In today’s environment, meeting business objectives is becoming more difficult. Developing a collaborative enterprise is one way to gain an advantage on the competition and better meet objectives. Through effective collaboration organizations can
- Drive Innovation
- Improve Business Processes
- Reduce Expenses
- Leverage Knowledge and Talent within the Organization
With my background and experience, I help organizations become more collaborative.
The Long Version
My first job out of college was as an engineer with a large electronics company, ITT Telecom. I learned a lot there, though I did not realize it at the time. First of all I learned that I had the ability to Geek, but I was not Geek by nature. I did not go home and build computers after work , as did my colleagues. Secondly I began to become fascinated by organizational dynamics; “Why did Marketing and Engineering seem to have zero ability to communicate?”, “Why was it so important to some managers that you were at your desk working at the stroke of 8:00?” These type of questions perplexed me, and have fundamentally driven my career to this point.
I left the engineering world and returned to school for my MBA, with the thought that I would be able to leverage my engineering background and my freshly minted business degree to bridge the gap between marketing and engineering. Unfortunately having no clear picture in mind of a specific job title was not the way to find a job in the 80′s. Thus I entered the “eclectic period” of my career…
But throughout that time I was observing how and why organizations operated the way they did, and I began to see how I was going to be able to contribute.
My next step was 14 years in the corporate world. I joined Burroughs Wellcome, survived two mergers and multiple reorganizations, with the final entity being GlaxoSmithKline. In all of that time I saw myriad ways of working, always paying attention, and always trying to figure out why, and what would be better.
My career track at BW/GW/GSK led through HR Information Systems, Change Management, Organization Development, Project Management, and finally Social Media Development.
But what I believe was more significant than my specific job duties, was my development plan between 2004 and 2007. In 2004 I stumbled across the concept of corporate sustainability and the triple bottom line. Basically the idea that organizations should be beholden to more than just the financial bottom line. Equally important should be the social and environmental impact of any organization. Being one interested in underlying issues and causality, I kept looking for the fundamental element that made sustainability resonate. Then one day at a World Resources Institute conference it hit me, people have a hard time grasping the concepts of sustainability because most people are not trained in or even aware of the concepts of Systems Theory, and Systems Thinking. If companies were to understand sustainability, I figured they would first have to embrace a Systems approach. Thus spawned my development plan for 2005.
I read a lot and learned a lot about systems in 2005. I also learned that most people’s eyes glaze over when you start talking about it. The general perception is that it is not tangible, not practical, and does not deliver results…back to the drawing board… What is the tangible expression of Systems that anyone can see?
Coincidentally, in 2004 I started my first blog, because it was the shiny new tech thing and I wanted to learn what it was. Late in 2005 the lightbulb went off. The blogosphere was the essense of systems! Here was my tangible approach to systems, thus was born my development plan for 2006, Social Media.
During 2006 I learned everything I could about blogs, wikis, RSS, etc. My main takeaway from that year was not, as I expected, the technical mechanics of “Web 2.0″, but instead that social media was about a new way of working with others, a new paradigm for work and collaboration.
Finally in 2007 I was able to create a new role at GSK focused completely on the development of Social Media. The job was placed in the Communications department so my official task was to teach marketers and communicators about Social Media and how it was going to impact their worlds in the near future. What I acctually spent much of my time doing was trying to implement the concepts of Enterprise 2.0, i.e using Web 2.0 tools inside the organization.
Unfortunately for GSK, 2007 was not a great year, with the year ending in a reorganization that eliminated approximately 10% of the workforce, myself included.
I entered 2008 with hope and optimism. I hung out my shingle as an independent social media consultant, hoping that the rising tide of activity in social computing would make getting clients easy. With enough successes along the way to offer encouragement, I upped the ante and formed Decision 3D, LLC in January of 2009. Meeting my objectives for the business always seemed just around the corner. Unfortunately, in September 2009, I finally had to make the call and suspended operations of Decision 3D. I just couldn’t ever quite make it around that corner.
After closing the doors on Decision 3D, I found my way to the doors of Cisco. I started working as a contractor at Cisco in November 2009. My role was to help define the business value of collaboration. After 10 months in the role, I was able to find a permanent position in the Advanced Services division at Cisco. My role at Cisco was to support their enterprise collaboration platform, Quad (recently renamed as “WebEx Collaboration”). In February 2012, I decided to leave Cisco for an opportunity with Moxie Software.
I currently work in Professional Services at Moxie.
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