Archive for August, 2018

Resiliency

August 31, 2018

ResiliencyFountainBlue’s August 30 When She Speaks in East Bay event was on the topic of ‘Resiliency as a Secret Weapon’.

We were fortunate to have such a diverse and powerful panel of leaders who shared both inspiring stories and practical tips on how to find strength, courage and perspective as we each navigate our own path.

Our panelists represented a wide range of educational, professional and personal backgrounds, but they had much in common:

  • Parents and other advocates who instilled in them early in life a drive to become excellent, a passion for learning and growing, and a resiliency which helped them overcome obstacles
  • A network of supporters, mentors, champions, and friends who can help them stay centered even through the toughest challenges
  • A desire to be kind and supportive and give back to others all that they have gained personally and professionally

Below is a summary of thoughts and suggestions on how to be more resilient and centered personally and professionally.

Know Yourself

  • Know yourself well – your values, your strengths, your purpose. Then have the moral courage to stand for your principles, the resiliency to be persistent in accomplishing challenging tasks, the strength to make the people, company, project choices which would set you up for success. 
  • Take care of yourself – physically, mentally, spiritually. Surround yourself with people who know you well who can help you make sure you take care of yourself.
  • Know what and who are important to you and act accordingly.
  • Create boundaries in your work life so that you can be there for the important people in your personal life.

Embrace Change

  • Be flexible and open to change.
  • Reach for what you want, but also accept what you get. It may be even better than what you wanted.
  • Ask for what you want and fearlessly reach for those stretch opportunities.
  • Go where you’ve never been and learn with every iteration.
  • Think outside the box.
  • Live and learn with every choice made. Learn to live on your own terms.

Build that Network

  • Ask for the support and feedback that you need to succeed.
  • Have others do the little things for you, even if they don’t necessarily do it the way you want it to be done. (It’s easier on both of you if you adjust your standards accordingly.)
  • Recruit the mentors, sponsors, partners and other stakeholders to help you get centered and remain centered especially during tough times.

Be a Magnet for Positive Energy

  • Have a positive and constructive mindset. Don’t expect to be perfect, but do expect to learn from every experience, good or bad.
  • Have a thick skin. Being overly-emotional makes people less likely to absorb the lessons learned through failure.
  • Have faith that you can make something happen, that you can help make tomorrow better than today.
  • Manage your self-talk and embrace a positive growth-oriented mindset.

Manage Yourself

  • Work hard. Keep learning. Be resourceful. Add value. Keep reaching for stars!
  • Choose to work with the company and people who can help you feel focused, productive and fulfilled.
  • Be consistently bold and decisive.
  • Be consistently open and coachable.
  • Be consistently strong and resilient.
  • Block off dedicated time for yourself.
  • Compartmentalize to help manage stress and remain positive and productive even through difficult times.
  • Don’t judge yourself or others too harshly. You don’t know the full circumstances of what others are going through, and it’s unproductive to judge yourself too harshly.

Lead a Team Through Adversity

  • Connect leaders to a common purpose and focus on taking productive, measurable outcomes which would gradually again build traction.
  • If you have to do it to prove yourself and you know that you are right, be willing to outwit, outplay and outlast others.

Helping Others Be More Resilient

  • Encourage and support others in being self-reliant and solving problems
  • Have empathy for the circumstances of others
  • Be a role model for others
  • Help others see failure as a badge of courage, as a predictor for success

I’ll conclude with the comment that this resilient panel left a mark on all of us, inspiring us all to have a Vision larger than we dared to dream, to push through obstacles and have Faith that we too can do our part and Change the world.

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Please join me in thanking EFI, our hosts for FountainBlue’s August 30 When She Speaks in East Bay event on the topic of ‘Resiliency as a Secret Weapon’, and our panelists:

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Gayathri Badrinath, Head of Global Marketing Services, Siemens Healthineers

  • Panelist Sharawn Connors, Vice President, Global Total Rewards and Diversity, Flex

  • Panelist Sherry Guo, Head of Global Analytical Science and Technology, Analytical Chemistry & Bioassay, Genentech
  • Panelist Jaya Nair, Senior Intellectual Property Counsel, ASML 
  • Panelist Meena Narayanan , Global HR Leader, Livongo

  • Panelist Jill Norris, CIO, EFI

  • Panelist Vicki Sam, Chief of Staff, EFI

Audience

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Integrating Work Into Life and Life Into Work

August 13, 2018

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We were fortunate to have a large range of perspectives on our panel on the work-life integration topic. They varied in their educational background, in their career choices, in the work experience, in their interests outside the home, and in their family choices. All chose to work professionally, and all excel in what they do. All chose to get married and have at least one child. And all are learning from the experience.

Below is some advice for others who are aiming to integrate life into work, and work into life.

  • Make a proactive, considered, data-based decision for both your work choices and your life choices, plus how to integrate the two.
  • Welcome help and support from your family, friends and networks, as well as technology tools and community resources.
  • Know what’s important for the important people in your life and make sure that you’re there for her/him.
  • Know when it’s crunch time at work and make the time to do work well. This may take more support, more understanding, and less time for life activities which are important for yourself and your family and friends, but make up for it when it’s no longer crunch time.
  • Don’t second-guess your work-life integration choices. Don’t judge others for theirs. Don’t be bothered by others who judge you for your choices.
  • Do embrace and work-life integration choice. Do support others in their life-work integration choices. Do accept input, feedback and support when it’s offered.
  • Mentor and support others who are navigating work-life integration challenges.
  • Be actively involved in leaders and causes which you’re passionate about. You will also meet like-minded leaders who would be great support systems as well.
  • Set time boundaries at work so that you can make time for important daily routines at home. Leaving at an earlier hour and working after the kids are in bed will help ensure that you’re there for your kids during their waking hours. 
  • Have a sense of humor and a broader perspective.
  • Do many things well, but don’t expect perfection. 
  • Ruthlessly manage what needs to be done, and when things needs to be done.
  • Allocate time for yourself to do the things which would energize you.
  • Take care of yourself – eat well, exercise, meditate, connect with friends and family.
  • Stretch your mind, your brain. Choose to learn and grow every day.
  • Choose to work on something that’s meaningful, and to work with people you enjoy and respect.

Nobody has all the right answers, but everyone struggles to find that integration between a stimulating and fulfilling life, and work that will make a difference. Choose to enjoy the ride.


Please join us in thanking our gracious hosts at Comcast for our August 10 When She Speaks panel, on the ‘Integrating Work Into Your Life, and Life Into Your Work’ topic, and our panelists:

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Maria Olson Kilgore, Vice President Global & Strategic Alliances, JetStream Software, Inc
  • Panelist Jyoti Kukreja, Director, Software Sales Strategy, Nutanix
  • Panelist Kitty Lou, Director of Product Engineering, Comcast
  • Panelist Ronit Polak, VP of Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks
  • Panelist Tamara Rivera, Director, Inside Sales, Synaptics
  • Panelist Nithya A. Ruff, Head, Comcast Open Source Practice, Comcast 
  • Panelist Erin Yeaman, Senior Director of HR, Lam Research

Communications and Media

August 10, 2018

Communication.jpeg

FountainBlue’s August 10 VIP roundtable was on the topic of ‘Communications and Media Trends and Predictions’, hosted by ForeScout. Below are notes from the conversation.

The conversation ran a wide gamut of topics from leading communications and media in tech companies and for start-ups, to the trends around communication and media industries. Our executives in attendance agreed on the following.

  • Effective Communication will become ever more critical. 
  • Everyone is responsible for communicating on point, on message, not just people who have the title and job description around communications.
  • The convergence of technologies and industries make for a complex, complicated and interrelated ecosystem of players – all of whom are integral to the success of the industry.
  • In an age of the empowered customer who insists on getting data anytime (24×7), anywhere (independent of location), anyhow (across devices), we must be prepared to respond in a timely and detailed matter.

As such, great leaders must be able to navigate:

  • the technologies integral to the way we run our businesses today;
  • the privacy concerns of consumers and companies within and outside an organization;
  • the convergence across industries and sectors;
  • the leaders in other roles within and outside their organization;
  • the industries adjacent to their own

The importance of collaboration between leaders and companies is key because:

  • The pace of change is mind-boggling. No one person can track it all.
  • The advancements in specific technologies are significant and ever-evolving. 
  • The security of the brand and impact is on the line.
  • Knowledge and information will reside across leaders, functions, companies and industries.

Below are suggestions and best practices given the above.

  • Tell a story which draws out emotions and speaks to the truth.
  • Educate everyone within the company about appropriate communications and messages.
  • Learn from what others are thinking, saying and doing in this field. Change is happening quickly!
  • Remember that anything you’ve ever communicated is fair game, and may come back to haunt you!
  • Watch for applications who may gather data without permission, or manipulate you with the information collected even with your permission. 
  • Be an educated Prosumer – one who creates and consumes content. 
  • Segment your audience and strategically message to them, based on their interests and priorities.
  • Document in written communications who the intended audience is.
  • Keep your communications simple but meaningful. Speak the language of your intended audience.

Below are thoughts on trends around communications and media.

  • Balancing privacy, security and access will continue to be key. Emerging companies in this space will ensure maximum accessibility and flexibility – across devices, across content, between interval and external devices, while also ensuring privacy and security for everyone.
  • There will continue to be opportunities around collecting a comprehensive, dynamically-updated database of devices and managing them.
  • There will continue to be strategic consolidations between networking, telecommunications, entertainment industries and companies. Users will benefit from more seamless integrations of networks, more integrated presentations of content options, and even more safety and security functionality at the home.
  • There is and will continue to be an excess of content and data. There are therefore opportunities for filtering out content based on the real interest of people. Companies who do that right, without pushing their own agenda first (e.g. promoting companies who have paid more in ads), would be more respected for their authenticity and for representing the truth.
  • AI and ML will continue to be part of customized solutions.
  • Direct-to-direct communication will help ensure security, and minimize potential interception of communication – intentional or otherwise.
  • There’s an opportunity to curate content to reflect what’s really happening, the real truth, not manipulated messages. Perhaps crowdsourced creation of content, including the input of people with true identities, would help elevate the validity and the veracity of communications.
  • With data provided by leading marketing technology companies, both established and emerging, companies and leaders can have enough data to understand the buying decisions of targeted users. There’s a huge opportunity for companies who can get this piece right.

Any way you slice it, there’s a lot going on around Communications and Media trends. Connecting with other leaders and with market trends will help us all stay on top of the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Our Journey at Lam

August 2, 2018

WGOPsAug12018Panel

The WGOPs Steering Committee was pleased to host our August 1, 2018 Tualatin-based launch event entitled ‘Our Journey at Lam’ and featuring:

  • Katherine Brown, Director of Manufacturing Engineering, Lam Research
  • Lora Muller, Senior Supply Chain Business Manager | GOPS – SMG8, Lam Research
  • Belinda Nabarrete, Managing Director, Lam Research
  • Erin Yeaman, Senior Director of HR, Lam Research
  • with the interactive conversation facilitated by Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue and opening remarks by Mike Snell, Divisional GM, Lam Research

Below are notes from the conversation.

Our panelists represented many different educational and professional backgrounds, and made many different life choices around education, family, and work. But they had much in common.

  • They made the right work and life choices for them at the time, based on the myriad of factors which impacted them.
  • They had the support of men and women around them to help them tackle the work and life challenges.
  • They support the leadership and development initiatives brought by Lam and applaud Lam for having a culture which supports diversity and inclusion.

Our panelists agree that there are a whole host of opportunities ahead, in this age of Industry 4.0, led by digitization and advanced manufacturing. People who have been working for decades have helped lay the groundwork for others – making it easier for women and people with diverse backgrounds to secure more challenging, more impactful positions and roles.

Advancements in technology and the business climate are also impacting how business leaders attract, retain and develop talent. In this Age of Digitization, people with skills in data and statistical analysis, advanced manufacturing and AI/ML will be at a premium. 

And leaders at Lam and other companies will need to increase the pipeline for this talent, as well as develop and promote talent from within. Including more women and more people with diverse backgrounds  – a WGOPs mission and goal – will help address this critical need, directly impacting the bottom line.

Below is a summary of advice for navigating a career journey at Lam.

  • First, believe that there are many options for women (and men) in Lam’s global operations roles.
  • Then, stretch yourself and reach for something a bit more than what you’re doing now. 
  • This may take getting networked with influential others, or it might mean taking classes or even getting a degree. It may mean reading books and web sites and using the library of resources available to Lam employees.
  • Make calculated risks and learn from every success, every failure.

Below are thoughts about personal development in general.

  • You are the CEO of your life. Know what you want and follow that path. Accept that there will be setbacks along the way, and learn from any failures and setbacks.
  • Sometimes things don’t go as planned. But you can still make the best of each opportunity so that things work out in the end.
  • Embrace the opportunity to do something new and different.
  • Learn to manage and lead.
  • Welcome the support of others – whether they be family, mentors, friends or sponsors. 
  • Speak up when you need something. Reach out and support others who are seeking support.
  • Get the support you need at home to get your work done. Get the support you need at work so that you can be there for important life events.
  • Err toward finding win-win collaborations across people, teams, companies and even industries.
  • Don’t expect perfection, but do aim for continuous improvement. 
  • Choose to be your best self. Help others to make that same choice.
  • Sometimes life happens, and you have to make a proactive choice in one direction or the other – toward work or toward life. It’s a tough decision, so go easy on yourself. Correct it to the other side if and when you think that’s the right thing to do. But don’t second guess yourself or feel bad for a proactive choice you’re making.

Below is advice offered on how to partner with others in your network and community.

  • Be a Lam ambassador in the community.
  • Find out about programs involving the community – whether it’s the colleges or the local high school.
  • Ask your HR representative about securing an intern for your team.
  • Take personal responsibility for helping to fill the pipeline, the volume of prospective interns, staff members, managers.

To conclude, in this time of great change, let’s work together in community, as women (and men), as Lam employees, and as active community members, to grow and stretch ourselves, and meet the work challenges of the future.

Choose Happiness

August 1, 2018

HappyPeopleHappiness is a choice, a frame of mind largely independent of circumstances. You can find the happiest of people in the humblest of circumstances and the sourest of people who could not be more pampered.

And nobody would contest that happiness is tightly correlated to success socially and professionally, in the long term and for the short term.

Below are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned from happy people.

  1. Believe that happiness is a choice and choose to make it happen. Here’s a recipe below.
    1. First, choose to be happy. Feel deserving of happiness – no matter what you did in the past, where you think you fall short today.
    2. Next, know what it takes realistically to make youreslf happy. What’s the (smallest) delta between what you have/do/want now and where you’d like to be?
    3. After that, confirm that it’s a practical and doable objective.
    4. Then create an incremental plan to get from here to there.
    5. From there, consistently believe that your choices can bring you the happiness you’re seeking.
    6. Continue to proactively make those choices even when the road isn’t easy.
    7. Include others in your journey.
    8. Celebrate along the way.
  2. Know yourself well and accept who you are, while also stretching the envelope for who you can become – but only if it helps you become happier and more fulfilled.
  3. Be grateful for all you have, rather than focusing on what you wish you had. People could waste their lives waiting for something to happen…
  4. Be proud of who you are and what you can do. Nobody’s perfect, and comparing yourself to others more perfect than you can easily lead to unhappy and unwelcome thoughts.
  5. Bring positive energy to people and tasks around you – all the time, every time, especially when it’s really challenging to do so. But be authentic about it – don’t force it.  As a corollary, let go of people and things that bring you down. Many of us are burdened by tasks and obligations which bring work without joy and appreciation, without delivering intended results.
  6. Be purposeful in what you do, and align it with what you’d like to accomplish.
  7. Be resilient. Nobody succeeds and wins all the time, every time. Use every failure as a stepping stone to success. Embrace failure as a badge of courage.
  8. Be compassionate to those who are not like you, and those who don’t agree with you. Be curious about how they are different than you and in what ways their viewpoints are different than your own.
  9. Forgive yourself for past perceived infractions. Forgive others for same.
  10. Be curious about what you don’t know, about how things work, how things will change. Complacency in what you do, overconfidence in everything you know will not lead to a happiness outcome.

As a final thought, be self-aware enough to understand and implement the thoughts above. Embrace the opportunity to read and process new information and new people, especially when it makes you uncomfortable. For embracing change is a road to happiness.

Best of luck in your quest for happiness.

Don’t wish for an ocean, for an ocean is too large. Do wish for the right droplet of rainwater and appreciate the life it brings to you.