Archive for October, 2015

Time: Our Irreplaceable Resource

October 12, 2015

TimeManagementYou can make more money on the next contract or role, you can do a better job on the next project, you can have better luck with the next relationship, but your one irreplaceable resource is time. So give it the respect it deserves and be strategic about what you want to accomplish with your time.

  1. It doesn’t always have to be about business or professional goals, but decide whether what you’re doing is for a business or professional result and allocate the appropriate amount of time to generate the results which you want or which are required of you.
  2. Start by asking why you want to do something, what you want/need to do to make it happen, then figure how you are going to do it and who you need to connect with to make it happen. 
  3. Develop and nurture relationships that will support your goals. Avoid relationships which are time-sinks and energy-sucks. (With that said, you may have personal commitments to friends or family which are not ‘productive’ uses of your time, but they are commitments that should be honored, but be realistic about what you can do with the time spent with them.)
  4. Plan follow-up conversations proactively, preferably by the end of the meeting. Have clear assignments, homework and expectations for next steps and postpone a meeting if these things aren’t yet accomplished, to save everyone time.
  5. Be reliably and predictably on-time, to show that you respect other people’s time.
  6. Look for patterns of occurrences and behaviors which have made you rushed for time and figure out what you can change to increase the odds that you will reliably show up on-time and well prepared.
  7. Be honest with yourself on how well you’ve managed your time. Then tweak the plan so that your more efficiently use your time, and that of your client, partner, prospect, colleague, etc.
  8. Examine what happens if your professional goals are leading to more of a social outcome. Was it the right goal, the right contact? Did you do your homework beforehand? Did you manage expectations and conversation?
  9. Carefully manage relationships where your friends or your family are your clients and partners too. Know when you’re focusing on professional goals and when you’re just being social.
  10. Above all, take time for yourself, so that you’re fresh, energized and grounded and can appreciate the little things and see the bigger picture. 

What are YOUR best practices for time management?

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Women Leading Innovation

October 12, 2015

WSSOctCollage

FountainBlue’s October 9 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Women Leading Innovation. Below are notes from the conversation. 

We were fortunate to have such courageous and accomplished women on our panel, who come from many different educational levels, corporate and technical backgrounds, and frames of reference. 

As women leading innovation in a variety of industries, technologies and roles, they provided a higher level picture of what it takes to bring something new into an organization, to change the status-quo/the way things are done, and to bring a disparate range of stakeholders to the same agenda. Their advice for moving the needle forward is summarized in the points below.

  1. Focus on the needs of the customer and the trends of the market. Technology’s role is as an enabler.
  2. With that said, it takes integration and management of the most flexible, scalable technologies in order to address the needs of the customer.
  3. So get the best people working with the most current technologies to ensure the viability, performance and scalability of the solution and learn to speak in a language they understand.
  4. Innovation must be blessed from the leaders within the organization, in both words and actions. Work with a company whose leaders walk their talk around innovation, and identify projects which lets you contribute to the company’s innovation edge, engaging a wide range of stakeholders.
  5. It’s never easy to embrace change and chaos and conflict, yet these are all inherent requirements for innovation. Successful innovation leaders effectively manage through the process, facilitating alignment towards common goals.
  6. Know first why you want to innovate, by understanding market trends and customer needs. Then know what your team and organization can do to best serve that need, and how that need is best delivered by whom, with measurable results.
  7. Take a long-term view on innovation. Be resilient and persistent enough to work through the ‘nos’ and the failures. Fail fast and fail forward, progressing new learnings and new and deeper relationships as you go.
  8. It’s a challenge to make old technology fit into our new needs, yet it’s fundamental to the success of organizations.
  9. Make it intuitive and easy for people to use powerful technologies, for the customers of the future make be broader, more demanding AND less tech-savvy.
  10. Carpe diem – seize the day. What’s blocking you from doing what you could possibly do is the lack of confidence that you will succeed the first time. Re-set your expectations – try with little incremental steps to enlarge your objectives, goals, role and contributions.

In the end, innovation is about leaders who think differently about how things are done. Leaders who focus on the needs of others and delivering scalable results, engaging a broad range of internal partners and stakeholders. 


Please join us in thanking our speakers for FountainBlue’s October 9 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of Women Leading Innovation and our gracious hosts at Aruba.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO FountainBlue, Producer When She Speaks Series, Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Jae Sook (Jun) Evans, VP Global Cloud Operations, Saba
  • Panelist Sujatha Mandava, Senior Director, Aruba
  • Panelist Adriane McFetridge, VP, Payment Software Services, Verifone
  • Panelist Gayathri Radhakrishnan, Director Strategy & Corporate Development, Dell Software
  • Panelist Shweta Saraf, SW Engineering Lead, Cisco
  • Panelist Navrina Singh, Director of Product Management, Qualcomm, ImpaQt