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.
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.
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!
“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.
It was my pleasure to be interviewed on ABC Drive Adelaide for a short piece on the marketing of Virtual Assistants. This humorous and pithy interview get some great points across about the overall surveillance in modern life; not just by corporations but by our friends (and maybe parents) too. Thank you ABC Adelaide!
I spent a great hour today with Jessica Strutt of ABC Perth Radio’s Focus program talking about Virtual Assistants with my colleague Jeff Volkheimer. The show is a forty-five-minute discussion of the technology along with texts in from listeners. Thanks so much for the opportunity Amber and Jess.
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.
I am so pleased that the Australian Institute of Project Management Sydney 2018 conference rated this talk so highly. How do I know? I have been asked to reprise it via webinar. This time I am looping my research colleague Jeff Volkheimer in too. Though “project managers” are not in his title, like one the rest of us he is one anyway:
The good thing about the proliferation of project management as a technique of doing anything is that it allows us to break up this idea that you need to manage a person to manage a capability or resource. The problem, of course, is that the skills development – formal and informal – around this isn’t given the attention it requires. Especially not in the softer skills (communication, emotional intelligence, etc) space.
Projects are, by definition, discreet endeavours. They have a beginning and an end. Do they lend themselves to the infinite game? Sure they do. Because the relationships, capabilities, skills and resources in one project don’t necessarily disappear into the ether when you are done. Rather they are part of the invisible network that ties more and more people together and enriches all the subsequent projects we work on.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of interest in authenticity as a topic of thought and discussion during a recent public lecture I held at ECU’s Learning Hub on the main streets of Bunbury, Western Australia. People from all manner of business and walks of life attended and discussed what authenticity means, how culture plays into it (national and organisational) and how important knowing yourself is as part of the equation. Thank you to ECU for supporting the intellectual life of the CBD and making me feel so fortunate to have this opportunity in the South West.
I was recently interviewed by ABC Radio Goldfields and again by 6PR Perth – listen to the podcast here – about Halloween, its origins and the differences in the celebrations in the USA and Australia.
From a research perspective, one of the fascinating aspects of the holiday are the commercialisation and secularisation of religious holidays; and the communities of consumption that gather around them.
Halloween is only moderately successful in Australia and has no where near the reach as it does in North America. However, the creative outlet, community and social release of Halloween is expressed slightly differently at the same time, through the Australian obsession with the Melbourne Cup Race.
People dress up, they spoil themselves, they gather and the celebrate. Some might say the Melbourne Cup doesn’t have the religious basis of Halloween – but then those people might never have visited Melbourne, Victoria.