As I type, I am reading of an Air France aircraft that looks to have ditched into the big blue yonder, am trying to get home this weekend to see friends, family and open my mail; and try and get to Milan next week for a Project Board meeting. It brought one of my favourite (professional) subject to mind: Collaboration. (not that I mean to trivialise any of the up and coming misfortune of said Air France passengers; I pray they are OK!)
I have long been a keen advocate of close collaboration and although am a keen home worker; I do firmly believe that there are times when you need to have people; and even just an office; around you to perform and get things done. The reverse is also true: you sometimes needs solitude to get a little “me” time to develop understanding on your own and get that financial analysis done.
As much as all of the above it true, “people still buy from people” is another snapshot of wisdom that rings true in this electronic world; and so there are some key points to have face-to-face meetings. For me they are at the start and at the end of a project; and by exception: in the middle. Travel is expensive and a waste of time these days; even with all the latest aides in mobile technology – trust me – I have them all.
What brought all this to conversation? Well – in my current program role; there is not a meeting room that is not kitted out “24-Jack Bauer” style with all the latest Cisco gear; yet I have NEVER once used it. We have all the latest gear that saves us having to travel but yet, we don’t use it? What was it that Einstein said: the definition of stupidity is: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results! So in this case, if we keep travelling; we are going to continue to waste money and time!
So, at the risk of not earning any air miles next week, and being hated for knackering my colleagues travel plans, (because I have proved that you can have an excellent Video / Web conference) I am going to seek to set up a 24-style video with the “joint chiefs” and see if we can’t save the $3000 it will cost to fly 4/5 of us to Milan next week.
Watch this space … or rather this space: http://www.cisco.com/web/solutions/telepresence/fox/index.html