Archive for July, 2018

Smart Cities, Smart Buildings

July 17, 2018

building

FountainBlue’s July 13 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Smart Cities, Smart Buildings Trends and Predictions’. Thank you also to our gracious hosts at Ford and to our participating executives. Below are notes from the conversation.

The perfect storm is bringing together technologies and industries and solutions to make cities and buildings smarter, serving an ecosystem of broad and diverse players. There’s a lot at stake, and everything is evolving quickly. Success with this opportunity involves:

  • A collaborative mindset which is open to technologies, solutions, and processes introduced by other leaders, companies and industries. 
  • An adoption of cutting hardware and software technology solutions, and even more importantly, the elegant integration of same.
  • A customer-centric, tech-philic, data-enabled approach to delivering solutions.
  • A vision for a future which leverages technology to make life easier for more people.
  • An ability to respect the volumes of data generated, and then to filter out the noise and collect actionable information which will efficiently prescribe measured actions.
  • A deep respect for the privacy of users, while also delivering to their specific and detailed personalized needs.

Below is advice offered by the participating executives on how to facilitate leadership and innovation which creates smarter cities and smarter buildings.

  • Define standards which are approved by a wide range of partners across the ecosystem. 
  • Everyone across the ecosystem must work with policy-makers to help ensure the success of entrepreneurial and business initiatives which spawns innovation and economic growth.
  • Have regular open conversations in community and encourage and reward win-win collaborations.
  • Understand the business models for proposed solutions, especially when you’re supporting cities, who have not traditionally had the financial resources and risk-taking mindsets necessary to adopt game-changing technologies that make life easier for citizens.
  • Accept that users will insist on bringing their own device to work and want to work from anywhere. Corporate and community leaders must figure out how to make everyone’s data safe and private despite these choices.
  • It’s always about the data. Make sure that you Focus on quality data (not just noise), that the right people Access the intended data, and that you can fluidly Manage how data is generated, accessed, used and distributed.
  • Focus on creating specific use cases for adopting technologies and processes and business models which would benefit all participating parties.  
  • Be mindful of the many innovations happening in Asia, specifically Shanghai. Don’t assume that Silicon Valley and the US are leading the way.
  • Look not just at the technology and economic progression of the company/team/industry, but also at the social impact and long-term sustainability of the decisions made. 
  • Although we are always looking for sexy technologies and solutions, it’s always about the people – our customers who adopt it, our staff who implements it, our leaders who influence adoption.
  • Sometimes adopting a technology without a specific goal in mind might deliver results beyond your imagination. Case in point, in Shanghai, $1 sensors were put on manhole covers because it was easy. Although it wasn’t planned at the time, the result was better traffic management and control, better road safety and quality around the manhole, less theft of manholes, decreased number of vehicles who didn’t get smog-checked, and increased ability to track stolen cars.

Below are thoughts and questions to consider when investigating opportunities for Smart Cities and Smart Buildings.

  • What technologies would increase public safety and minimize crime?
  • How will analytics help cities to better serve residents?
  • What’s the best way to get from point A to point B?
  • How can we improve parking, and therefore better manage congestion?
  • How can we measure the time and energy used and saved in a building with more granularity? with more regularity?
  • What can we do to support over-strained city resources as people flock to cities and as more huge cities are born?
  • How will sensors integrate with AI and ML to create actionable data, not just noise?
  • How can we continue to optimize storage, access and connectivity when demands grow at such an alarming rate?
  • How do we keep in front of the bad guys who would jeopardize our safety, compromise our network, steal our personal data?
  • How can we all more efficiently and effectively work together to deliver customized services to workers and residents in growing cities?
  • What can be automated and what should not be automated?

We are all impacted by the choices made by leaders and companies to create smarter cities, especially as the greater majority of us will move to cities in the decades to come. The leaders and the innovators will define which technologies, which processes, which solutions will succeed, and who will benefit from these successes.

Food for thought:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/13/microsoft-president-calls-for-regulation-of-facial-recognition-technology/

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To Rosie the Riveter and Other Groundbreaking Women

July 17, 2018

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FountainBlue’s July 12 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘To Rosie the Riveter and Other Ground-Breaking Women’. Our panelists represented a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds, and a wide range of roles and organizations, plus of course multiple generations. But they had much in common.

  • They were very authentic, clear and self-aware. Clearly their life and work experiences helped to shape them, for the better.
  • Their successes and challenges helped them to further embrace the opportunities ahead – to seize the day and make the best of it.
  • They welcomed feedback and input from important others around them.
  • They erred toward sharing, toward helping others around them to also be more open, more inclusive.

Below is a compilation of learnings and advice for being the kind of strong and authentic leader who will help raise the bar for others, and produce lasting and tangible results.

  1. Know who you are, what you’re good at, and where you want to go. Be flexible about the plan to get from here to there as life happens despite the plans. Then keep reaching for stars.  
  2. Choose carefully the cause, the company, the team you join. This way, you can make the kind of impact which is in alignment with your values, with your talents, with your purpose.
  3. Embrace your circumstances. There is no ONE prototype for leadership. Step in and step up despite, or because of, your background and upbringing and life/work choices. It’s all in the frame of mind.
  4. Be inclusive and supportive. Empower everyone around you to achieve more and do more.  We are all learning and growing. Doing it together helps everyone.
  5. Be grateful for all you have. Bring positive energy to all you do.
  6. Be curious about people who are not-like-you. Having an open mind will keep you flexible, marketable and useful and perhaps happier besides!
  7. Don’t take things so personally. Frame conversations so that they are fact-based, and purpose-driven. Let your left brain take the lead when emotions run high during a conversation. What’s the kernel of useful wisdom in a charged interaction? How can that support your personal growth and your relationship with the other person?
  8. Look not necessarily to the public figures to be our heroes. In this day of communication, warts can be easily reviewed and no public figure is perfect, no matter how pure. Take the positive and constructive learnings from these public figures, but consider also what you can learn from the everyday heroes around you.
  9. Connect on common purpose and common mission, whether at work or in life.
  10. Focus on delivering clear and objective goals which are measurable. Change those goals with market and customer feedback.

We concluded by remarking that we can ALL be groundbreaking men and women, no matter what we’re doing, where we’re sitting. The more powerful we each are, the more we can do together. So let’s support each other in a common leadership and innovation cause – one conversation, one leader, one organization at a time.

Resources:


Please join us in thanking our gracious hosts at Quora and our panelists for FountainBlue’s July 12 When She Speaks event, on the topic of ‘To Rosie the Riveter and Other Ground-Breaking Women’.  

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Beth Arnesen, Inside Sales Manager, Pure Storage 
  • Panelist Kelly Battles, CFO, Quora
  • Panelist Stephanie Ho, Engineering Manager, Quora
  • Panelist Tiffany Iskandar, Portfolio Management Index Equity Analyst, BlackRock 
  • Panelist Nehal Mehta, Director Global Partner Sales, Veritas Technologies
  • Panelist Shveta Miglani, Head of Global Talent Enablement @LiveRamp @ Acxiom and Member of Forbes HR Council
  • Panelist Medha Samant Director of Product Management, COO- eBay Women In Technology (eWIT), eBay

Leadership Lessons from Dr. Seuss

July 1, 2018

DrSeussQuote

When I was in college back in the day, I worked three different jobs, each of which provided me with the foundation of knowledge and experience I use every day.

Firstly I worked in an office, learning technologies and tools, efficiencies and protocols, as well as people and communications skills. Secondly, I took notes for a wide range of classes, and also summarized and typed notes for other note-takers. Lastly, I taught at a pre-school. There is no better leadership experience than doing that, and no better opportunity to teach others how to think and lead.

I integrated the learnings and teachings of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Mar 02, 1904 – Sep 24, 1991), commonly known as Dr. Seuss, in my day-to-day life, and shared it with my pre-schoolers back then, and with my colleague, friends, clients and partners today, for they are still relevant.

1. Be Fully YOU

  • “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” From Happy Birthday to You!
  • “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” from the The Lorax.
  • “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “Only you can control your future.”

2. Seize the Day

  • “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
  • “Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”
  • “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
  • “Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
  • “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” from the Cat in the Hat

3. Exude Confidence

  • “Will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

4. Choose to Always Learn and Grow

  • “It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
  • “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”
  • “Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!”

5. Be Clear and Direct in Your Communications

  • “Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
  • “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful, one hundred percent.” from Horton Hears a Who.

6. Think Outside the Box

  • “He should not be here, ” said the fish in the pot. ” he should not be here when your mother is not.” from the Cat in the Hat
  • “Think and wonder, wonder and think.”
  • “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
  • “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
  • “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.”
  • “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”

6. You May Only Be ONE Person, But You Are an Important Person

  • “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
  • “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small.” from Horton Hears A Who!

7. Treat Everyone as Someone Important

  • “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.” from Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz.
  • “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” from Horton Hears A Who!

6. Play the Game of Life

  • “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • “We must become invisible, travel silently, for there are forces that would seek to destroy us.” from Horton Hears A Who!

7. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

  • “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

8. Embrace a Positive Mindset

  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
  • “Fun is good.”
  • “You oughta be thankful a whole heaping lot for the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.”
  • “You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?”

9. Live a Life with No Regrets

  • “Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
  • “Life’s too short to wake up with regrets.”

10. Be Good to Everyone You Touch

  • Love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t.

Thank you Dr. Seuss, for touching me so deeply, through and through. May your words of wisdom and way of being continue to bring ripples of love and happiness, may this wish come true.