>> For the full blog please visit the SAP Community Network >>
“A knotty ‘puzzle’ may hold a scientist up for a century, when it may be that a colleague has the solution already and is not even aware of the puzzle that it might solve.”
― Isaac Asimov (on Collaboration)
How a ONE team approach can bridge internal & external boundaries!
For profit and non-profit organizations around the globe have a common mission to launch new products and services to obtain front-line revenues and customer value objectives. For most, the investments (i.e. Dollars ($), Euros (€), Yens (¥)) are large and the stakes are high.
Many people and groups must come together to achieve ONE common set of goals and objectives. The adoption of SAP Jam can make a huge difference to accelerate (& streamline) a successful roll out that requires the collaboration and cooperation of “internal and external” stakeholders.
Go-to-Market momentum takes place through consistent, repeatable, flexible, and efficient small steps which add up to larger efforts and leads to an ongoing set of important milestones (& deliverables).
>> For the full blog please visit the SAP Community Network >>
3 articles that highlight WSS civic engagement and the importance of community service:
- How LeBow Students Helped SAP Hire Employees on the Autism Spectrum
- Alumni Volunteers Show Some Love for 220 Year Old Cultural Center
- Wegmans Donates 9 Tons of Food to Manna On Main Street
A few quotes on Community Service…
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill
“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.” – Buddha
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Ghandi
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service.”
– Mother Teresa
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”
– Maya Angelou
View from the Top: Bill McDermott shares his success secrets at a #fireside chat!
“In the end, it’s the customer and the customer alone that determines if we have a job
“You need to constantly be innovating for the future, while you’re executing for the present
…the best leaders understand that!”
“You all can make a difference, the young generation coming out of the universities and coming into the workforce. You see things we don’t see, your ideas are unique, you understand where the world is going, you understand social. You get all that, and I think that’s such an unbelievable opportunity to help the economy, create innovation, create jobs, and push things forward.”
—Quotes from Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP AG
Learning from Top Leaders
The “View from the Top” Fireside Chat with Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and Drexel University’s President John Fry on November 1 was an amazing opportunity to learn from two top leaders who have a lot in common with each other. Both are visionaries who provide transformational leadership to large organizations and most importantly they both value helping the community.
The topics included themes such as jobs, trends, and leadership which are of interest to students, alumni, professors, and professionals both in the audience and around the globe far beyond the “375” who attended in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Sacramento, California (USA) (via a live video feed) along with 30-40 who were turned away due to the auditorium’s capacity!
A Students Reflection – Now and Years Later
Everyone who attended benefited including:
- Students who are looking for their job upon graduation
- Alumni who are successful and want to take their career to the next level
- Professors and lecturers who teach SAP-related courses and/or want to position their students for a competitive marketplace
- Recent graduates who have their first job and want to navigate to achieve success within their organization and with customers
- Employees and professionals who want to learn about the recipes for success!
The bottom-line is that in my case, I can remember… a time when I was a student (back in the day!)… when I was (& still am) hungry to receive wisdom, knowledge and lessons learned from top executives, leaders, and experts. Often it can be hard to come by. The opportunity to learn from these leaders was an amazing opportunity!
So What are the Takeaways?
All of us are on a journey! From our early school days to now we are all the product of our decisions. Learning from top leaders can provide us insights on how to be successful. We can learn… What worked for them? How can we apply it to our own situations? What big or small idea can help us to save time and accelerate our careers and ultimately win!?
The topics shared included:
- Jobs – Competing to jumpstart your career
- Trends – Identifying global opportunities in the marketplace including China and beyond
- Leadership – Sharing lessons learned and best practices
But there’s an even a greater reason why this event was memorable and worth watching on the video… and that’s the stories…
Bill McDermott provided masterful insights by telling us everyday stories that he experienced from his first business owning a deli (and a few video games!) at age 17 to his first job upon graduation at Xerox and how he conducted his business as a Xerox “Marketing Representative” on the streets of New York City selling door-to-door. While he did share insights on SAP including the value of the SAP University Alliances Program which were phenominal, a lot of his discussion was down-to-earth vignettes which we can all relate to in our everyday work, lives, and plans for the future.
President John Fry did a wonderful job of providing his insights including a very strategic Innovation Neighborhood planned as the gateway from 30th Street (a top East Coast transportation hub in the United States) to Drexel’s campus in West Philadelphia (& University City).
In addition, he ensured that the flow of the Fireside Chat provided the maximum value for the audience..
The knowledge shared will help and inspire students, alumni, professors/lecturers, and professionals from around the globe who are the “current” and “future” business and IT leaders!
The opportunity to have a front row seat, to hear the video, and review the recap on the Business Innovation site will provide inspiration to all who take the time to learn more!
In my case, having watched this event live from the front row; I can truly say that listening to the video the second time around is even more inspirational: I’m looking forward to sharing it with my team as well as hearing it a few more times!
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
~ Arthur Ashe
If we were to equate a race to a current or new initiative or project what knowledge would you need to prepare and increase your chances for success? In this age of “instant information” many find it hard to find the “right information” at the right time. Why is that?
A few questions…
- What happens when you only have a small fragment of the whole story? How do you get it?
- When an organizations cuts back on training how do you learn the essentials of performing your job?
- What happens when the people around you are too busy, and/or don’t know the answer and then ask you to understand the “big” picture and prioritize next steps?
While business intelligence tools are “the” essential enablers, in parallel to investing in technology, we must first have a business understanding of the requirements. It’s important to have a methodology to architect the understanding of the “whole” issue at hand and as a result, feel confident to operate knowledgably in a complex environment which we call: the marketplace.
Leadership, influence, and excellence requires that we have a vision or roadmap. You may be familiar with the expression, “In the land of the blind the one eyed squirrel is king or queen!” In other words, “Ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power!”
As result, let’s walk through 3 simple models to paint the picture:
- The Mosaic – Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together
- Epcot Center – Walt Disney’s Vision included a Geodesic Dome
- The Tao of Knowledge – What Every Leader Should Know!
The Mosaic – Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together
A senior executive friend once shared with me, the “difference between ‘experience’ and lack of experience is how many puzzle pieces a person needs to see, to find the answer to a solution and operate at a peak performance level.”
The experienced person can take a very little bit of information and turn it into a clearer picture. Sometimes all of the pieces may not present themselves but with a few filled in and the skill to fill in a few more — enough information can be derived to make informed decisions and take action around the top priorities.
In the military the ability to gather information can result in “life and death” outcomes. In business “success or failure” and in sports “winning and losing!”
But how do go about getting this information when by all accounts it’s nowhere to be found? Interesting question to ask, “If knowledge is like a bow — and you can only view one part of the bow at a time, but not the whole bow — then how do you find the knowledge (or data points) you need which are around the curve (of the bow) and beyond your view?
Epcot Center – Walt Disney’s Vision included a Geodesic Dome
How many of us have visited Disney World or scene a picture of the geodesic dome known as “Spaceship Earth” which is a spherical structure based on a network of triangles which when completed forms a circle or sphere?
Many of these same properties can be found in nature, such as the bees nest (or comb) as well as in structures originally designed by the famous inventor, engineer, architect, designer, and futurist: Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (1895 – 1983) who had an office at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia near where I lived while at Drexel in University City (yes, as I was aware of him…I wish I had looked him up!:-).
Given that a triangle is the strongest shape in the universe and that the forming of triangles makes a sphere or circle, it stands to reason that if you can find information (or a data point) on one part of the sphere than you can begin to map out the whole picture by connecting one data point or part of the triangle to another. The fun part is when you work on more then one sphere at a time but for now let’s just work on one at time!
So realizing that information is multiply dimensional with many properties that can include people, cultures, geographies, technology, business, trends, and processes all combining to provide the data points which will help provide you or your audience a more whole view of the knowledge at hand.
In many cultural teachings there is the concept of the “third eye” which at it’s root suggests that we are not fully equipped to see and understand all that is around us. We must use our “third eye” to recognize that there is more around us then what meets the eye and we must have the tools to truly see.
So the next time you are researching a business initiative or classroom project consider the geodesic dome as a tool to make connections which may seem disparate at first but with some patience and effort can inter-connect and become one —part of the whole.
The Tao of Knowledge – What Every Leader Should Know!
Every now and again I’ll ask a friend or colleague if they know what “Tao” represents? A few know it very well but most have no idea or maybe heard about it or remember something about it from their school days.
Legend has it that Lao Tzu, who was responsible (a.k.a. the “Custodian”) for the information (a.k.a. Imperial Archives) of the Chou Dynasty rulers, who lived about 26 centuries ago, decided to retire.
He got on his ox and road across the emperors land to leave and go on his way. At the gates of the capital that lead to the mountains and beyond a gatekeeper, Yin Hsi, insisted that Lao write everything down that he knew after his many decades of work as the information custodian.
Lao got off his horse and agreed to write down what turned out to be precisely “81” principles. He handed the notebook to Yin and passed through the gates to the mountains was never scene or heard from again.
What remains is a resources that has been used by royalty, leaders, educators, employers, and generals throughout every generation.
The principles which are studied over a lifetime provide insights into nature, power, influence and encourage us to guide people (and ourselves) rather then force them (or us) to act. Learn to achieve goals. Develop a strong vision. Practice simplicity. Foster growth.
- Cycles – Going with the flow (i.e. think of the seasons like Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall / The current of a river)
- Polarity – Opposites such as hot and cold / night and day
So as a knowledge worker (or seeker) you should consider these basic points such as the seasons, temperature, etc. as part of nature. They do not require any leap of faith as we live with these truths each and every day. In the trigram drawing (above right) you can connect to information in “cycles” such as clockwise or counterclockwise or by going to the polar opposite sides.
Summary and Take Aways
In the beloved movie “The Wizard of Oz” the Wizard gives the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man certificates and awards for the skills and capabilities that they already had in the first place.
Maybe it’s time that we gave ourselves our own realization that we know more then we think. We have the tools and methodology to learn more. When our teacher, manager, organization, or circumstances does not fully give us the information we need as students or as professionals to do our job (or pass the test) than we can indeed “master” the knowledge required on our own to become an expert, provide value, and have the confidence to create many successes and win-wins for ourselves and others.
9 considerations for knowledge workers to obtain key information?
- Relationships – Cultivate relationships with experts and leaders.
- Pay Attention – Listen to highly effective individuals (i.e. leaders, influencers, senior executives) many of whom you’ll never meet.
- Record – Write down your findings on paper on your laptop or iPad. Remember – A plan (or research) that is not written down is just a dream.
- Source – Go to the originator, expert, or practitioner of the information when possible. If you want to learn about “bricks” go to a brick layer; if you want to learn about “jewels” to a jeweler.
- Consistency – Do it the same way every time. Prepare for every initiative, project, meeting using a common methodology. Focus on the topic in hand.
- Timeliness – Use time wisely. Whether you have a month, week, day, or hour to prepare. Do it. Don’t go in cold to a situation that with a little preparation you can increase your chances for success.
- Collaborate – Leverage group intelligence. Individual intelligence is very important. Group intelligence is more powerful. Collaborate to gain knowledge. You can remain an individual while drawing off what the group knows.
- Hierarchical Knowledge – Look for expert information which provides the full landscape of information which may come from books, articles, thought leadership papers, top presentations, design diagrams, surveys, or top expert videos. Start by looking at the forest and then the trees!
- Leverage Technology – Develop your own business intelligence whether it’s for you, an organization (“the enterprise”) or a community. Apply analytics, dashboards, as well as business social media including Google Alerts, RSS Feeds, Twitter/Tweet Deck (or HootSuite), Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Make learning, research, and preparation fun. Find friends and colleagues who value these approaches. The rewards are great if you apply these principles! Start the race (a.k.a. initiative, program, project, classwork) with a plan and the required knowledge which will help you, your team, and organization win!
Richard D. Blumberg, President, World Sales Solutions, writes this series of blogs to help senior executives and their teams, leaders, influencers, educators, and students develop effective strategies and tactical execution which results in more revenues, profits, growth, jobs, and value. More >>