Archive for December, 2021

More YOU, More TRUE in 2022

December 29, 2021

It’s quiet in the workplace, not a meeting this week, not even a touch-base.

The office is full of chairs all tucked-in, wWith echoes of past comments from guffaw to chagrin.

The voicemail, when triggered, repeats with good care: “We’d love to help out, but we’re simply not there.”

Downtime and leisure were once dreams in our heads, now visions from Netflix and shared bottles of red.

Laugh full, learn much, dive deep into a book, make all the good dishes you once labored to cook.

Take a breath, sing a song, put the laptop on ice, make a friend, play a game, take my advice.

Stay centered, replenished, more YOU, more TRUE, let’s keep “making it work” in 2022.

Fourth Annual Men Who Open Doors

December 10, 2021

FountainBlue’s December 10 When She Speaks program was our Fourth Annual ‘Men Who Open Doors’ topic. Please join me in thanking our hosts at Nova Measuring Instruments and our esteemed panelists. 

MenOpenDoors2021.png
Sponsors2021List.png

We were fortunate to have such passionate and diverse panelists speaking on the sponsorship topic this month. Although our nominated executives represented different backgrounds, roles and industries, they had much in common, and generously shared their best practices for sponsoring women and people with diverse backgrounds.

The business imperatives for sponsorship of people with diverse backgrounds range from innovation to product design, from culture and leadership development to team chemistry and market expansion, from problem solving to conflict management. Our sponsors all consistently think, speak and act like sponsors who lead diverse teams to collaboratively achieve outrageous goals which positively impact all stakeholders.

Below is a compilation of advice on how to better sponsor diverse others.

Lead On

  • Listen to truly understand the needs of the other, and frame offerings based on the needs of that person.
  • Be calmly, eloquently, passionately consistent about your sponsorship agenda and the business case around that agenda, and collaboratively work with others to deliver impact on objectives.
  • Be inspiring about the vision, strategic in your planning, diligent on your execution, collaborative and empowering with your style, and relentless in your pursuit of that diversity agenda.
  • Recognize people, celebrate successes, and build a diverse community aligned not just on noble ideas and causes, but also on delivering customer value. 
  • Encourage disruptive and respectful inquiry.

Step In

  • Step up and step in against every infraction, with every injustice, and make it safe for others to do the same. 
  • Take a chance on others and help them succeed in stretch assignments which fit their passion and skills, and the needs of your organization.

Raise the Bar

  • Hold yourself to a higher standard and monitor your own unconscious biases.
  • Hire for attitude and growth mindset and a willingness to work hard and learn. 
  • Have zero tolerance for bullying, discrimination, and other disempowering behaviors and unequal treatments. 
  • Make a stand for meritocracy and call out inequities and outdated practices which unfairly favor one person or group over another for reasons that don’t make sense and reasons that don’t support the bottom line.

This year’s ‘Men Who Open Doors’ honorees give us hope that we too can practice the types of empathetic, collaborative and emotionally intelligent thoughts, words and behaviors, while achieving business results. 

Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

December 10, 2021
FountainBlue’s Dec 10 VIP Roundtable: Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

FountainBlue’s December 10 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Smart Cities, Smart Buildings’, with opening remarks by Intel. As usual, our executives in attendance had deep technical expertise and work with a wide range of business models, all designed to support specific and relevant use cases for today, and to create more integrated and robust solutions and opportunities for tomorrow. For decades, an increasingly larger proportion of people are moving from rural to urban and suburban areas, which necessitates companies, leaders, cities and governments to optimize our cities and buildings so that we can better connect, manage, secure and support larger populations of diverse people. Below is a compilation of thoughts and advice for creating smarter cities and smarter buildings.

  • Proactively collaborate to better manage your company’s strategy, plan, processes, and vision.
  • Manage manufacturing, supply chain, operational and distribution processes to optimize the end-to-end envisioning, development, distribution and integration cycles.
  • Create modules which would allow developers and partners to design custom solutions to solve specific problems, while addressing performance, power, cost, and integration challenges.
  • Be curious about the needs of the customer, as well as the trends in the market so you can offer practical solutions for current customers, while creating the infrastructure, products and support needed to serve future needs.
  • Collect the data and create algorithms focusing on the most relevant, actionable data, rather than working on assumption-based models. Look also beyond the immediate implications of the data to the longer-term impact and implications for the data collected.
  • Embrace the technology while looking also at the business models and market trends, and focusing on the longer-term impact of the solutions and choices we’re making today.
  • Empower lower-skill and new workers to collect the data and work with them to understand how that data can make our buildings and cities smarter, and why that matters.
  • Question not just why the technology is cool, but also how we can leverage the technology to serve a real-world need, making our buildings and cities safer, more integrated, more connected, more customized.

Today’s solutions will be complex – from a technology perspective with hardware, software, cloud and integration issues, from a business perspective with adoption, partnership, development and people issues, from an execution perspective with integration, infrastructure, implementation, operational and distribution issues, from a governance perspective with regulatory, compliance, alliance and other issues. And solutions will require individual leaders, teams, organizations, industries and countries to work together. But if we work together, we can leverage technologies such as AI and ML and edge computing and beyond, to better support the economic, environmental, social, and community needs of people in the buildings they occupy, in the cities where they live.

Open Hearts, Open Minds

December 3, 2021

OpenHeartsOpenMindsPanel.png

FountainBlue’s December 3 Front Line Managers Online meeting on the topic of ‘Open Hearts, Open Minds’. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. We were fortunate to have such open-minded, open-hearted leaders for today’s program. Below is a compilation of best practices for leading and following with an open heart and an open mind.

Think Strategically and Start with the Why

  • Make sure that the change is a necessary one, and worth the effort.
  • Know what success looks like and what needs to be measured to achieve the change objectives. 
  • Accept that not everyone can make the shifts needed to embrace the opportunities around the challenges of change.
  • Manage by objectives, ensuring alignment on goals and measured, time-lined outcomes.
  • Communicate the whys behind the changes in a language which resonates with the intended audiences.

Be Authentic, Transparent and True, Making it Safe for Others to Do the Same

  • Consistently think, speak and walk the talk.
  • Be vulnerable and human, and make it safe so that others feel like they can be the same way.

Embrace Opportunities to Learn and Grow – Change is a part of life, so embrace opportunities to learn and grow from the change, or risk being left behind. 

  • Know why you (or others) are resistant to change and work with them to make it happen. 
  • Help others connect the dots for themselves.
  • Be curious and ask open ended questions.

Focus on Positive and Constructive Thoughts, Opportunities and People

  • Make the best of what you’re given.
  • Help others find that right fit, even if it’s not within your team or organization.

Collaborate and Work with Others – together we are better

  • Model and reward collaboration.
  • Create a platform where internal and external stakeholders can work together, aligned on common goals.

Our panelists challenge us to embrace that growth mindset, to collaboratively work together, with open minds and open hearts to address challenges and opportunities for a future we can’t predict.

Start with the Truth

December 1, 2021

Over the past month, there have been many questions and conversations around truth. Indeed, whether the coaching, advising or consulting questions were around decision-making or problem-solving, innovation or engagement, retention or conflict resolution, truth was the foundational step toward progress. I have therefore summarized a list of criteria to guide the search for truth. I hope that you find it useful.

  1. Validity: 
    • What is the data and how do you know that it reflects past, current and projected conditions?
  2. Usefulness: 
    • Would it be helpful to share the truth? If so, which people and groups would benefit (or not) and why?
  3. Urgency: 
    • Is there an urgent need to take action on the truth? If so, why so and which groups or people are urgently impacted?
  4. Timing: 
    • If there’s not an urgent need, when *is* the right time to share this truth and to which people or groups and why?  
  5. Impact: 
    • Who is impacted by the truth? How would you communicate the truth to the different groups of impacted people?
  6. Agendas: 
    • What are the motivations of the parties sharing information? How would their motivations taint what they portray to be true? How would the truth support them in achieving their goals?
  7. Transparency: 
    • Are all parties being transparent about what’s true? Will you be communicating the full truth to all parties? Why or why not? 
  8. Options: 
    • What are the best options for being firm but kind and fair but consistent?  
  9. Morality: 
    • What are the moral, legal and ethical issues of the dilemma, given the best options available for responding to the truth?
  10. Ripple Effect: 
    • What are the ripple effects of the actions taken on culture, brand, relationships, business, etc.,?

What are your thoughts? How can focusing on the truth support yourself and your team in reaching corporate and cultural objectives?