Category: Collaboration

Tips for Making Meetings More Effective

September 28, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

We’ve all been there, in that meeting that just seems to drag. You can’t help but look at your phone and think of all the better things you could be doing with your time. The longer you sit, the most frustrated you become as people get off topic and nothing actually seems to get accomplished. Instead of getting annoyed, stop and think, is this dreadful meeting actually your fault? While your initial response might be absolutely not, the more you think about it there’s a slight possibility. Here’s how: You Assume All Meetings Are a Waste of Time If you go into a …

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Overcome Visibility Challenges With Remote Teams

September 17, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

Video conferencing has made it easier for managers to lead remote employees as well as enhance team cohesion among remote members. However, simply holding video calls will not guarantee a successful remote team. It requires additional time and effort to develop relationships and motivate team members who are scattered around the globe. One of the biggest challenges remote leaders face is overcoming a lack of visibility. Managers of remote teams can’t take a walk around the office to see how their team is doing nor can team members pop by for a quick chat or clarification. For example, consider a scenario …

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Building an Effective Virtual Team

September 5, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

With the increase of BYOD, unified communications and video conferencing technologies, many more employees are choosing to work from home to accommodate their schedule or expand their job possibilities. Similarly, organizations are allowing more employees the flexibility to work from home to attract and retain top employees across the country. Unified communications tools have allowed organizations to expand their talent pool to the best and brightest around the world; rather than their city. However, the prevalence of remote work teams has led to new challenges for managers who are now tasked with leading these virtual teams. While some remote teams provide …

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Enhance Office Face Time with UC

August 30, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

Unified communications and visual collaboration solutions have made it easier than ever to work from home.  Remote employees can connect with their boss, collaborate and brainstorm with peers, and drive innovation from the comfort of their couch. However, a recent Forbes article raised and important question. Can working at home hurt your career? It’s a possibility, according to a recent issue of MIT Sloan Management Review which notes that remote employees may receive lower performance reviews, smaller raises and fewer promotions than colleagues who go to the office each day; even if they work just as hard, if not harder.   This is a …

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Behind the Scenes of Collaboration

August 22, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

If collaboration was so easy, everyone would be doing it and great ideas would grow like flowers on a sunny spring day. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple and great ideas are not guaranteed; no matter how collaboration tools an organization has in place. In an HBR article, Nilofer Merchant lists “Eight Dangers of Collaboration” which are really roadblocks that need to be overcome. This leads to two truths that must be accepted in order to successfully collaborate.  Ambiguity is inherent Conflict is inevitable.  In most instances where collaboration is needed there is no right answer; multiple plausible options and a few great options …

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With the Olympics taking place in London this year, many local businesses throughout the city braced themselves for the increase in tourists and potential disruption of daily operations. While the actual totals are still being calculated, the total population of London was expected to expand by a third, with approximately an additional million people using the “Tube” or subway each day. What was normally a 10-15 minute commute to work could take 30- 45 minutes; placing a significant burden on employees and corporations alike. Advanced planning and preparation were needed prior to the Olympic Games to keep corporations and other organizations …

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The Exponential Power of Video Conferencing

August 16, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

I stumbled across an old HBR article the other day called Introducing the Collaboration Curve. Despite the World of Warcraft analogies, it raised a few very interesting points that not only relate to video conferencing but to the value of collaboration itself. The first point the authors discuss is the “network effect” which states the value of a node in a network rises exponentially as more nodes are added to it. Essentially, “the more participants –and interactions between those participants – you add to a carefully designed and nurtured environment, the more the rate of performance improvement goes up.” This makes sense …

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Embrace Conflict for High Performance Teams

August 13, 2012, by Lisa Avvocato in Collaboration

Conflict is a part of everyday life; whether it’s someone cutting you in line at Starbucks, an argument with your spouse about what to eat for dinner, or a disagreement with a co-worker about how to prepare for a zombie attack. In these instances, the conflict isn’t really that big of problem. But, what about disagreements over pricing for a new product or departmental funding? These situations can have major ramifications among team members and some organizations will try to avoid conflict at all costs. But is that healthy? Should conflict be eliminated? In many cases the answer is no, opposing …

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With collaboration becoming more and more social, we will be looking at the effect of social media on society, culture, and group dynamics. What better way than to start with the 2012 Olympics in London, a social media hot spot. NBC’s coverage of the Olympics includes tape-delayed broadcasts of live events that are available in real-time to fans around the world via NBC’s live video streaming service and various social media web sites. It would seem that in the age of up-to-the-minute news and sports coverage, NBC may suffer a decline in TV viewers of the games. Actually, social media’s influence may …

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Social collaboration, a combination of social media, visual collaboration and unified communications, is becoming a significant trend in business today. When used together, these technologies can improve products or processes and ultimately drive true innovation which has a direct impact on a firm’s bottom line. This is the final post in a series discussing the benefits of social collaboration. For part one click here. Customer needs are changing faster than the weather these days and companies have to find new ways to adapt; otherwise they will simply fade away. Pushing products or services upon customers, à la advertising or herded …

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