Archive for August, 2020

Courage – The Great Differentiator

August 25, 2020

Courage

Courage is the great differentiator. It separates Leaders from wannabes, Managers from almost-winners. Yet we each have the opportunity to be courageous regardless of our title, our role, our history, our circumstances. This blog muses on some different kinds of courage you may experience, and invites you to accept and celebrate each opportunity to display courage.

  1. Blind Courage is the unthinking courage exhibited in emergency situations, particularly when a loved one is in danger. Generally, it’s an immediate, unthinking and urgent response to circumstances.
  2. Faith is the kind of courage which helps people persevere and have hope despite the circumstances. Having faith gives us the hope to get trying, to keep getting better, to look to a brighter future, a bigger and better outcome.
  3. Responsive Courage to an Imminent Threat involves understanding current and future circumstances and bravely taking action to address an inevitable, predictable threat.
  4. Responsive Courage to a Perceived Threat is also about preparing for a difficult event, but it’s an event which may or may not happen, but there’s dread that it *might* happen.
  5. Responsive Courage to a Future Threat is about taking courageous measures for an event which would take place in the future.
  6. Conditional Courage means that you could be courageous under specific circumstances -maybe it’s when you’re engaging in a specific sport, or maybe you’re more brave when you are working with specific others or working on specific types of projects.
  7. Qualified Courage is the type of courage you feel when you’ve earned or learned or done something which makes you feel confident enough to or qualified enough to perform a risky task which takes skill, education and talent.
  8. Authoritative Courage is the courage assigned to someone who has adopted a specific role. Sometimes there’s training involved, as for soldiers or policemen and firemen, and sometimes there isn’t much training involved, when you’re a parent for example.
  9. Situational Courage is when someone tends to be more courageous under specific circumstances. For example, as I’m both a weak skier and a weak diver, I would never volunteer to rescue anyone on the slopes or in deep waters.
  10. Integrated Courage is a blend of the types of courage listed above, and other types not mentioned. Having a courageous mindset makes you more likely to choose courage and stand out in a good way. Understanding that there are many different kinds of courage will help you be more open to accepting the courage of others, and displaying some courage yourself.

Be Bold. Be Different. Be Courageous.

One of the Onlys

August 14, 2020
Aug14OneOfTheOnlys
Aug14Panel

FountainBlue’s August 14 When She Speaks event on the topic of ‘One of the Onlys’.

Our panelists represented a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, companies and roles. Although they were each unique and accomplished, they had much in common.

  • They had strong relationships with key family members who helped them feel confident from a young age.
  • They create and facilitate a culture of support, a mindset of abundance at work and with their team.
  • They are confident in their uniqueness and celebrate their own individuality. They encourage and inspire others to do the same.
  • They are introspective and self-aware while also being communicative and engaging and direct.
  • They are so quotable, relatable and amusing!
Below is a compilation of their advice.
  • Be courageous enough to try new things and say ‘yes’ to opportunities which would stretch their own abilities.
  • Broaden your definition of what excellence looks like, for excellence comes in many shapes and sizes.
  • Be collaborative as often as you can, but be willing to adopt a command and control mindset if you need to do so for the good of the product, the team, the company.
  • Err on the side of helping and supporting and mentoring others.
  • Learn from your failures and be stronger and braver and more courageous because you’ve learned how to fail well.
  • Be authentic, genuine and sincere, humble and modest. But these qualities don’t mean that you should let others take credit for the work you perform.
  • Don’t let others classify you by your gender, race, background, education, (fill in the blank). Be uniquely, unequivocally, unapologetically yourself.
  • Take every opportunity to explore your own blind spots, to learn more about yourself and about others.
  • Consistently persevere and overcome extraordinary obstacles.
  • When you fail, have your left brain (the logical side) learn from the failure, and manage your right brain (the feeling side) so that you can be courageous enough to try again, even if you’re again risking failure.
  • Understand that everyone experiences a different sense of reality, and that everyone’s reality is absolutely real to them. Do what you can to expand your own version of reality, and help them to see a broader reality as well, if they invite you to do so.
We will conclude by saying that our panelists are all originals, each unique in their approaches to leading and managing. They inspired us with their stories and gave us much to think about how we can more gently embrace and nurture ourselves.
Aug14Panel

Please join me in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s August 14 When She Speaks event on the topic of ‘One of the Onlys’ and our hosts at Lam Research, and our esteemed panelists: 

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Antoinette Hamilton, Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Lam Research
  • Panelist Indira Joshi, Head of Technical Marketing, Emerging Memory Solutions, Micron
  • Panelist Monika Thakur, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle
  • Panelist Lisa Violet, Chief Auditor, Varo Money

What’s Next in Mobility

August 14, 2020

Mobility

FountainBlue’s August 14 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘What’s Next in Mobility’, conducted online with introductory remarks provided by our host company at Samsung.

We were fortunate to have a diverse range of executives in attendance who shared a wide range of perspectives across organizations, across industries, across roles.

The definitions around mobility varied greatly, and are all equally valid. Whether we’re talking about physical mobility or wireless mobility or virtual and immersive mobility, they are all forms of mobility.

And each form of mobility is increasingly adopting a more digital implementation. Indeed, mobility is the great differentiator, and leaders, companies, industries, and countries embracing digital transformation will continue to lead and succeed.

The converse is also true. Leaders, companies and industries which do not embrace the opportunities around digitization and mobility, those who do not embrace the opportunities around market disruptions will be left behind.

With physical mobility, there are opportunities around autonomous driving, clean energy, in-vehicle communication, and transportation in the air and in the water. Although the business case for autonomous driving may be years away, we are already proving that the efficient delivery of products to center hubs (e.g. not last mile) provides a huge market opportunity. 

Wireless mobility is enabling workers to remain in communication and remain productive despite the challenges of working from home. The mass adoption of wireless mobility in these days of sheltering at home shows that we can be amazingly productive, but also that wireless mobility helps us do things beyond work, like telehealth.

And virtual reality brings mobility to the next level with the immersion capabilities of augmented reality. Our panelists talked about several use cases where AR/VR, with the support of AI help enterprises to better manage, to better perform, even when we have to choose contact-free options, even when we are separated by great distances.

With that said, there are challenges to the mass adoption of digital solutions enabling mobility.

  • 5G and 6G mobile networks need to be adopted to get better, faster, more reliable access to bandwidth so that we can process the data. This will take a collaboration of industry, government (local, national), and community leaders.
  • Digital adoption requires endpoints/hardware like phones, tablets, laptops and computers. But having them is not enough. We must be trained on how to effectively and efficiently use these tools. (And those individuals and groups and communities not embracing the digital age most certainly will be left behind.)
  • Solutions must be secure and private, following protocols and policies which protect the rights of the users, while also protecting the greater community, the greater good.
  • Adoption by some industries, including oil and gas and energy and healthcare, will be slower than adoption by tech industries including hardware and software.

Below are some examples of opportunities ahead.

  • There will always be the opportunity to make individual solutions more seamless, more ubiquitous.
  • The more we help the less educated, the less informed, the more tech-philic we all become, the larger the market opportunity will be, the more empowered we will all feel.
  • Wireless mobility is making working from home possible when we are sheltering in place. Continuing advancements in this area will help us all be more productive with our work, and also be better able to connect virtually with others as we play and interact. (Nobody said that this replaces face to face interactions – humans are social animal.!)
  • While it may not yet be safe now to play most sports (unless we are in a closed loop environment), there are opportunities to develop virtual / online entertainment solutions which would resonate with huge volumes of users.
  • Optimizing supply chain and manufacturing costs will continue to be a huge opportunity.
  • Robots and humans will co-exist and mobility solutions will help them optimize how they work together.
  • Contact-free access to experts will be a growing ‘thing’, even when we’re past the pandemic. It’s just more efficient to connect experts to others located anywhere around the world.
  • Optimizing security, privacy while providing full access to users will always be an area of great need.
  • The volume of available data keeps growing. But the more data we have, the more efficiently we need to process the data, so that users can make informed decisions. There will always be opportunities to optimize secure and dynamic access to ‘true’ data.
  • Building user interfaces for applications focused on specific personas (types of customers) will be a huge opportunity. 
  • Chatbots and automation will continue to provide huge opportunities.
  • Mobility solutions are needed in clean room environments where cell phones are not allowed.
  • IoT solutions leveraging RISC-V, a free and open ISA can enable a new era of processor innovation through open standard collaboration, including customized ASICS for IoT.

Finally, there are comments on how we can each support what’s next in mobility.

  • Join advisories and collectives which will help create collaborations for technology adoption of technology standards.
  • Create cross-industry, cross-leader, cross-organization, cross-country partnerships to serve the needs of the customer.
  • Do your part to bridge the digital divide, helping those less fortunate to be better educated, better prepared, and better equipped to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

It’s clear that What’s Next in Mobility is providing many opportunities to better communicate, collaborate, and celebrate together. The digital is bridging the physical – the more who embrace and join the revolution, the better it is for all.

Please join me in thanking our hosts at Samsung, and our participating executives.

The Stress Sandwich

August 1, 2020
StressSandwich

Graphic by Chanti Holroyd Mention this graphic for a 20% discount chantih@gmail.com

Stress. It’s a part of life, especially in the fast-faced tech start-ups pressured to innovate and lead faster and better.

And things are much complicated with the divisiveness and uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the resulting economic distress and civil discord.

Yet we must all carry on, and we will. Below are my secrets for managing stress, especially when times are tough. I call it a Stress Sandwich.

Morning – the bottom slice of bread

As you look into the mirror, preparing for each day, ask myself two questions:

  • What am I grateful for?
  • What will I accomplish today?

Expect the responses to vary each day. There are no right answers. Expect responses to be sometimes detailed, sometimes personal, sometimes strategic, sometimes even funny, but the questions should remain the same every day.

Daytime – the everything in the middle

Throughout the day, expect to encounter stressful situations and respond to these stressors by asking yourself some questions.

  • Is it real? 
    • We get so much information. Is the thing you’re stressed about real? How do you validate the information? 
  • Will it affect you?
    • If it does, you can respond from there.
    • If it affects others close to you, it may still be relevant but may be less urgent, less meaningful.
  • Is it important to you in the short term?
    • If so, respond appropriately, especially if it’s urgent.
    • If not, is it important in the long term?
      • Either way, respond accordingly, knowing the long-term impact.
  • Is it your problem or someone else’s problem?
    • Knowing the answer will help you respond. Solving someone else’s problem brings on more stress and doesn’t necessarily address the underlying issue, while possibly causing other issues. (This doesn’t mean that you ignore the problem if it’s someone else’s problem.)
  • If it’s confirmed as your problem:
    • What is the problem specifically?
      • How is it best immediately addressed?
      • What is the underlying cause of the problem?
      • How can you address that underlying cause?
    • How did you personally contribute to the problem, if you did indeed do so?
  • Regardless of whether it’s your problem:
    • What can you learn about yourself and about the problem?
  • How can you manage the stress around the problem?
  • How can you support others through the problem?

Evening: The top slice of bread

As you wrap up for the day, look at yourself in the mirror and do three things:

  • Tell yourself what you’ve done right today and in the past. 
  • What can you do better tomorrow?
  • Tell yourself good job. Tomorrow is another day.

I’ll close by suggesting that you treat yourself by doing 4-6 items from the list below, to help manage your own stress level.

  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Sing
  • Garden
  • Celebrate
  • Laugh
  • Learn something new
  • Go out in nature
  • Think/Say/Do Something Unexpected
  • Make someone laugh
  • Talk to someone who makes you laugh or cry or see/hear/feel/understand something better
  • Help and support someone

STRESS has always been a part of life, and will be more so in the next normal. I hope that these strategies help you make the best of it.

A PDF version of the graphic is available here: Stress Sandwich.