growing broadband pipe at
most companies, is already huge. And it's just going to get bigger, people.
Which is why you should be in the middle of that transformation at your company. Add a BYOD environment being embraced in most organizations and it's time - you need to figure out what's going on with the use of video in a company like yours.
A detailed dive into why video collaboration is quickly killing the use of traditional audio conferencing tools and the positive impact the shift is having in modern day organizations.
Five ways you can leverage video collaboration tools in your organization today. FOT is determined to make you a believer, so we’re offering up five scenarios in which video collaboration would be the most effective route to execute challenges in your daily role and ultimately drive business results.
A comprehensive roadmap for driving user adoption of video collaboration across your organization. You’ve got the goods now it’s time to put them to use. FOT will break down the three barriers to user adoption and offer up a resistance free roadmap to implementing video collaboration across any business.
A universal script guaranteed to eliminate pregnant pauses, crickets and speaking out of turn.
BYOD and the Mobile Era – the final definition. We’ll bring in Jeremy Malander from Blue Jeans Network to define BYOD and the Mobile Era, and break down why they are leading drivers in the shift to video collaboration in the workplace.
Bonus: We’ll wrap this webinar by stocking your toolbox full of free, cheap and accessible video tools and hardware to help you get started with video collaboration in your organization today.
Toss your outdated audio conferencing equipment like a pair of acid wash jeans and start collaborating like it’s 2012 – register now for “Video Killed the Radio Star”.
This webinar comes with the FOT guarantee – 60% of the time, it works every time.
I'm on the record as liking Revenue Per Employee as the best macro metric on HR effectiveness.
But that's macro, let's get micro. Training $$ per employee? Turnover percentage? Does that include involuntary?
Let's roll out something cool, like evaluating innovation spend vs peers. Check out this chart from Business Insider today that shows R&D spend as a % of revenue (email subscribers, display images or click through for the post):
As they say... daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
So, you can measure your spend on innovation as a percentage of revenue. And when you do that, it tells you some things you would expect - namely, that your competitors are doing what you thought they were doing. Microsoft, Cisco and Google - all leading the pack at over 10% of revenue spent on R&D.
But that of course, tells you nothing about effectiveness. Apple? <insert evil laugh>. Spends about as much Dell - YES DELL - on R&D.
"The first amazing thing is that Equifax has a series of bits an pieces of credit behavioral data for virtually every person who has a file in the Talx system. While the FCRA prohibits using credit data in very significant ways (including the fact that it always has to be anonymized except under very specific circumstances). So Equifax can’t simply sell businesses credit data about their clients.
But, they can sell the aggregate data.
For instance, Talx uses the data to help customers understand the leverage they have in a variety of settings. Talx can tell you the total indebtedness of your workforce. They can give you averages and data on subsets. One emerging service offers insight into student loan debt as a way of identifying retention leverage. Another project shows employers the car loan volume in the workforce creating the opportunity for the company to cut a money saving deal with a financial institution for lower car loan rates. (a nice, inexpensive new benefit)...
And suddenly, the power of having access to aggregrate data/averages related to your workforce starts to make a bit of sense. Thanks John.
I've written a good bit in the past regarding the concept of "good enough" - how products and services that solve simple pain often get used more than products with a greater degree of complexity. Complexity is often the enemy of actually getting people to "use stuff".
If you agree with that statement, then doesn't it make sense that you would force teams to ship features and services around your product in the shortest time possible? Give teams more time, and what creeps in? Usually more features, complexity and a drop in usability. They had more time to think about the possibilities. What did you expect?
"The other week the Auckland office had a crack at our first ever Fedex Day.
Loosely based on Atlassian’s Fedex day, the idea is to pick a project that can be delivered in a day, and then spend the day – just the one – doing it. Projects don’t have to necessarily be 100% complete or highly polished when the deadline hits, but they should be presentable. Cross-functional teams are encouraged, as is working on something you wouldn’t usually get to play around with.
Ours went a little something like this…
Thursday afternoon Everyone met to present their ideas and expectations were high. Proposed projects ranged from loading screens and interactive customer maps to product specs and database overhauls:
Kai and Xavier proposed building a game that would draw review information from Sonar6 and make it easier (and more fun!) for managers to track team progress and review completion.
Bobby, James and Craig planned to restructure the internal Sonar6 Helper Tool, making it easier for everyone in the company to get customer information and see what’s happening inside the software."
Game changing products/features from a day's development time? Probably not, but it sure seems like that type of activity helps a company build muscle related to the discipline it takes to develop new features quickly and be brave enough to ship them before they're "perfect". Whatever that is.
Revenue generated by FedEx day at Sonar6- next to 0.
Message sent on discipline it takes to create features that are "good enough" and get shipped quickly - priceless.
Note to the kids in HR: If you really want to move up the ladder, you're eventually going to find yourself asking the following two questions:
"Is It My Job To Find the Cheapest Labor for the Same Quality?"
"Is it My Job To Do That Before I'm Asked?"
Welcome to the show kids, where the curveballs come at your head before they break off for a stike. You think being ethical means treating people fairly. You're half right. Your board thinks it also means finding the cheapest labor available for equivalent quality.
That might mean your workforce now. It might mean India. Might mean South Carolina. Might mean an army of 1099s.
Depends on your business. Don't hate the player.
Case in point: Journalism, especially as it moves online. More from an AOL Content Slave from The Faster Times:
"I got the job through a friend. The job was this: I would write about TV for a section of the AOL Television website. In theory, this sounded great. In exchange for writing about “The Simpsons” and other TV shows, I would be making $35,000 a year (which sounded like a shockingly large amount of money to me at the time; and sadly, it still does). I performed this job for less than a year before I was fired. During that period, I wrote more than 350,000 words for AOL.
I was given eight to ten article assignments a night, writing about television shows that I had never seen before. AOL would send me short video clips, ranging from one-to-two minutes in length — clips from “Law & Order,” “Family Guy,” “Dancing With the Stars,” the Grammys, and so on and so forth… My job was then to write about them. But really, my job was to lie. My job was to write about random, out-of-context video clips, while pretending to the reader that I had watched the actual show in question. AOL knew I hadn’t watched the show. The rate at which they would send me clips and then expect articles about them made it impossible to watch all the shows — or to watch any of them, really.
That alone was unethical. But what happened next was painful. My “ideal” turn-around time to produce a column started at thirty-five minutes, then was gradually reduced to half an hour, then twenty-five minutes. Twenty-five minutes to research and write about a show I had never seen — and this twenty-five minute period included time for formatting the article in the AOL blogging system, and choosing and editing a photograph for the article. Errors were inevitably the result. But errors didn’t matter; or rather, they didn’t matter for my bosses.
I still have a saved IM conversation with my boss, written after 10 months of employment, when I was reaching the breaking point:
“Do you guys even CARE what I write? Does it make any difference if it’s good or bad?” I said.
“Not really,” was the reply."
Go check out the article; it's a fascinating read and should make you throw up, even if just a little bit. Supply and demand, availability of labor, etc. What's your job in all of this, HR? When I say HR in this case, I mean the SVP of HR helping AOL figure this one out.
Hire traditional staff or go after the 1099 labor situation described above?
I don't know. I do know, however, that the people who run your company expect you to ask the questions we led with - proactively, without being asked.
Scary times. Be the best to avoid becoming a freelancer.
Anyway, as it turns out, Tim gets all the blog comments and sends me the following note:
Funny thing – I have a little flip notebook I keep on my desk, just for those inspirations! Hater.
Tim even sent me a picture of this notebook, appropriately titled "Think" (pictured to the right). The only thing that could have made it better was if it had an exclamation point behind it...
"Think!" More of a call to action from my point of view...
But one thing this brief exchange reminded me of was that I generally flow in and out of being systematic in capturing my most creative ideas. Sometimes I'm a notebook guy, sometimes I'm the digital guy, etc.
Sometimes I really suck at making sure the A-list ideas I have are captured.
How do you do it? Do you have a pad titled, "Think!"? Do you email yourself? More importantly, how do you put that stuff to action?
I gotta get better at this part of my life. I'm thinking about having Tim order two next time he's at the "Think" store. Seriously.
"Inside Microsoft it's known as "licking the cookie." That's when a group within the company, typically Windows, declares its intentions to work on a feature or a product, thereby preventing others within the company from taking it on. Often it makes sense for Windows to own a project, says a former Microsoft manager who still does consulting work for the company, but it also slows down development at a time when tech companies can scarcely afford to be piggy.
Others talk about what a few former employees call the "made men" -- those who earned their bones during the 1990s when Microsoft was riding high and now can do no wrong, even as they bungle decision after decision. "You want to innovate in mobile?" said a former top Microsoft engineer named James Whittaker before leaving to take a job at Google. "Then deal with the made men who run the relevant cartel. And if they don't like you or your idea, your innovation goes nowhere."
Nice. Happens all the time outside of Microsoft as well. Some relatively harmless ways people inside your company currently "lick the cookie":
1. Reserving conference rooms they don't need.
2. Swooping in like Vultures on the tech tools that a departing team member leaves at their cubicle.
3. Taking a piece of cake from the kitchen that you're not sure when you'll have time or the appetite to eat.
And some more counterproductive cookie-licking ways that probably cause your company to move backwards:
1. Managers saying that key people on their team are unavailable for promotion or lateral moves - they're just too important.
2. Managers moving in within a matrixed environment to engage associates on projects that they may or may not need their help on.
3. Being territorial and saying or acting in ways that suggest you're the only one who can do a certain job.
4. Knowledge hoarding so you can't effectively be replaced - damn the cost to the business.
5. Spending budget on things you don't need so you get the same budget amount next year.
6. Anything product related similar to the Microsoft example...
Call someone out on licking the cookie today. They deserve it.
"It’s better to put a stake in the ground and get started than it is to sit around waiting for perfect inspiration, the right timing and an unassailable position of strength. It’s easier to navigate when you’re moving. It’s easier to criticize when you are standing still.
Translation: If all you do it complain and find fault when someone is trying to add value and chart some new ground, you're part of the problem.
Cutting someone down who you think got it wrong? Depends on a couple of factors:
1. Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and tried to present new thoughts/approaches/tools to a broad group of people? Ruling: If no, you ought to be careful about just bitching about what's wrong with someone else's ideas. You really haven't earned that right.
2. You have stepped out of your comfort zone and tried to carve out new thoughts/approaches/tools?Ruling: You have the right to bitch a bit, but you ought to do it in the spirit of conversation, including balanced feedback about what you like and don't like, what you think the person needs to consider based on your experience, etc...
Funny thing. All the people who fit #2 generally give feedback the way I described. They have empathy about how hard it is to create new things from personal experience.