Author Archive

Unconscious Bias

November 11, 2019
UnconsciousBias

Left to Right: Sonya, Megan, Martha, Linda, Alia, Sujatha

FountainBlue’s November 8 When She Speaks event on the topic of Overcoming Unconscious Bias. Our panelists represented a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds, yet they had much in common.

  • Each are intelligent, driven, flexible and competent enough to excel in a corporate environment while remaining business-focused and people-centric.
  • Each are committed to sharing their best practices, in the interest of supporting the larger community.
  • Each has the self-awareness and confidence to address and confront their own unconscious biases, and stoically plod on the self-improvement journey, while supporting others with theirs.

They shared their advice with wisdom, insight and humor.

  • Be slow to judge, quick to support.
  • Be actively thinking, actively listening to what’s said and what’s meant.
  • Look closely, judge kindly.
  • Reflection and introspection help people get grounded and centered.
  • Take all the help you can get to manage your own unconscious biases – whether it’s through your company, your trusted board of advisers, your school and community, etc.,
  • Choose to be the bigger person when you are the one being judged. Consistently build that brand of taking the high road. Deliver with your results.
  • Recruit others to support you in overcoming biases, conscious and conscious.
  • Watch your language. Manage your filters. 
  • Pick your battles. Address the mid-term and long-term goals. The short term battles are difficult to win, especially when the biases aren’t conscious, when the judgements run deep.
  • Know what you can influence and what you can’t influence. Accept what you can’t influence – (at least not in the short term.)
  • Watch the packaging – how you dress, look and act may have others judging you favorably or unfavorably. Aim not to offend.
  • Have honest conversations with yourself about any biases you might have.
  • Immerse yourself in uncomfortable situations and circumstances so that you can better understand those who are not-like-you.
  • Spell out how others are categorized and considered for hiring and promotion. Is it fair and just? Is it generating the diverse results you say you’re seeking?
  • Create processes which would help others fairly consider all options.
  • Watch the exceptions that you’re making, to ensure that those exceptions are fairly distributed.

In the end, we concluded that it’s hard to be open to your own biases when you don’t know that you have them, or what they are. Assume that you do. That everyone does.

You can only manage your own journey, and support others as they manage theirs.


Please join me in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s November 8 When She Speaks event on the topic of Overcoming Unconscious Bias and our gracious hosts at Aruba HPE.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Alia Ayub, Vice President of Tax, Lam Research
  • Panelist Megan Cheek, Head of Human Resources, Anatomage
  • Panelist Sujatha Mandava, VP of Product Management, Aruba HPE
  • Panelist Sonya Pelia, CMO, Cira Apps Limited
  • Panelist Martha Ryan, Executive Director Business Transformation, Maxim

Mentorship

November 11, 2019
Mentorship2019HonoreesFountainBlue’s First Annual Mentorship Awards event, part of the When She Speaks series, was scheduled for November 1.
Our mentorship awardees this year had a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, but each had much in common:
  • they each valued the input of the mentors from an early age and on an ongoing basis;
  • they worked with their companies to create a program which support dozens and even hundreds of men and women;
  • they each continued to mentor others as they themselves advanced in their careers;
  • they are each committed to continuing to mentor others, on top of their immense work responsibilities, community commitments, and the day-to-day joys and challenges of a busy family.
Our panelists agreed on the short term and long-term benefits of mentorship. Mentors can help solve current problems, but they can also help with longer-term gains building confidence, expanding perception, providing support, especially when times are tough.
 
There are many reasons to become a mentor. Not only is it personally satisfying, but also supports the professional development of mentees, but also the team and organization as a whole. Mentoring is a great way to give back – to your team, to your company, to your community, to the next generation. 
 
Below is a summary of mentorship best practices.
  • The mentoring relationship is a dynamic one – the needs of both mentors and mentees change over time. Clear communication from both sides help ensure productive interactions between mentees and mentors.
  • One goal from a mentorship relationship is to develop a ‘thicker skin’, so that the mentee is more resilient and confident even if an environment is less than ideal.
  • Mentors can successfully mirror behavior or attitude of the mentee, so that she/he can better understand how others are responding to them.
  • There are many different kinds of mentors and mentoring relationships. Just because you have a technical mentor doesn’t mean that you don’t also need a mentor to help navigate a new role, for example.
  • Mentors can help filter messages and information, so that you focus on what’s important and use your time most wisely.
  • Mentor people at all levels, not just those designated as ‘high-potential’. Even if the mentee never gets into management levels, that mentee would have more influence and more confidence in whichever level they’re in.
  • With that said, make sure that both mentors and mentees are willing participant. It doesn’t work to mandate a mentor-mentee relationship.
  • Have specific criteria if you’re matching mentors and mentees, and have direct communication to ensure that both parties continue to benefit from the connection.
Every speaker remarked on how important it was to develop our people, our relationships, and how mentorship is a critical tool to grow everyone at all levels at scale.

Please join me in congratulating FountainBlue’s 2019 Mentorship Honorees.
  • Amber Barber, Sr. Manager Business Operations Management, Lam Research
  • Serpil Bayraktar, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect’s Office – Development, Cisco
  • Christina Lewis, BU Controller/Director, Enterprise Finance, Western Digital
  • Ronit Polak, VP, Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks
  • Kavita Shah, Senior Director, Strategic Marketing, Nova Measuring Instruments
Thank you also to our hosts at Lam Research, to Erin Yeaman, Managing Director of HR, Lam Research and to Mike Snell, Vice President of Operations, Global Operations, Lam Research for their introductory remarks. 

Data is the New Black

November 9, 2019

data

FountainBlue’s November 1 VIP roundtable, on the topic of ‘Data is the New Black’. Thank you also to our gracious host at Automation Anywhere. Below are notes from the conversation.  

Here’s the thing about data:

  • There’s a wealth of it, and it’s just getting overwhelming bigger.
  • It drives everything – every industry, every person, every company. 
  • It’s good news for the semiconductor industry and other sectors which make sure that we have the storage, the energy, the network needed so that people can keep getting access to that data.
  • Data within legacy systems might be valuable, but it is likely also difficult to access.
  • Data across multiple sources might be useful, but it is likely to connect data across multiple source into a common dataset, useful enough to understand problems and make decisions.

With that said, here’s the challenge and opportunity around data.

  • There’s so much of it that we need to filter it first to identify which data is relevant and then also for what we need immediately, what we need in the short term, and what we might need in the long term.
  • It takes a lot of energy and resources to keep the data, so we must be strategic about what data to keep and how we can efficiently get it into the hands of those who need it most.
  • Compliance to security and privacy issues make data management high-stakes for all. 
  • Having an interoperable standard for data sharing might help better integrate data across sources, teams, companies, industries.
  • Customers today are empowered and fickle. Companies must be able to innovate and customize more quickly to serve their needs.
  • Even adopted solutions have much shorter life cycles today, as customers want solutions which are better and faster and more battery efficient. 
  • People are at the heart of the problem around data privacy. They want their privacy and their access. It’s hard to give people both at the same time every time.  

Below are some shared best practices:

  • Make a plan on how data is gathered, managed and distributed. 
  • Plan for a future with much more data. Be selective about what data is important.
  • Collaborate with other people, companies and industries and share best practices.
  • Focus your data plans on the needs of your customers and your partners.
  • Consider the intentions and ethics around the people and companies providing the data.
  • Policy may not be the answer to managing data mishandling. Indeed, it may cause more complications, less fairness.
  • People should be responsible enough to know how their data is used and astute enough to take the data they receive with a grain of salt – even to the point of questioning the validity of the data and the intentions of the party providing the data.
  • Create solutions with tiny form factors to better address the needs of demanding customers.
  • Ask for less information from customers when you ask them to sign up for something – the less friction you’re providing to the customer experience, the better results you could get.
  • There will be a growing convergence of tech and ethics and values. Speak to the elephant in the room – facilitate that conversation between stakeholders within and across organizations.  
  • Use fewer resources to manage ‘garbage data’. Yes, all data might one day be useful, but focus on the data that’s more likely to be useful, now and soon, rather than data which might one day be useful. 

Below are thoughts on the future opportunities.

  • The future may have more self-learning – e.g. more AI, less raw data.
  • Use ML to identify patterns early enough to address and even prevent diseases. 
  • Making sense of unstructured data provides huge opportunities. 

The bottom line is that data is everywhere – the use of access and usage are complicated, the stakes are high – you want to give the right people immediate and full access without compromising the integrity and accuracy of the data, and while respecting the privacy of those who ‘own’ the data. 

Mentorship vs Sponsorship

November 1, 2019

Sponsors

Of course it’s not an either-or. You need BOTH great mentors and great sponsors to advance and succeed. We talked for the last two posts about mentors, and they are GREAT. Most people can’t advance without them. But based on my decades of direct and indirect experience, the TRUE differentiation is around sponsorship. Below are some reasons why I think that’s the case.

  1. Sponsors, by definition, have the influence, ability and power to nominate, vote for, and hire into key positions.
  2. Sponsors can be coaches and mentors as well, but they also have the ability to support the advancement into a higher level within an organization. Generally coaches and mentors are not also sponsors.
  3. Coaches and mentors might help someone shift into a new role, industry or level, but a sponsor help hard-working, energetic and unproven people actually land in new role or position.
  4. Coaches are more likely to have received training on how to coach. Sponsors aren’t necessarily trained to be sponsors. In fact, sponsors may not even realize they are sponsoring someone. They are focusing on solving a problem – connecting the right people to the right organization/problem set.
  5. Mentors are generally intentional about their mentorship goal, but Sponsors are not necessarily intentional their sponsorship goals and objectives. 
  6. Sponsors, are generally more results- and business- focused rather than people-focused (although of course, they care about the person they’re sponsoring).
  7. Whereas coaches and mentors may be more helpful resolving deep tactical challenges, sponsors may provide more insights with strategic challenges.
  8. Sponsors focus on immediate challenges, as mentors as coaches do, but they also address longer-term challenges, such as proactively building a leadership pipeline, bringing in ideas and talent which would stretch business and technology edge cases, and facilitating collaboration across people, technologies, and teams.
  9. Coaches and mentors touch people at all levels within an organization, whereas sponsors care for people at all levels, but focus on people who have the most impact and influence on others within the organization.
  10. In general, coaches and mentors look from the bottom up – helping the mentee/coached navigate the corporate challenges and opportunities from their own point of view. Sponsors however, help their sponsored employee take a longer-term, strategic, top-down approach about the needs of the company and the value they can bring to the table in the near-term and for the long-term.

Your mileage may vary. Your thoughts are welcome. E-mail us at info@whenshespeaks.com. 

Join us for our December 13, 2019 Second Annual ‘Men Who Open Doors’ panel discussion, featuring some outstanding male sponsors. 

Future of Mobility

October 14, 2019

Mobility

FountainBlue’s October 11 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘The Future of Mobility’. Thank you also to our gracious host at Samsung. Below are notes from the conversation. 

The executives in attendance remarked on the range of perspectives on the future of mobility – from semiconductors to pharma, from auto to software. We agreed on the following:

  • Moore’s Law will also apply to mobility – solutions will be better, faster and with lower latency with advancements happening in ever-shortening periods of time.
  • There will be a constant push-pull between privacy and access. Data ownership and access will be an issue which needs to be proactively managed.
  • Be careful who collects your own data.
  • Ensure that the data you’re collecting is valid and truthful and vetted.
  • The proliferation of devices and data will create increasingly more complex requirements on technologies, people and companies. And the pressure to get it right real-time will be increasingly overwhelming.
  • Build awareness and education so that individuals, leaders, companies will use data and information wisely and well, with integrity.

Below are the strategies for navigating the future of mobility.

  • Build and join ecosystems of partners to manage different facets of very integrated mobility options. Nobody can be an expert at all things.
  • Proactively manage the expectations around mobility solutions and sensors, so that you’re in line with common goals within and across individuals, teams and companies.
  • Accept that there will continue to be a proliferation of mobility solutions, and that there will be a lot of crossover between work and life. Plan your security and IT strategies accordingly.
  • Collaborating between entrepreneurs and corporates will continue to foster innovations in mobility.  

The identified opportunities include:

  • Power storage, distribution and management for mobile devices
  • Infotainment and telematics solutions which support connecting cars and supporting drivers and their passengers
  • 5G solutions which address latency challenges 
  • 3G solutions which provide access to the billions of people who currently don’t have access
  • Edge Computing solutions which facilitate quicker processing at the device level, for faster response times
  • Leveraging lidar and sensors to more accurately and more rapidly process the physical world
  • Providing immersive mobility experiences 

We also had a lively discussion about the role of humans as mobility solutions become more pervasive. We concluded that humans will always be necessary.

  • Mobility solutions might provide you with vetted information and dashboards, but humans will make the decisions.
  • Humans will make creative decisions which might better solve the problem. 
  • Humans will be the ones improving existing solutions and understanding the problems so that new solutions will be created.
  • Humans will be managing all the humans, the devices and solutions – and aligning all toward a common vision and result.

Age of the Customer

October 14, 2019

FountainBlue’s October 11 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘Age of the Customer’. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such a fun, passionate, customer-focused panel to speak on this ‘Age of the Customer’ topic. Clearly their focus on the customer helps them better understand the needs and motivations of internal and external customers. The far-ranging conversation covered the drivers which lead to the empowerment of the customer, including the infrastructure development and technology advancement which influenced this trend:

  • The hardware and software advancements 
  • The networking and bandwidth advancements 
  • The big data, AI, database advancements
  • The sensors, IoT, and other data-generating devices and things

Indeed, the world has become more connected, the customers more empowered. Our panelists agreed that the challenge now is not getting the data, but filtering the data for relevancy; not retrieving the data, but how quickly we can get access to the right data; not creating simple if-then scripts around the data, but creating and continually updating programs to proactive receive and act on relevant data, so we can make real-time inferences and decisions, sometimes when the stakes are very high.

In this age of the customer, proactive companies:

  • invite customers to provide input on current and anticipated problems 
  • integrate historical, customer and market data to better anticipate future needs
  • synthesize data to add strategic value for each customer
  • help internal and external customers better navigate changes in market and technology trends

Below is advice provided by our panelists on how to better serve customers:

  • Be proactive. Err on the side of action. 
  • Don’t let ‘best’ be the enemy of ‘better’. 
  • Align stakeholders on a common cause – the needs of the customer.
  • Be fluid, be open. Don’t be complacent.
  • Invite the feedback and participation from the naysayers.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Be persistent – go over, go around, go through if you must.
  • Build communities.
  • Build relationships.
  • Leverage data and metrics to better understand and address the needs of the customer. 
  • Embrace failure as a lesson in succeeding. But if you must fail, fail fast. Don’t hang on to long to something that will fail. 

We concluded by remarking that serving customers will be more efficient, even as customers becoming more demanding for personalized solutions. So automation, ingenuity and programming will be key. However, humans will always be necessary. There will be no substitute for the human connection. Humans will always be needed to make those decisions, to solve for new problems, to come up with those creative solutions, in this age of the customer.


Please join us in thanking our panelists for FountainBlue’s October 11 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘Age of the Customer’ and our gracious hosts at Pure Storage.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Donelle Block, Director, Global Support Operations, Pure Storage, Inc.
  • Panelist Lauren Larson Diehl, Sr. Director, Customer Success Management Global Program Office, Oracle
  • Panelist Shikha Mittal, Director, Product Management & Strategy, VMWare 
  • Panelist Meena Narayanan, Vice President – People & Culture, Livongo Health
  • with opening remarks by Bill Cerreta, General Manager, Platform BU, Pure Storage

See bios and invitation at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/collaboration

What the Best Mentors Teach Us

October 1, 2019

BestMentorsLast month’s post was an Ode to Mentors. None of us could be where we are without them. It celebrates who mentors are as people and why they are so inspiring and necessary for those around them.

This month, we will build on the topic, and discuss What the Best Mentors Teach Us. Again, these are my thoughts from decades as a mentor, mentee, and bystander. I’ve learned from the best, and even when they weren’t any good, I learned even more about what works for me and why.

I’ve organized my thoughts in three areas:

  • Personal qualities: versatility, resiliency, emotional intelligence, resourcefulness, ‘hungry’
  • Communication qualities: clarity and directness, empowerment, mediation/moderation
  • Network/Connection qualities: empowerment, grow and establish network/community

Your thoughts will vary, but I hope that this summary is thought-provoking.

Personal Qualities

1. Versatility – 

  • The best mentors teach us to be versatile, to adapt to different people, cultures, technologies, industries. 
    • The more you adopt an open and embracive mind set, the better you’ll understand others around you, the more likely you are to succeed on a grander scale.

2. Resiliency – 

  • The best mentors teach us that nothing worth having is easy, and also that the best lessons are often the hardest lessons. They help us pull ourselves up by our bootstraps especially when all seems lost. 
    • With a combination of humor, wisdom, strength, advice and connections, they help us pick ourselves up, shake ourselves off and ask ourselves, ‘What’s next?”

3. Emotional Intelligence – 

  • The best mentors help you understand what you’re feeling, what others are feeling, the reasons for these reactions, the motivations of yourself and others etc.,
    • Understanding your own emotions, and that of others will help you be more compassionate while also being more likely to produce better plans and better results.

4. Resourcefulness – 

  • The best mentors help you be more creative, more flexible and more adaptable around problem-solving. 
    • Seeing the problem from a larger and different point of view helps mentees better address opportunities and challenges.

5. Hungry (Lifelong Learners) –

  •  The best mentors know that life is a journey, not a destination. They teach us to ever reach higher and wider, never settling, never accepting complacency.
    • Going out of the comfort zone and embracing new learnings make life a more interesting, satisfying and entertaining journey.

Communication Abilities

6. Clarity and Directness (of Communication) – 

  • The best mentors help their mentees better understand their own communication styles, and that of others. They challenge us to be more clear, more precise, more inspiring, more diplomatic, more gracious, and more transparent in our communications.
    • There are so many ways to get communications wrong. Mentors help us head off communication traps while helping us better understand how we are coming across to others, and improving the results of our communication overall.

7. Empowerment 

  • The best mentors empower their mentees to solve their own problems, to reach for more than they think they can reach. This is not just a confidence builder, it also opens up a broader, larger view of possibilities for their mentees.
    • As mentors empower their mentees, they, in turn, often consciously or unconsciously empower others around them.  

8. Mediation and Moderation – 

  • The best mentors help us better understand conflict and the motivations of all parties. 
    • They may teach us how to better mediate between parties, how to moderate responses between extreme points of view, and even how to improve the chances of collaboration and consensus.

Network and Community

 9. Network – 

  • The best mentors know how to grow their network, and support mentees in growing theirs. 
    • Having a broad and deep network is key to all the other qualities taught by great mentors.

10. Community –

  • The best mentors help their mentees connect with the people closest to them, and also to the community around them. 
    • The challenge and joy of building close relationships and community helps us all feel fulfilled, challenged, accepted, and understood.

Collaboration

September 25, 2019

CollaborationBestPracticesPanel

We were fortunate to have such a diverse, inspiring and experienced panel of leaders speaking on a range of collaboration concepts. They represented a range of educational backgrounds, corporate experience, and cultural and entrepreneurial backgrounds, but they had much in common.

  • They each leveraged collaboration to bring out the best in themselves and in others. 
  • They are each experts at drawing on the experience and backgrounds and perspectives of others, while focusing on common issues and problems.
  • They are each passionate about learning and growing, and committed to spreading their learnings to others.

Below are some thoughts they shared about the benefits of collaboration:

  • Collaborating with others leads to greater results for all.
  • Collaborating with others who are different than you brings great value still.
  • Business issues ranging from problem-solving to decision-making, from brainstorming to conflict resolution can be resolved through collaboration.

Each panelist emphasized that leaders who can best facilitate collaboration will consistently bring better results. Below is some advice on how to better encourage collaboration.

  • Understand the background and motivations of others, so that you can better work towards a common goal.
  • Identify criteria and factors of importance for a project’s success.
  • Ensure that the data you use is valid and true. That data’s integrity is critical to the success of any project.
  • Larger networks are not necessarily better, but more diverse networks generally can be better. So encourage diversity of thought in your team, for your projects, in your life.
  • Be inclusive of others. Help others feel comfortable contributing.
  • Focus on the needs of the customer. Ask your internal staff, your partners and your customers how you can best serve their needs.
  • Clear, transparent, true communication is critical for all effective collaborations. 
  • All successful collaborations rely on mutual trust.

Here are some final thoughts around collaboration.

  • Be humble. Be open. Be a lifelong learner who believes you can learn from anyone, from every experience.
  • Have a good attitude. Your Attitude and Your Aptitude will define your Altitude.
  • Empathy is the new superpower. Be empathetic to those around you. Understanding everyone’s point of view, and having compassion for their pain-points and challenges will help you better understand yourself and your project.

Resources:

Internet of Everything

September 25, 2019

group hand fist bump

FountainBlue’s September 13 VIP roundtable, on the topic of ‘Internet of Everything’. Thank you also to our gracious host at Micron and to each of you for your input and advice. Below are notes from the conversation. 

On the one hand, the ‘Internet of Everything’ is inevitable and logical, but on the other hand, it’s overblown and ineffective. If first all collectively focus on creating a viable and flexible infrastructure to sustain it, if we could all collaborate to mitigate the downsides around privacy, security, and access, we could positively impact societies and people around the world.

Core to the success for Internet of Everything solutions is the need to optimize data, process, and people. 

  • Data: With the mind-boggling volumes of data available through the ever-growing mass of devices, we must quickly discover, filter, organize, communicate, report on and process real-data efficiency. 
  • Process: We must strategically create processes which would help us receive, manage, communicate, and report on data to the right stakeholders as quickly as possible. These processes must also optimize energy, dollars and people.
  • People: We must ensure that the right people get access to relevant and accurate information quickly so that they can respond accordingly.

As an enterprise leader and as an informed consumer, the Internet of Things is providing some daunting challenges.

  • The blurring line between work and home means that ‘home’ devices show up at work, which may endanger the enterprise network.
  • ‘Intelligent’ appliances might help you optimize what you buy when for example, but might also make you uncomfortable with who might know what about you.
  • Everyone wants everything seamlessly, wirelessly, and simply, but sometimes that’s not easy. We can assume that people will get ever more hungry for bandwidth, meaning a huge and growing demand. But creating that infrastructure is a challenging business, unless we can work together to collaboratively fund it.

Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. 

  • Allow on-premise processing of data for the most important information.
  • Leverage mixed reality, holograms and simulations to connect with experts in support of people addressing specific on-site challenges. 
  • The volumes of generated data will help customers better understand a wide range of problems, and make better decisions, leveraging AI and ML.
  • The idea of ubiquitous communications means so much information from so many sources. Filtering out which communications are essential and important will be a huge ongoing need.

Our executives had some words of caution.

  • Segment out individual devices which may have access to your home or work network. Hackers generally get in on the weakest link.
  • Proactively manage your layers of risk. Ensure that greatest protection for your greatest assets. 
  • Know what’s likely to happen and plan accordingly.

In the end, our executives are practical, emphasizing the need to focus on ROI rather than IoT. 

Collaboration Best Practices

September 25, 2019

CollaborationBestPracticesPanel

FountainBlue’s September 13 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘Collaboration Best Practices’. Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have such a diverse, inspiring and experienced panel of leaders speaking on a range of collaboration concepts. They represented a range of educational backgrounds, corporate experience, and cultural and entrepreneurial backgrounds, but they had much in common.

  • They each leveraged collaboration to bring out the best in themselves and in others. 
  • They are each experts at drawing on the experience and backgrounds and perspectives of others, while focusing on common issues and problems.
  • They are each passionate about learning and growing, and committed to spreading their learnings to others.

Below are some thoughts they shared about the benefits of collaboration:

  • Collaborating with others leads to greater results for all.
  • Collaborating with others who are different than you brings great value still.
  • Business issues ranging from problem-solving to decision-making, from brainstorming to conflict resolution can be resolved through collaboration.

Each panelist emphasized that leaders who can best facilitate collaboration will consistently bring better results. Below is some advice on how to better encourage collaboration.

  • Understand the background and motivations of others, so that you can better work towards a common goal.
  • Identify criteria and factors of importance for a project’s success.
  • Ensure that the data you use is valid and true. That data’s integrity is critical to the success of any project.
  • Larger networks are not necessarily better, but more diverse networks generally can be better. So encourage diversity of thought in your team, for your projects, in your life.
  • Be inclusive of others. Help others feel comfortable contributing.
  • Focus on the needs of the customer. Ask your internal staff, your partners and your customers how you can best serve their needs.
  • Clear, transparent, true communication is critical for all effective collaborations. 
  • All successful collaborations rely on mutual trust.

Here are some final thoughts around collaboration.

  • Be humble. Be open. Be a lifelong learner who believes you can learn from anyone, from every experience.
  • Have a good attitude. Your Attitude and Your Aptitude will define your Altitude.
  • Empathy is the new superpower. Be empathetic to those around you. Understanding everyone’s point of view, and having compassion for their pain-points and challenges will help you better understand yourself and your project.

Resources:

See bios and invitation at https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/collaboration

Please join me in thanking our panelists and our gracious hosts at Western Digital for FountainBlue’s September 13 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘Collaboration Best Practices’:

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
  • Panelist Marilyn Becker, Director, People Analytics, Western Digital
  • Panelist Win Chang, Cloud Customer Experience Director, Oracle
  • Panelist Karthi Gopalan, Product Line Director, Mobile Power BU, Maxim
  • Panelist Shalini Kasliwal, Founder and CEO, JoinEight
  • Panelist Shveta Miglani, Head of Global Learning and Development, Micron