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Building A Collaborative Team

Yahoo-Microsoft Merger Proxy Fight – May 14, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

As I alluded to last week, “It’s not over ’till it’s over” Carl Ichan Looking to Start Yahoo Proxy Fight Money – The Microsoft-Yahoo Merger may not be over. Billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn is considering the prospect of starting a proxy fight to gain several seats on Yahoo’s board in hopes of restarting negotiations…

Now in the ring Sun/Amazon! – May 04, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

The Sun/Amazon cloud may be announced soon. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz delivered a short keynote at Startup Camp in San Francisco, an adjunct event to the JavaOne Conference. According to Om Malik at “buzzya“, he let on to some interesting cloud computing news coming out later this week. Important Article on Cloud Computing and Jeff…

Microsoft gives up on Yahoo? – May 04, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

“Cloud computing is far more than a concept. With Broadband Internet connections now all-but-ubiquitous and microcomputers and locally-run software now so trouble-prone, Cloud Computing’s time has come.” This is a quote from Steve Stroh’s newly started blog on cloud computing. Steve has been writing about about Broadband Wireless Internet Access systems and technology since beginning…

IBM, Google and the Blue Business Platform – May 01, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

Today was good !! This morning. there was a main session built around “CIO 2.0”. The basic premise was that CIOs have now earned a seat at the business management table. With that privilege, they now need to have something worthwhile to say. In accordance with the session’s title then, CIOs are now at a…

The coming cloud – April 30, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

I attended the IBM Public Sector briefing this morning. The IBM executives were clearly basking in a financial performance glow. After ending 2007 with increases in revenue, profit and earnings per share, IBM also turned in an impressive 1Q’08. This being a partner conference, a big highlight was the fact that 36% of IBM’s revenue…

Google, Cloud Computing, and the US Intelligence Community – April 29, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

Just arrived in Los Angeles for the IBM Business Partner Leadership Conference. IBM is billing this as a “new” conference, but I have my doubts. I am, however, very interested in hearing many of the speakers, particularly Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google. His presentation on “The Future of the Web, Cloud Computing and…

Location Based Services – April 25, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

INmobile.org is a exclusive community for executives in wireless industry. As a member, I have the opportunity to participate in a number of interesting discussions about mobile and wireless technology. Here’s a summary of the points made in a recent discussion about location based services. Thanks goes to Adam Zawel for this excellent summary. CARRIER’S…

IBM Business Partner Leadership Conference – April 23, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

I just completed registration for the IBM Business Partner Leadership Conference. This is a new invitation-only conference being held this year in Los Angeles from Wednesday, April 30th through Friday, May 2nd. I’m looking forward to renewing my IBM contacts “in person” versus the “virtual” meetings that have become such a fixture of today’s business…

Telephone & Web = WOW !! – April 21, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

The power of the Internet and the web lies in its ability to provide access to information. The mobile web takes this one step further with its ability to provide information relevant to a specific location. Although the promise of this marriage is mind boggling, computer and smart-phone keyboards have slowed the adoption and widespread…

The Power of Family Oral History – April 19, 2008

By G C Network | May 18, 2008

Although I just started this yesterday, I’ve decided to backdate this entry to last Saturday, April 12, 2008. That’s when my family had it’s 3rd Annual Black History Party. The main reason I’m doing this is because of the life lesson that experience taught me. That lesson was the power of family oral history. For…

Recently, Harvard Business Review cited some insightful research into team behavior at 15 multinational companies. It found that although these teams tended to be large, virtual, diverse, and composed of highly educated specialists, those same four characteristics made it hard for teams to accomplish their goals. It also showed that complex team members were less likely—absent other influences—to share knowledge freely, learn from one another, shift workloads to break up bottlenecks, or help one another to complete jobs on time or share resources. In other words, to collaborate. The study also looked at teams that exhibited high levels of collaborative behavior. The difference turned out to be in the quality of team leadership.

The eight factors that led to such leadership success were:
  1. Making highly visible investments in facilities that demonstrate their commitment to collaboration.
  2. Demonstrating leadership that models collaborative behavior.
  3. Mentoring and coaching, especially informally, in ways that help people build networks across corporate boundaries.
  4. Ensuring that collaboration skills have been taught to the team.
  5. Building and supporting a strong sense of community.
  6. Assigning team leaders that are both task– and relationship-oriented.
  7. Building on heritage relationships by putting at least a few people who know one another on the team.
  8. Sharply defining team roles and individually assigned tasks.  

This observation means project managers must set an environment that nurtures the exploration of open-ended thought and interactive collaboration. To accomplish this, team interactions cannot be just a series of point-in-time activities. The traditional team meeting must be replaced with continuous interaction and relationship building. To directly address this need, Cisco created the Emerge Engineering Team and TeamTV.


The Emerge Team works to create innovative technology that accelerates the future of work. Since collaboration will be so essential to success, they created TeamTV as a means of exploring the future of collaboration. This next-generation enterprise video collaborative platform integrates with and leverages the WebEx Teams digital collaboration suite. By creating a visually immersive and continuously interactive environment, they’ve discovered the immense value of having a space to interact daily with global teammates as if they were all in one office.
In addition to having a webcam filming the participants, TeamTV provides other useful collaboration tools including:
  • The “team mode” version of TeamTV with all members on-screen;
  • A “popcorn mode” where all members can watch an event or something communally across distances;
  • TeamTV channel ticker, where team-relevant information is available across the bottom of the screen; and
  • A virtual assistant bot with facial recognition technology capable of recognizing team members and serving up relevant email and instant messages. 

Building collaboration across an enterprise is not a quick job. It requires a combination of long-term relationship building and trust, a culture where senior leaders openly exhibit cooperation and make smart near-term decisions on team formation. Legacy practices that may work well with simple, co-located teams are likely to fail when teams grow more complex. Although most factors that impede collaboration today have always been there, the modern teams that are needed to solve global business challenges require much more diversity, long-distance cooperation, and remote expertise. Project managers would, therefore, do well to update their approach to today’s business challenges by addressing the eight factors listed above.  



Read more in the series:

Welcome the New Project Manager!



This post is brought to you by Cisco and IDG. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Cisco. 

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016-2018)

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