How you doin?

It is the 25th anniversary of the TV Show Friends, and when I saw the call to write something marking the occasion, I wrangled my writing buddy Jeff Volkheimer, and told him what I loved most about the show: the authenticity of the characters throughout the series. Both Jeff and I work in large corporate environments, and have many managers over our 20-plus year career. As managers as well as those being managed, we had lots of opinions about what made a good manager. The idea for this article in the conversation was born – and although some commenters thought learning anything from watching Friends is a bit of a stretch, I disagree. Everything we know and observe can make us better managers, colleagues and people.

Technology is an investment, especially in healthcare.

In health care settings, as in educational institutions, we like to think of our customers as different to the usual definition. They are called “patients”, “clients”, “partners” or “students”. These names denote the special and particular relationship we have with them. There are very solid traditional and cultural reasons for that difference. Nonetheless, in all these settings, technology is an investment which can deliver better outcomes if it is used properly, is culturally appropriate and if we don’t make the mistake of thinking that machines can always replace people. In this article, taken from a ServiceNow conference I recently attended, I was on a panel with technology in Health Care specialists who are delivering results for their organisations, and patients. but there is a lot more to do in this space to breakdown the notions (and accounting cost codes) to see tehcnology as delivering the results it does.

Longevity and leverage: stakeholders and staff in Project Management

The AIPM WA was kind enough to invite me to speak at an industry breakfast this week on Longevity and Leverage, or managing people during a project to get the maximum discretionary effort possible. The breakfast was held during one of the stormiest weeks in Perth on record, but we still have about forty people in the room who shared their perspectives on what engaged them emotionally in their work and on “soft” versus “hard” skills – and their value in the modern workplace.

I was honoured to be invited and have such an engaged audience. The perspectives I shared are part of a growing interest in the overlap between our behaviours in our personal lives around love and how they can manifest, to our benefit, in our work life. Many people say “Love your work” but they often don’t say “Love the people you work with”. However if you use the basic tenants of love and attachment and (appropriately) tie them to the workplace you can find that the way you are projecting positivity is more impactful than traditional management models.

Thanks, AIPM, for the opportunity to share the love on love – and I look forward to engaging with my PM colleagues at the AIPM national conference in Melbourne this year!

Customer Experience in Health Care: What role does technology play?


“Knowledge” is the name of the annual conference for a product called ServiceNow. I was glad to be invited on a panel about customer experience across the service continuum in health care environments. Are patients customers? When does their experience begin and end? What role do invisible and visible technologies play in the patient experience? I was lucky to appear on this panel with my colleague, Jeff, from Duke Health, Michael Warden and Erik Zempel from the University of Michigan and ServiceNow’s own Barbara Rotondo. This conference, about 20,000 strong is a great example of generating enthusiasm, sharing learning and showcasing products all in one geographic, simultaneous space.

“Hey Google, open the pod bay doors…”

The Conversation is an international, non-profit publication of some repute in academic circles. Mainly because it takes research and knowledge from academic experts and applies it to contemporary issues in a relevant way. Jeff Volkheimer and I are pleased that they have published a recent article of ours on the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and its prophetic projection as it relates to voice assistants in consumer electronics and who they really work for. The upshot? Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa and that crowd aren’t working for you even though the companies make it look like they are.

The process of writing this article, and the editors at The Conversation (along with the internal ECU team) were so supportive and made writing this a pleasure. I look forward to more Conversation articles to come.