Archive for December, 2019

Men Who Open Doors

December 20, 2019

MenOpenDoors.jpg

FountainBlue’s December 13 When She Speaks event was on the topic of Men Who Open Doors.  This month’s panelists represented a wide range of companies, backgrounds and roles, but they had much in common which made them great sponsors.

  • They consistently and strategically sponsor the women in their organization because they believe in the business, professional and personal benefits for doing so
  • They have success stories which show how sponsorship has benefited individuals, teams, and organizations.
  • They support and espouse a culture of inclusive beyond the people they can personally sponsor.

Below is advice they shared about how to sponsor a promising staff member.

  • Doing the right thing by someone and supporting their advancement is also good for your culture, your product, your company.
  • Be an empathetic and proactive listener. 
  • Help someone clarify their passion, and create a path to work on something of interest to her/him.
  • Have a merit-based view of the world.
  • See others without the filter of judgment. 
  • Learn from everyone, no matter what their role is, what their organization is.
  • Invite diverse perspectives to support everything from product development to decision-making, from hiring to marketing.
  • Encourage people to stop complaining and start doing something. Empower them to succeed.
  • Allow access to key leaders and customers so that they can see the larger perspective. 
  • Give them opportunities to prove themselves, to shine and thrive.
  • Help people gain the self confidence to reach beyond their comfort zone.

Below is advice for people who are seeking sponsors.

  • Be strategic about what you’re looking for, who can help you, how she/he can help you.
  • Know that not all sponsors are the right ones for you, and even that not all sponsors are good sponsors.
  • Be clear on your interests and your passion, and how these things can benefit the product, the group, the organization.
  • Be willing to work hard, to learn to think, speak and act differently.
  • Embrace feedback and input.
  • Be open minded about available options.

Below is advice on how we can help each other move the needle forward.

  • Help and support others, even if it’s not your job to do so.
  • Choose to do the right thing, and help others to do the same.
  • Have an abundance mindset – the more you help someone else – even if that person is not directly related to you – the more you help everyone.
  • Help someone find his or her voice.
  • Make a stand for someone whose not acknowledged.
  • Defend someone from the games others are playing to undermine her/him.

The bottom line with these sponsors is that they whole-heartedly believe that together with a more diverse, more inclusive team, we are ALL better off, in the short term and for the long term.


Please join me in thanking our panelists and our hosts at Texas Instruments.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; Director, Vonzos Partners
  • Panelist Dr. Benjamin Cook, Sr. Director, Nanotechnology – Kilby Labs, CTO Organization, Texas Instruments
  • Panelist JD Dillon, Vice President of Marketing, Enphase Energy
  • Panelist Martin Jessen, VP Learning Solutions North America, Schneider Electric
  • Panelist Mike Snell, Vice President of Operations, Global Operations, Lam Research
  • Panelist Jon Woolvine, Distinguished Engineer, Director Information Technology, Cisco 
  • with opening remarks provided by Rajni Dharmarajan, Product line General Manager, Texas Instruments

Thoughts on Spirituality

December 8, 2019

Spirituality

My thoughts on spirituality, Linda Holroyd, December 8, 2019

The end of the year, and the start of the new year, is a time of reflection. I find myself thinking about Spirituality. I’m sharing my thoughts below.

Spirituality is about the Head, the Heart and the Hands. 

From the Head, we can read our history books and study religions and religious beliefs and traditions. It helps us understand how people think, speak and act, and helps us understand what spirituality means for people who are not like ourselves. Spiritual growth for the head is about reading, researching, learning and integrating information about what’s important to others.

From the Heart, spirituality is about how we touch people emotionally, and how people touch each other. The goal is to bring peace, love, forgiveness, all these good things to human relations, especially when there have been breaches between people, conflict between groups. Thus, spiritual growth from the heart is about learning to better love, better accept each other as one, no matter how different we are from each other.

From the Hands, spirituality is about doing things great and small which would bring together people who are different from each other. Whether it’s about attending meetings together, resolving conflicts with each other, attending a party or a service or a wedding, the bringing together of people who are naturally different is inherently a spiritual task. The people who bring together others are priests, managers, leaders, facilitators. We owe them a great debt.

It could stop here, but it doesn’t.

Spirituality transcends what we as humans can understand. Far overshadowing our view of the head, the heart and the hands is a world beyond our ability to comprehend, control or even imagine. It’s expressed in the big things that make us feel small: 

  • in nature:
    • when we witness the miracles of birth, growth and death,
    • when we witness the majesty of both sunsets and hailstorms,
    • when we witness the terror of earthquakes and typhoons;
  • in people when the strength of the human spirit overcomes overwhelming odds; 
  • in the soul-stirring expressions found in art, music, dance, words;
  • in the wealth of data which helps us understand how small our world is, how insignificant we each are.

For me, it’s always been overwhelming to consider that level of spirituality. I think, ‘if we are so small and insignificant, then nothing we do matters’. Right?

I’ve always gone forward anyway, doing the small things within my power to support the head, heart, and hands of spiritual growth for myself and for those I may touch. As small and as un-pure are they sometimes are, I’d like to think that my thoughts, my words, my actions matter, for my own spiritual development, and for that of those around me.

In closing, I’d like to share a Hindu greeting – Namaste – “May our minds and hearts come together”. 

Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

December 8, 2019

SmartCities

FountainBlue’s December 6 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Smart Cities, Smart Buildings’. Thank you also to our gracious host at Hyundai. Below are notes from the conversation.  

As usual, our executives in attendance for this month’s roundtable represented a wide breadth of companies, industries, experience and perspectives. They shared many common thoughts around this month’s topic.

They each agreed that it’s always about the data. (Of course it’s about the data.!) However, instead of thinking about the vast volumes of generated data (which has doubled in the last 3-5 years!), think about how best to filter that data so that it’s immediately relevant, as defined by individual users.

In the context of smart cities and smart buildings, remember that we are talking about 1) physical hardware – from networks to computers to robotics and sensors – and 2) the data generated by all these physical elements (see above), and then 3) the leveraging of that data through software and integrated solutions so that we address specific customer and market needs. 

Below are several specific use cases.

  • Automobile manufacturers are becoming smart mobility partners as well. It’s not just about selling cars, it’s about providing an experience which keeps drivers and passengers connected and safe. 
  • Robotics solutions will help deliver goods to the last mile, within city infrastructure – both physical and digital (networks). 
  • Provide transit for the last mile in crowded cities – transit which is flexible, customizable and safe. 
  • Occupancy maps for buildings and more sophisticated lighting and heating options will optimize building efficiency. The technology is available for the most part, but the adoption may be slow.
  • Doors becoming sensors may help manage security and access into buildings.
  • Sophisticated cameras can help proactively target the type of outlying behaviors worthy of action, and quickly mobilize relevant authorities. 
  • Connecting inanimate objects with each other – car-to-car, car-to-building, sensor-to-building, etc., can help address specific communication and collaboration and safety goals. It will also generate huge volumes of data which need to be managed proactively.
  • Provide low-friction shared mobility in collaboration with local cities, businesses, citizens while also respecting the privacy and security of all participants. Then leveraging aggregated and anonymized data to better understand how we can anticipate and serve individuals, groups, etc., and better anticipate the motivations and behaviors of individuals. There are many business implications if this is done well. 

Below are thoughts on how generating relevant data will lead to new businesses and better business models.

  • With volumes of collected data, you can not just understand who’s going where when, but also look at the patterns of behavior and see what might be impacting specific behaviors. These ‘movement maps’ is machine learning at its finest!
  • The ability to dynamically filter data based on a multitude of factors will create endless business opportunities, especially if the same data set can serve many different niche customers, and deeply serve individual customers.
  • Understanding past behaviors and data, and also current patterns of behavior will help businesses better anticipate and address needs. The possibilities are endless.
  • Having a standard set of protocols and formats will help integrate and manage data. Collaboration needs to happen in order to set these standards.

The group shared some final thoughts in specific areas:

  • Personalization is key – how do you both provide exactly and specifically what someone wants while also dynamically serving everyone else and their specific needs?
  • Security is fundamental. 
  • Privacy is to always be respected. 
  • Collaboration between government authorities, businesses, investors, users, etc., is essential.

We concluded with many thoughts on the Circular Economy and asked ourselves how can we all do good – serving those with some basic human needs, while also doing well? What’s the business case for serving those with the basic needs and who will help bring everyone forward. We didn’t have an answer, but agreed with Margaret Mead. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Gifts for All Seasons

December 1, 2019

Gifts

It’s that time of year, when you’re wondering why time keeps passing so quickly, and wondering what you’re going to give and receive, and how you’re going to make time to get what everything done and make everyone on your list happy.!

Good luck with that. May this year of holiday hectic-ness bring you also these gifts – Gifts for All Seasons.

  1. May you have all the material comforts which position you to reach higher and be a better version of yourself.
  2. May you adopt that gracious and appreciative mindset, which helps you enjoy the little things in life.
  3. May each unexpected surprise lead to glorious new adventures and opportunities.
  4. May the gifts of joy and laughter pepper your day-to-day activities, today and every day.
  5. May you adopt an open and accepting perspective for those you love the most and bother you the most.
  6. May you ever choose the gift of continuous learning.
  7. May you achieve dreams beyond your imagination, more than you thought possible.
  8. May you gain acceptance for your own shortcomings, and others for theirs.
  9. May you be surrounded by those you love, and sometimes also by those who are hard-to-love.
  10. May you embrace the gift of hope when life proves itself most challenging.

Wishing everyone a Happy, Safe, Peaceful and Restful end-of-2019.