When I was at cataylyst I still have these voices ringing in my head from what was being said. There isn’t many times I can say that that has happened before. I think that when you are at the right spot at the right time you actually listen to whats being said and its like for the first time, you heard. That’s what happened to me or maybe I didn’t realize what happened to me.
Last week I had the opportunity to go to Catalyst West - a faith based leadership event.
I feel like I need a whole week to process everything that I learned. I really want to unpack and figure out how each of the things that I learned apply.
Highlight of nuggets that I can’t get out of my head (some may need more context):
“Your current response to opportunity, adversity and calling is MAKING you currently.”
“Better to make a difference than a point”
“Actions may speak louder than words and sometimes actions echo into the next generation”
“Good is the enemy of great.”
“Never confused personality with leadership”
“Ask people what they think ahead of always telling them what you think”
“Don’t spend time being interesting, be interested”
“Good intentions is not a cover up for incompetence”
“Money doesn’t end poverty, love will”
“Without the low note in a song, you wont recognize the high note”
“We can never be perfect but we can be better. Bolder.”
“Thinking too narrowly concludes to narrow framing – focus on a different thing.”
“Take a step back from a decision. Add distance. Sleep on it. Think short term. Think long term.”
“10/10/10 Rule – When making a decision think whats the impact 10 min from now, 10 months from now 10 years from now.”
“The relay race hinges on exchange zone. We are a part of a divine relay. And its all about the baton. We are building the next generation. You are only here in your faith today, because the generation ahead of you didn’t drop the baton”
“Tolerance isn’t endorsement”
“The issue isn’t injustice. Its sin”
“Nothing can kill you faster than spotlight. It is better to be marked by God than being marketed by Man.”
I love nuggets. Not chicken nuggets (seriously, whats a chicken nugget?!?!)
Anyways, I also finished a new book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Its a must read. It was exactly what I needed to hear about leadership, women, families and relationships. I will write about that in an upcoming post.
So last week was one of the best weeks I have had in a long time. I was inspired I had fun. I was encouraged. My cup is full. “Spilling over” is more like it. I feel like I have the energy to tackle the world. Sometimes I just need a few days of focused growth and learning. And last week was it. I felt like a sponge looking thru a new lens of opportunity and leadership.
When’s the last time you felt really inspired? What did you learn? How did you share what you learned? Did you actually change?
This is a guest post by my team member Paul Agustin.
First off, I want to thank Allison for this opportunity to contribute to her blog. My name is Paul Agustin (@PSAgustin) and I am the newest member of her team. Working at Yammer, I’m constantly amazed at its many uses in the workplace. I’m using Notes to take and maintain minutes from meetings with clients as we map out how to roll out training to them. I’m sharing Files with my colleagues for feedback and discussion, utilizing their countless stories and experiences. I’ve been able to discuss and share ideas on upcoming projects with co-workers on the other side of the country, some whom I’ve never even met. Yammer is really changing the way I’ve viewed “working.” As I’m writing this, I can’t believe I’ve only been at this job for about two months. That’s not a typo. I’ve only been at Yammer for two months. How many people can say, they’ve been able to achieve full productivity in less than a month? (I should have written this blog a month ago, but I was off being productive at Yammer.) Since Day 1 at Yammer, I’ve been able to hit the ground running and I don’t think it would have been possible, if Yammer wasn’t used as part of the onboarding process. Now, you must be thinking, Yammer for onboarding?
From the get go, I’ve been immersed in Yammer. Before my official start date, I was given access to an external network called Yammerversity. This gave me a chance to work in Yammer right away and expose myself to its different features and functionality. (I came from a company that did not use Yammer, so this was my first exposure to it).
Through this, Yammer and I were able to achieve a couple of things:
- I became familiar and comfortable with my new job role.
As more and more people continue to use Yammer within a company, it becomes a knowledge repository. Conversations specific to my team and around their notes and files, are a treasure trove of information on getting up to speed. Being able to see the discussions behind every webinar and presentation, really helped me to know what was expected of me and how I could immediately contribute to the team. Part of my onboarding process was to go through the Yammer certifications. As I was going through them, I shared my feedback on things that needed to get updated and how to improve some of the quiz questions. This was then used to update our certifications.
- I was able to learn about company culture and get access to job related resources.
Cynthia, who led onboarding at Yammer (@CynthiaCHanson) put a fantastic Preboarding Note together that contained links to various e-Learning modules covering Yammer basics, the history of Yammer, and the culture of the company. By the time I stepped into the office, I already had a sense of the people and the company. Once I was given full access to the home network, I was added to a group called Yammer New Hires, which had additional Notes on benefits information and company sites I should be aware of. The best resource of them all though was all of the conversations that had already happened. When I had questions about our commuter benefits, I did a quick search and found my answer. If I couldn’t find an answer on Yammer, I could post it to the company (in the appropriate group, of course), and know that someone will be able to help me out.
- I was able to start to build relationships and network.
The first thing you’re supposed to do once you’re granted access to the Yammer home network, is to post a #bammerintro. (Bammer is a nickname for a baby Yammer, or a noob.) In your Bammer intro, you are to introduce yourself to the company and share a bit about yourself. Folks across the company can “Like” your message and reply with their own welcomes and greetings. This one little exercise is a great start to building relationships. When I finally visited the company headquarters, people already knew who I was and I knew who they were based on our interactions in Yammer. I already felt like part of the team, before I actually met Cynthia, Natalie, Kristin and Louise in person.
- I was able to feel engaged and valued.
“Working out loud” in Yammer creates transparency in what I’m working on and what other people are working on to. Allison has mentioned me on conversations that she thinks are relevant to me or that I can provide value to. Through this transparency, I can see my comments and suggestions are being read and used. Just the other day, I put together a deck about what do now that you’re a Yammer Certified Power User. Allison loved the idea and wanted to use it in our other certification programs.
These are just a few of the ways Yammer has eased my transition to my new job. If you’re looking for a way to jolt your onboarding program, try making it a little more “social,” you’ll be pleased with the results. I know I was.
Thanks Paul! You’ve been great addition to the team and I know these learnings will be good for others to read. So, how about you, have you tried to “socialize” your new hires? What are you learning? How can a tool like Yammer help facilitate and enable those conversations and communities?
Last week I went to a Art of Merlot to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. We were instructed to all paint a similar picture. In the end we were supposed to end up with something close to Van Goghs’ version of the red poppy…
We were all given the same materials (canvas, paint, brushes) traced the same outline of the painting (using carbon copy paper) and given the same instruction from the art teacher.
Yet when we finished… (see below) everyone had their own interpretation of the instruction and the medium and the colors and ultimately the final product. If you look at them they all look “similar” however they are all different and not exact replicas for what Van Gogh originally created. (mine specifically requires a two drink minimum to view).
Was it that some of us just didn’t listen to the instructor? Or some of us had had too much wine ? Or was it that we wanted to express our own perception of what was being painted?
Either way I think this is similar to how “training” is looked at. Everyone is given (or hopefully) given the same tools, instruction and we expect the same results. But the reality is that some interpretations come out a bit different than others. Some excel and “paint” wonderful things and go above and beyond your expectations taking the materials a step further. While other some need a bit of remedial assistance (my case with the painting! I needed the teacher’s assistance every brush stroke). Is this such a bad thing ? Or is there something wrong with the expectation that everything will come out just the way we planned when we have given everyone everything without letting them choose on their own?
Have you ever had a “color by numbers” type of training session? Where you thought everything was given to your learners and it turned out they did something completely different? What happened? Would love to hear about it!
Ed and I just returned from Maui, Hawaii. We have never been to Hawaii before and it was fantastic. Like a dream really.
I was invited to go by Yammer as a part of the Presidents Club. It was such an honor to celebrate, relax and enjoy the time spent with my co-workers and my husband. And the ocean wasn’t too bad either.
However, leaving my team and my customers for this amount of time – I was worried about un-plugging and not letting everything unravel so I would have a lot to clean up when I got back.
- When your team has a certain level of trust with each other, it doesn’t matter if someone is out or has a doctors appointment or on vacation. Everyone steps in, provides, shares and gets done what’s needed. I love my team for being awesome and doing just that. They rock.
- While my Yammer notifications were a bit insane after about 1.5 hrs I had gone thru everything. I couldn’t believe it. I love love Yammer so much, and just one more reason why I love it. The way the conversations CAN KEEP HAPPENING even if you are out of the office. my out of office currently to my internal emails:
“Thanks for your email – Have you considered posting it to Yammer? You will probably get a faster response! Thanks, Allison Michels”
- OOO are so silly. But seriously. Not joking. I think it has helped with the insane emails that could be posted on yammer. I haven’t turned this OOO off yet because I think its actually keeping my email messages down for the rest of the week. If you use Yammer or another social tool – try it. Especially when you go on vacation. Instead of emails getting stuck in your inbox – get them out in the open so others can respond and take care of it.
- It was just a nice breath of fresh air and to travel for fun vs to travel for business (been on the road almost every week of 2013…) was a nice feeling.
When’s the last time you really unplugged and had a vacation? What did you love most ? What was it like coming back and catching up? How do you manage that?
This past December I graduated with my Masters of Education, Technology and Leadership. I wrote about my FIRST semester in this post. (Oh my – I cant believe how fast/slow it went). I learned a lot in school. But probably not as much as I have learned this past year.
And by the last post I made it really doesn’t justify how much I have learned and been up to. Almost a year ago within a world I had no business being in I jumped in both feet. I leaned on a great coach, business adviser and consultant who became a dear friend. We tried things. Failed at things. Added new things. Took away the bad things and kept on adjusting. Like the angry birds method. “Aim. Fire. Adjust.”
So I guess thats what I will do with this blog going forward. Aim. Fire. Adjust.
I’d like to write about social enterprises because I see that every day. I’d like to write about my journey as a new manager (got lots of stories). I’d like to write about what its like being on the road all the time or how great it is to work from home (YOGA PANTS!). I’d like to write about the customers I see and the lightbulbs that go off. I’d like to write about what its like working for the largest software company in the world after working for a startup.
Is that OK with you? If that works – I will start there.
No promises. But bug me to write more, ok?
And if you’d like to do a guest post let me know.
Collaboration. Social. Innovation. These are the buzz words that fill my twitter feed today.
This week I have the pleasure of attending a few of our customer internal leadership summits, expos and all hands meetings. These two customers are in completely different industries and do not even remotely compete however the message is very very similar.
Seems to me like this buzzword is flying around in organizations today. A few months ago I found out that there are people who have the sole job of a “Collaboration Relationship Manager”. I am not sure if I agree with this or disagree – but I do find it a bit weird. Your role is to help manage the collaboration relationship? Huh?
Recently I finished the book “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People do: A Manager’s Guide to Social Web” by Euan Semple and learned great lessons throughout the book. One of the key messages that also aligns to this post is not to make “collaboration” an initiative and to really do it. In every project, nook and corner office of your organization find ways to collaborate. To get better, faster and to not settle for the status quo.
Think about your organization today and where would you lie on the scale if you had to actually measure your “collaborative” efforts? What’s the picture that is being painted by management? What are your current barriers to a more collaborative environment?
Semple (p. 70) says, there is “no point in having knowledge if people don’t know you have it, and if you are not prepared to share it .. “
If you really believe what Semple says above, what tools, resources and guidance are in place to share freely in your organization? Social platforms and tools like Yammer help “to increases the quality and frequency of the conversations that get your job done (p. 107).”
But in reality, what is collaboration all about?
Semple (p.132) defines collaboration,
True collaboration is a succession of … small examples of the willingness to help another person….Collaboration is a shared willings to address problems or opportunities and often to contribute hard won personal experience to doing so. You want there to be as few barriers to collaboration as possible.
Don’t turn collaboration into an initiative but make it easier to do so. Dont talk about doing it but instead increase the frequency and quality of those conversation that get your job done. Don’t just think that you will naturally be wiling to collaborate on your next project, just do it.
What does your organization look like in terms of “collaboration”. What are YOU doing in order to make your self more collaborative? What’s holding you back?
Leave me a note – would love to hear all about it.
With the new rage of Pintrest I have created a new board called “What’s the ROI of this?” where I will be pinning random things that I would LOVE for someone to share with me how they got the return on investment with that little (or big for that matter) item they are using.
What’s ROI? According to Investomedia …
Definition of ‘Return On Investment – ROI’
A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. The return on investment formula:
In the above formula “gains from investment”, refers to the proceeds obtained from selling the investment of interest. Return on investment is a very popular metric because of its versatility and simplicity. That is, if an investment does not have a positive ROI, or if there are other opportunities with a higher ROI, then the investment should be not be undertaken.(Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/returnoninvestment.asp#ixzz1oIlUFTmQ)
And last week I saw a job description that read this… “Use real-time analytics to measure the effectiveness & ROI of all L&D initiatives and continuously innovate the program”. After scracthing my head thinking…” You want them to do whaaa??”
All I could think of was to make this board. Please submit things that you WiSH you knew the ROI of and could explain them to your boss as being a good return on his/her investment… Like for example the picture below.
Hello fellow bloggers, readers and tweeters! I appreiacte you stopping by to read! If you have a second will drop me a line?
Readers, I know the most popular blog post on my blog bar none is the one about how yammer failed — but thats been over a year ago and I want to write about more than Yammer. However, I want to write about what you want to read. So – I am asking you — any ideas?
Updates on life:
- I started back in my graduate program last week. Taking two courses: Building effective training with technology and Education Policy.
- Still traveling and visiting lots of Yammer customers and helping them get their networks engaged!
- Our current lease is almost up and its coming up on a year since we moved to California
I didn’t make any resolutions this year that are any different than each year before. Write more. Read more. Be healthy. Lose weight. Talk less and listen more. I think 2012 is going to be a good year, but honestly, I haven’t had a bad year… so Happy New Year everyone.
Leave a comment with an idea of what you would like to see more of — Thanks guys I really appreciate you stopping by! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @anicole87 looking forward to connecting with you!