Archive for April, 2018

We All All ONE

April 20, 2018

WeAreOne

I am most inspired and energized when I think, speak and feel as if We Were All ONE. But it’s never easy to maintain that mode, in this world which rewards the driven, the talented, the accomplished, the beautiful. Yet it is fundamentally inspiring and invigorating when we embrace that Mindset of ONE.

When 22-year-old Warriors guard Patrick McCaw was carried off on a stretcher in the middle of a game in Sacramento following a scary fall, he couldn’t feel his legs. . In that moment of shock and disbelief, when everyone feared the worst, wondering if Patrick would ever be able to walk again, players, fans, coaches, physically and metaphysically came together in silent prayer and commiseration.

This is the Mindset of ONE – when we think, speak and act as one, for the benefit of ALL. In this post, I will suggest strategies for maintaining that Mindset of ONE, even in the most challenging situations. It is my hope that these strategies will help bring perspective, humor and courage when it matters the most.

  1. When you next connect with someone you find far superior to you in some way, be open and supportive and curious. Invite opportunities to have your paths cross.
  2. When you next connect with someone you find far inferior to you in some way, be open and supportive and curious. Invite opportunities to have your paths cross.
  3. Choose to walk and be with people who lift you up, but be inclusive of others who also seek support and comfort.
  4. When someone is different than you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, be curious about what they think about inconsequential things and how they came to that perspective.
  5. When someone is competing with you in a sport, keep reaching for stars, and be gracious whether you win or lose.
  6. When you are passed over for a promotion or a project or an opportunity, invite feedback, information and learnings. Then get up and try something else.
  7. When the same door remains closed to you, either seek another door, or ask how the mindset of ONE may help you enter this new room and opportunity.
  8. Be kind, open, transparent, direct in your communications – in your thoughts, in your words, in your actions. All the time. Every time.
  9. When the same life lesson comes back once again, ask yourself how the mindset of ONE may help you embrace the lesson, and move on.
  10. When elected leaders divide us, find ways to remain connected, despite them.

We can all choose to make the world a better place – one conversation, one leader, one organization at a time. With the Mindset of ONE.

* Thankfully, it appears that sustained a lumbar-spinal contusion and although in great pain, is able to slowly walk, as of the writing of this blog.

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Conflict Resolution

April 16, 2018

ConflictPanel

FountainBlue’s April 13 When She Speaks event was on the topic of Resolving Conflict When the Stakes are High. 

Photo from left to right, Ruchika Jhalani, Director of Engineering, eBay; Sangeeta Relan, Senior Director, Quality Engineering, Nutanix; Wei Li, VP of Engineering Operations, ASML Brion; Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; Sondra Bollar, Senior Director of Engineering, Oracle

Our panelists represented a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, but they shared much in common.

  • They managed conflict as part of their day-to-day work, as part of their day-to-day life.
  • They build deep, trust-based relationships with a broad range of people.
  • They focus on common goals and perspectives.
  • They leverage data and information to keep the conversations constructive and positive.
  • They learn from their interactions, from their successes and their challenges.

Their collective advice is highlighted below.

Accept conflict as a part of life, as a part of work. 

  • Have an open and curious attitude about people who don’t share your perspective and opinion.
  • Pick your battles. Win the war, and battle from the same side.
  • It’s not always easy. But challenge yourself to make things work.
  • You can’t always be right. Agree to disagree, but then commit to the chosen direction.

Earn the respect of others by generating results for the greater good.

  • Go toe-to-toe with someone on their terms if the situation warrants this. But make it about the data and information, not about the emotions and politics.
  • Help make all parties look good when a conflict is resolved. It doesn’t help anyone’s cause to say ‘I told you so’.
  • Respect others for their varying perspectives and backgrounds. 
  • Align thinking, speech and words.
  • Be passionate and energized about what you do. But don’t be overly emotional if it makes the other party feel uncomfortable.
  • Seek to understand before trying to be understood.
  • Be the mediator and facilitator. Identify prioritized needs and assign resources and dollars accordingly.
  • Try to make the other party look good, even if you’re right about a conflict you’ve had.

Build a Network

  • Connect with a wide range of other people from varying backgrounds.
  • Invite face-to-face meetings, especially when building a relationship.
  • Meeting face-to-face also helps when you’re meeting people from another culture.
  • Be curious about others’ perspectives, and open to other interpretations.

Keep learning, sharing and growing. Never settle.

  • Take the ‘We are all one’ and ‘We are not alone’ mindset.
  • Adopt a Quality-First culture and make a business case for it.
  • Be open to people who don’t think, speak or act like you. 
  • Communicate in a language the other party would understand.
  • Be quick to listen, slow to judge, especially when others aren’t in agreement with you.
  • Stand up for yourself. Don’t be talked over or belittled.
  • Stand up for others who were dismissed or unheard.

The bottom line is that although conflict is inevitable, it can be a positive and constructive thing, if managed well.


Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at ASML and our panelists for FountainBlue’s April 13 When She Speaks event, on the topic of Resolving Conflict When the Stakes are High!

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Sondra Bollar, Senior Director of Engineering, Oracle
  • Panelist Ruchika Jhalani, Director of Engineering, eBay
  • Panelist Wei Li, VP of Engineering Operations, ASML Brion
  • Panelist Sangeeta Relan, Senior Director, Quality Engineering, Nutanix

 

Automotive and Transportation Trends and Predictions

April 9, 2018

transportation

FountainBlue’s April 6 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Automotive and Transportation Trends and Predictions’, hosted by Intel.

Our executives in attendance represented a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs and executives with broad and deep experience around transportation. The conversation ran the gamut between autonomous vehicles to plugging stations to chips and security and AI. Despite the range of topics, our executives agreed on the following:

  • Although we have made a lot of impressive advances in the past few years/decade, autonomous vehicles are not quite ready for prime time. The technology, the policies and the public sentiment have significant challenges currently, which need to be overcome before mass adoption takes place, and autonomous driving becomes commonplace.
  • Infrastructure challenges such as roads will be barriers to successful transportation and automotive solutions. Mundane things such as sensors on the roads may impact sophisticated solutions such as self-driving cars. Becoming aware of these problems will help facilitate the collaborations and work needed to address the policy, technical, and tactical issues posing barriers to successful and consistent implementation of integrated transportation solutions and systems.
  • Perhaps having separate standards for autonomous lanes and human-driver lanes might make sense in the interim, as having a mix of both may more likely create problems.
  • AI, ML and other big data software solutions will continue to be integrated with hardware such as chips, sensors, drones, IoT solutions as we work collaboratively to develop future transportation and automotive solutions.
  • Balancing privacy, security, and access will become increasingly more complicated and more necessary as automotive and transportation solutions become more sophisticated, and more integrated into our day-to-day lives.

It takes an ecosystem of providers and partners to transform the transportation and automotive industry.

  • Entrepreneurs, Corporate Executives, Government Officials, Technologists, Utilities etc., must collaboratively shape, fund and develop transportation and automotive options for the future.
  • The interdependencies between technologies and solutions makes it difficult to innovate in a silo, no matter how brilliant the foundational technology.
  • The volume of available data (historical and current data from a wide range of sources) coupled with the rapid, real-time changes of that data and the complexity and sophistication of the technologies used (big data, mobile, IoT, sensors) makes it impossible for any one company or organization or government to address all elements of an integrated transportation solution. 

We conclude by agreeing that partnerships across leaders, across companies, across sectors, across technologies will be necessary imperatives. Progress may be slow toward that end, but it is both necessary and inevitable.