Monday, February 22, 2010

Meaningful Conversations Drive Meetings

What makes one conversation rich and satisfying and another one merely transactional? And what kind of communications do you believe produce the best results in organizational meetings?

Think back on a meeting that had both satisfying conversations and results…

Do you see any connection between the nature of the conversations and the results? Was the meeting completely staged or was it fueled by the dynamics and energies of the people involved?

Join me for two minutes of reflection and then share your epxeriences with me.

Meaningful Conversations Drive Meetings from Terrence Gargiulo on Vimeo.

Now your turn...

How do meaningful conversations and meetings work in your organization? What techniques have you used to strike a balance between the critical structured tools of agendas and protocols with the informal dynamics of conversations.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Organizational Relationships

I find myself drawn to the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow...
"Ships that pass in the night,
and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness.
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another.
Only a look and a voice;
then darkness again and a silence."
How do relationships in organizations stack up with Longfellow’s observation? Has technology accelerated our relationships or hindered them? Is there any way to gratify those human needs that infiltrate our workplaces in the oddest ways…our needs to be accepted, respected, and valued by others?

Like a blooming flower relationships take time. In the ethos of our organizations we are called to cultivate and nurture the people around us. Sunlight, water, time, and a host of other hard to traces forces work their complex magic…

There may be no short cuts to forming relationships but the shortest distance between two people is a story.

Draw the stories of people around corporate imperatives and watch how people are drawn to each other and become more engaged performers.

Spend 2 minutes with me reflecting by watching in this video and the share your thoughts...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Power of Virtual Collaboration in Project Management


Collaboration and partnership are not a choice. They are business imperatives. Interaction is king. Today our organizations and the projects we do in support of their missions have too many working parts and too many integration points to be achieved in solitude.

We would never expect an entire network to rely on one node, so why would we assume that projects need to be centrally managed and controlled by a project team? The days of throwing the requirements over the walls and letting the brainiacs figure out what we really need or want are figure out what we really need or want are over. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and prepare to meet your stakeholders up close and personal. Trust me, it’s not as bad as it might sound.

Your business partners don’t have to be part of the problem if you make them part of the solution. Granted, not every business partner is going to roll out the red carpet and invite you to the executive table. However, just as you are hopefully realizing that technical prowess is not enough,your business partners are beginning to realize that viewing you as a service provider ready to cater to their every whim will not benefit them or the organization.

Projects must produce value. Projects are endlessly balancing risk with value. When risk outweighs the potential value of a project, or if something changes in the environment whereby the realization of the value is no longer possible, then a project needs to be killed. How would you like success to be measured – by jointly deciding with your business partners that a project should be killed? Say goodbye to the days of marching to Napoleonic Waterloos.

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The proliferation of virtual collaboration tools has ushered in a new age of projects. Living and breathing the tactical moves and grooves of collaboration and partnership has gotten easier. Forget about socializing the soft and fuzzy tenets of your newfound convictions. Work flows, business processes and the tools of engagement have made it easier for you to start walking the talk. Once you start walking others will follow – and they won’t even know you are enlightening them at the same time.


This eBook will show you how to implement virtual
collaboration tools throughout the life cycle of a project to leverage
all of the benefits of partnership and collaboration.


Citrix UK sponsored a recent webinar of my discussion of the topic.

What have been your experiences? How have you used virtual collaboration technologies/ What are some of the things you have learned along the way? Are there any pit falls to be aware of?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Organizational Change Management

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said…

“Everything flows and nothing stays fixed.”
In other words you can’t step twice into the same river. Habits are the ingrained patterns of behaviors and thoughts that we habituate. Change takes us outside our familiar zone of comfort.

There's a paradox here. Change is as natural to us as is habituation. Think about your body. Within seven years almost every cell in your body is replaced. There’s nothing permanent or stable about life. However, our perceptual system is designed to perceive the world as stable. If it weren't, we would have an awfully hard navigating the world.

For me change management is not about creating stability in the face of chaos; rather, it’s about giving people tools to imagine new possibilities.

What does a Greek philosopher, a raging river and the game of Fluxx have in common. Watch this two minute and see:

Create organizational and communication processes that are structured but flexible. Then let the possibilities emerge and the game begin.

How have you managed organizational communication and learning in your organization to support change/ How have stories been a part of that process? Have you considered how you might work with story-based communication processes to stimulate engaging, healthy responses to the raging change we find in our organizations?