Date   

Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

Linda Holroyd
 

Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's May 21 Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the topic of 'Embracing Agility'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 

AgilityMay21Panel.png

FountainBlue's May 21 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Embracing Agility'. Please join me in thanking our panelists for their participation.
Our panelists spoke in-depth about the innovation, management, and operational benefits for embracing agility. The quality of being flexible, open and nimble is becoming increasingly more important in a world where technology is complex and distributed, a world where customers are demanding and sophisticated, a world where privacy, security and access are as important as coordination and collaboration.
Below is a compilation of their best practices for embracing agility.

Building and Maintaining Relationships is Key
  • Being open and curious and developing relationships with people within and outside your team/org/ company helps people be more nimble and agile.
  • Don't label yourself as someone in a particular role/ skillset/ title/function, but do stretch your perception of who you are, where you fit as you build more relationships, more knowledge and skills.
Communicating and Coordinating Increases the Likelihood of Success
  • Making the opportunity to co-design and co-develop products is both more fun and more likely to deliver favorable results.
  • Communicate the agile-minded strategy to key stakeholders in a language best received by the intended audience.
  • Consider the fact that executives have a high signal-to-noise level, so stay on-point, speaking in bullets, drilling down into details only on where there are questions.
  • Take a WIIFM (what's in it for me) approach to communicating with the various stakeholders across the ecosystem. It increases the likelihood of engagement, sharing, and collaborating.
Adopting Agile Practices Helps Companies, Teams and Leaders Be More Open and Flexible
  • Agile Practices helps teams and leaders make pivots and shifts based on market, business, customer and technology trends.
  • Situational awareness helps leaders at all levels be more strategic while being more open.
  • Becoming agilely aware of new technology and market trends helps you learn new technologies and methodologies while also helping teams build smaller, more modular solutions.
Soliciting Feedback and Input Helps Us All Better Perform
  • Rather than staying in a silo or working solo, be curious about how others are solving problems and how others are looking at opportunities.
  • When you have many moving parts, many unknowns, consider collaborating on a Fail-Fast strategy so you can get more feedback, information and data to inform plans, processes, product definitions, risk assessments, etc.,
  • Clearly defining processes helps manage performance, feedback and results and helps to optimize the flow and integration across individuals, teams, and customers.
Engaging and Mobilizing Leaders at All Levels Facilitates the Visioning, Planning and Execution Process
  • Strategically communicating the value, the risks, the opportunity helps build engagement for stakeholders across the value chain.
The bottom line is that the agile mindset helps leaders at all levels and their teams and organizations be more innovative, more progressive, more successful.
Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2021/05/21/agility-4.

We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs.
Until we next connect.

Regards,
Linda

==========
About FountainBlue
FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

  • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
  • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
  • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
  • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
  • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
  • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
  • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
  • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
  • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
  • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
  • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
  • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
  • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
  • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year



  • --
    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell


    When She Speaks Meeting Follow-Up

    Linda Holroyd
     

    Everyone, Thank you for attending FountainBlue's April 9 When She Speaks women in leadership series program, on the topic of 'Building a Culture of Trust'. Please join me in thanking our hosts at Renesas and our esteemed panelists. 

    image.png
    TrustPanelApril092021a.png
    We were fortunate to have a seasoned and varied range of panelists to speak on the very timely question of building a culture of trust.
    Building trust has been especially important as leaders at all levels are dealing with many uncertainties and challenges with the pandemic and its aftermath. Below is a summary of our learnings from the panel discussion.

    Trust is essential for leadership and management. It is something that's slow-to-earn, and quick-to-lose, which makes the stakes high. A team, a company, an individual can't thrive and succeed unless he/she/they/we have the trust of the many others in their circle. Below are best practices for building trust.

    Be Worthy of the Trust
    • Be credible. Work hard. Be clear on what's required and consistently exceed expectations.
    • Be authentic, sincere, honest and true. Your character will help you build trust.
    • Own up to your mistakes, and be willing to humbly learn from them.
    • Be vulnerable about what you can and can't do, and persistent about learning what you need to do to perform well.
    • Be courageous and bold, especially when you are uncomfortably doing what you know to be right by others.
    • Do the right thing. Do right by others. Do this consistently. Especially when it's hard. 
    • Share a vision for what's next, especially when so much is uncertain. 
    • Consistently walk the talk and talk the walk, building a brand worthy of the trust of others.
    Be Other-Focused
    • Listen well and deeply to what the other is saying so that you can understand both the needs and the motivation.
    • Relationships matter. Be sincere, transparent and direct with your communications and act like those relationships matter.
    • Be empathetic and supportive of others. Manage and communicate with grace. We are all working and living in strange, uncertain and at times difficult circumstances. 
    Be Collaborative
    • Identify and work toward that common ground, in concert with an ecosystem of others.
    • Set high expectations for yourself and others, and communicate how each stakeholder benefits from collaboratively working toward a common goal.
    • Value those who think and speak and act differently, and invite them to collaborate. 
    Keeping Learning and Excelling
    • Be self-aware enough to know yourself and your own strengths and limitations. Keep reaching for stars from there.
    • Never settle - keep reaching and learning and making things better for yourself, your team, your customer, your partners.
    • Assertively make a stand for divergent viewpoints and input. Graciously invite others to do the same.
    • Embrace the opportunities to feel uncomfortable. 
    • The measure of a (wo)man is not just how they behave when they succeed but also how they learn and grow when they don't.
    Be Strategic
    • Ask the 'why' before the 'what'. Make sure that the 'what' always aligns with the why.
    • Don't let the 'how' interfere with the 'what'. 
    The bottom line throughout the conversation is to be credible - to provide a constancy amongst the change, the all-in support of others which helps all to reach confidently for what's next.
      Get Informed and Involved
    • Join our free FountainBlue mailing lists: weekly event invitations and monthly newsletter on leadership and innovation topics
    • Please feel free to forward these notes, with proper credit to FountainBlue, and our speakers and hosts. See notes from past events and join us for our upcoming events.  
    See notes for this program online at and see the PowerPoint attached.
    We hope to include you for next month's When She Speaks program, or another one in the near future. Have a great weekend.
    Until We Next Connect! 
    Linda

    About FountainBlue's When She Speaks Series
    Launched in Silicon Valley in May 2006, FountainBlue's monthly When She Speaks panel discussions feature senior women leaders from partner tech companies speaking on leadership and innovation topics. Our interactive conversations are known for being inspiring, educational, practical and fun. 
    Our monthly programs have shifted to an online format in response to the pandemic, and will continue to be held online for the foreseeable future, to better manage content and to provide broader access to a more distributed customer base. See notes from FountainBlue's past When She Speaks events and/or sign up for our weekly invitations and monthly newsletters 
    • Building a Culture of Trust, April 9, 2021, hosted by Renesas
    • Expanding Your Circle of Influence, May 14, 2021, hosted by Oracle
    • Start-ups Changing the World, June 11, 2021, hosted by Coupa Software
    • Next Generation Collaborations, July 9, 2021, hosted by Intel
    • What He Said, What He Meant, August 13, 2021, hosted by Samsung
    • One of 'The Onlys', September 10, 2021, hosted by ASML
    • Local Input, Global Impact, October 8, 2021, hosted by Cisco
    • Third Annual Mentorship Awards, November 12, 2021, hosted by Pure Storage
    • Fourth Annual Men Who Open Doors Awards, December 10, 2021, hosted by Nova 
    FountainBlue's notes are copyrighted by FountainBlue for 2006-2021.
    FountainBlue's When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series
    Friday, April 9, 11:50 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
    Building a Culture of Trust
    Online with Renesas as host - link will be sent to registered attendees

    Building a Culture of Trust means that there's a 'People-First' mindset in thinking, words and actions, while also running a company that's doing well - financially, technologically - while doing right by it's people, by its industry, for the good of the earth.
    • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
    • Panelist Krista Pavlakos, Senior Director, Marketing Communications & Demand Creation, Renesas
    • Panelist Sanchita Gupta, Director, Human Resources Business Partner, Samsung Research America
    • Panelist Shikha Mittal, Senior Director of Product Management, VMWare
    • Panelist Sandy Yu, Global Lead, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Advisory Boards (CAB/PAB/ISV), Oracle
    Order your tickets online: $50 general admission
    E-mail us at info@... if you're interested in becoming a corporate partner for this year, for a fee of $2500, plus processing fee.


    --
    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell


    Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

    Linda Holroyd
     

    Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's April 2 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 

    • Kristen Brastad, Lam Research
    • Claudia Galvan, Oracle
    • Shruthi Koundinya, HPE
    • Nivedita Ojha, CITRIX
    Our panelists spoke eloquently and knowledgeably first about how their individual companies leveraged data to address the changing business and technology landscape with the pandemic and its aftermath, and then about the opportunities and challenges around the data itself, from the Validity and Relevance issues to the need to respect the Privacy and Security issues, while managing all the most Urgent needs.

    Below are some best practices around data trends and management.

    Thoughts about data:
    • Not all data is created equal. Some data is more 'sticky', more 'transient', more 'relevant' than other data. Plan accordingly.
    • Not everybody needs to know all data, so reports must be tailored to individual audiences.
    • Look not just on the raw data, but focus on the trends of that data. 
    • Data will be relevant in all industries, so all industries must adopt and embrace the technologies and solutions which will produce the volumes of data necessary to deliver quality products and services. 
    Below are some thoughts on how to best filter out the large volumes of data generated:
    • Focus on the data set which aligns best with the goals. Adjust the data generation and reporting plan as the goals change.
    • Create reports on the data which will help individuals make data-driven decisions.
    • Work closely with customers to understand their needs to ensure that the data collected maps to the objectives defined. Collaborate to regularly update those objectives.
    • Focus on the 'Vital Few' - the anomalies and non-conforming data set and information which might tell you about what's broken, what needs to be fixed, how things are really going.
    Thoughts on seeing the trends:
    • Consider the urgency of the need, the 'freshness' of the data when generating reports on data trends. 
    • The data is generated in a report, but the user needs to interpret the report to see the trend. The user must know what data is needed, which data would generate the report needed as well. 
    • Ask users frequently for their input.
    • Look not just at the data, but also at the root cause of a problem or anomaly. 
    • Look not just at the data but on the workflow and how users acquire and act on the data.
    • Look not just at the WHAT of the data, but the SO WHAT - what are the implications? what decisions can you make based on the data? how are you doing based on objectives?…
    The bottom line is that brilliant and agile companies and leaders are leveraging the hardware and software to solve real-world problems, including the healthcare, operational, logistical, manufacturing, supply chain, and other problems introduced with the pandemic, and in the world which follows the pandemic.

    Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2021/04/02/datatrends/ and slides are attached. 

    We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs.
    Until we next connect.

    Regards,
    Linda
    ==========
    About FountainBlue
    FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
    Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
    In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

    About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
    FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
    Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

    Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

    Front Line Managers Online Program:
    One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
    Friday, April 2, 11:50 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Online
    • The Next Normal - (All - Introductions)
    • Managing Data Issues (including Validity, Relevancy, Urgency, Privacy, Security, Volume) - (All, pick one of these issues and speak briefly)
    • Leveraging Data to Identify and Act On Trends: 
      • Applying Data across Industries, Shruthi Koundinya, HPE; Nivedita Ojha, CITRIX
        • Convergence of Industries
        • Examples of How Innovation in One Sector Supports Innovation in Other Sectors
        • Partnerships Across Industries, Geographies
      • Strategizing to Anticipate Market and Technology Needs, Claudia Galvan, Oracle
        • From AI to ML
        • Customer-First Strategies
        • Example of a Proactive Strategy
      • Predicting and Validating Outcomes, Kristen Brastad, Lam Research
        • Plans for Predicting Results
        • Thoughts on Validating Outcomes
        • Reporting on Results and Outcomes
    • Best Practices for Reporting on Data Trends (All)
      • The 80/20 Rule – when to call it a trend?
      • The Agility Advantage – why be fluid?
      • The Transference Edge – how to generalize?
      • Convergence as a Given – how to leverage?
      • Communicating Data Trends – how to get buy-in?
      • Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse – how to focus on the big picture/objective?


  • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
  • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
  • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
  • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
  • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
  • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
  • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
  • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
  • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
  • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
  • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
  • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
  • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
  • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
  • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
  • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
  • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
  • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year

  • --
    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell


    Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

    Linda Holroyd
     

    Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's March 19 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Show Me the Data'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 

    ShowMeTheDataMarch192021.png
    • Zane Hall, Executive Director, IT, Maxim
    • Tracy Meersman, Director Sales Enablement, Skybox Security
    • Ravindra Thadani, Sr. Director - IT Business Applications & Services, AMD
    Our panelists shared their wide and deep experience around data collection, management and reporting. They commented on how we can evolved from the days of large file cabinets to an era where data is kept in the cloud, and now on the edge as well.
    They consistently remarked on the volume of data and provided advice on how we can better strategically and tactically manage data.

    Thoughts on Being Strategic
    • Start with the end in mind, to design a strategy for gathering and reporting on data which reports on specific objectives. Develop a consensus and understanding of what’s being measured for what purpose. 
    • Focus on the needs of the customers - whether they are internal or external.
    • Data is used across use cases, across industries. 
    • Separate measurement from ownership so that there's less likely to be a conflict of interest, and more likely to be objectivity.
    • Embrace Data Democratization - provide the data and tools to the people, with clear policies and guidelines on how to measure, use and report on the data collected
    • Ensure there's not an agenda around the data. 
      • You will get garbage-in->garbage-out (GIGO) if you don't measure the right data. 
      • You can get data to make the case for just about anything - but make sure that the report/the data is valid.
    • Data doesn’t have an ROI, it has a POC so plan accordingly.
    • Understand the velocity of change around the data collected so you can have the right strategy on how to manage it.
    • What’s the so-what of data? What actions/decisions would it trigger?
    • Think through who needs to know what, when and why?
    Thoughts on Improving Execution
    • Provide guidance on data usage and governance on how to use it
    • Make the conversations around data not personal, the culture data-philic.
    • Agree on metrics and how to report on these metrics
    • Develop and use a Common language around the data
    • Ensure Compliance
    • Password Management
    • Providing Security at the Data Level  
    • Proactively Manage home and work networks
    Below is a slide presented by Zane on how to be data-driven as a company.
    image.png
    In closing, we'll conclude that data is the lifeblood of the organization. How we use it, communicate with it, manage it, work with it, says much about our culture, our leadership, our ability to get things done.

    Resources
    Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2021/03/19/show-me-the-data/.
    Front Line Managers Online Program:
    Show Me the Data
    Friday, March 19, 11:50 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Online
    • The Next Normal - (All - Introductions)
    • Why so much data? (All)
    • Risk/Rewards of Data (All)

      • Immediacy
      • Accuracy
      • Security
      • Morality
    • Leveraging Data to Inform Business Decisions - Ravindra Thadani, AMD
    • Leveraging Data to Serve Our Customers - Tracy Meersman, Skybox Security
    • Leveraging Data to Serve Our People - Zane Hall, Maxim Integrated
    • Data Management Best Practices (All)
      • Strategy
      • Execution

    We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs.
    Until we next connect.

    Regards,
    Linda

    ==========
    About FountainBlue
    FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
    Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
    In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

    About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
    FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
    Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

    Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

  • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
  • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
  • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
  • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
  • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
  • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
  • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
  • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
  • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
  • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
  • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
  • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
  • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
  • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
  • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
  • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
  • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
  • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year



  • --
    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell


    Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

    Linda Holroyd
     

    Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's March 5 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Change Management Best Practices'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
    • Louise Lamb, Coupa
    • Christina Lewis, Visa
    • Colm Lysaght, former Micron
    Our panelists were certainly experienced prior to the pandemic, but the events of 2020 and the resulting changes have made them more adept, more courageous, more gracious in the face of change. 
    They agreed that when dealing with change, be bold about what to do, courageous about how to do it, gentle with yourself as you manage through it, open-minded about how to repeat the cycle. Below is a summary of other suggestions and recommendations around change management. 

    Be the Best YOU you can be
    • Be courageous, strategic and humble enough to pivot through the changes, knowledgeable and connected enough to be agile, making it up as you go (within guidelines), and practical and tactical enough to keep shifting, measuring and correcting with your adjustments.
    • Reflect on your 'Zone of Genius', your personal Super Power. Leverage that when appropriate. Hone it and learn from it.
    • Push through the fear with microbursts of energy, small trials with clear objectives and guidelines for success.  
    Manage Your Team Through Change
    • Be more empowering, more inclusive, more supportive of your people through these changes. 
    • Remember that Change will impact people from all backgrounds at all levels, but it will impact everyone differently. Be open and curious enough to help others adjust to changes.
    • Look not just on the change that's happening, but also at the ripple effects of the change on yourself, your team, your product, your customers and plan accordingly.
    • Get the team aligned to a common rhythm, and build engagement and connections following that team rhythm. 
    • Create many touchpoints for individual team members and the overall team.
    • Create and nurture a culture which invites trial and error, and learning from both wins and losses. 
    Be Customer-Centric
    • Put your customers first with every change. 
    • Being customer-centric and developing collaborative strategies will create an ecosystem of partners which would increase the likelihood of surviving and thriving through changes. 
    Embrace Technology
    • Fortunately, technology will continue to evolve to support leaders in envisioning and creating changes which better connect people, better support customers. But only companies and leaders willing to make investments in technology advances shall reap those rewards. 
      • Quote - we have God-like technology, run by Medieval institutions, and people with Paleolithic emotions. Which leaders can help rise above their more primitive emotions (including fear) and the constraints of short-sighted, inflexible organizations? 
    Below are more specific thoughts on Change Management Practices:

    Risk Management
    • Get vaccinated – listen to the science
    • New Different – not normal
    Ecosystems of Interconnected Partners
    • Connecting with each other for the right solutions
    • Understanding how we can be of value of others
    Collaboration
    • Connect and have value, while together in a safe way (for communication and mental health)
    • Invite input from all levels – invite active participation, be open-minded
    • Accept that things have changed – how can we create value and learn from what’s happening, collaborating with others to create something useful
    Innovation
    • Build on the positive changes we’ve made
    • Creativity and empathy while innovating
    Leadership
    • Focus on Employees – Reflective Listening, Adjusting based on feedback
    • Deep listening about everyone’s individual challenges and collaborating to address common issues
    • Learn from our mistakes
    • Be transparent, be accountable
    • Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater
    • Less politics
    • Optimistic and positive outlook
    • Positive and practical – not Pollyanna-ish
    • Close the gap between the directive and the expectations
    • Coaching/Empowerment/Enabling: Asking the questions so that the other will come up with the answers
    • Be open-minded and curious
    • Create a safe environment, invite input
    • Experience what the other feels, walk a mile in the others’ shoes
    This pandemic and its aftermath has taught us yet again that change is not easy, but it is inevitable. It also provided the bonus lesson about our shared humanity and challenged us to collaborate with others to take change by the horn, and together shift to a more gracious, more sustainable mindset benefitting more people.

    Resources
    Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/?p=2785 attached is the slide deck.

    We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs.
    Until we next connect.

    Regards,
    Linda

    ==========
    About FountainBlue
    FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
    Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
    In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

    About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
    FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
    Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

    Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

  • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
  • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
  • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
  • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
  • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
  • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
  • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
  • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
  • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
  • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
  • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
  • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
  • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
  • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
  • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
  • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
  • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
  • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
  • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year


  • --
    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell


    When She Speaks Meeting Follow-Up

    Linda Holroyd
     

    Everyone, Thank you for attending FountainBlue's February 12 When She Speaks women in leadership series program, on the topic of 'Career Agility in the Age of Digital'. Please join me in thanking our hosts at Lam Research and our esteemed panelists.
    AgilityPanelPPT.png

    CareerAgilityPhoto.png
    We were fortunate to have a remarkably talented and centered group of panelists to speak on the career agility topic. They had a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds, but agreed on many things about career agility.
    • Embrace opportunities for continuous learning.
      • 'Learn from every opportunity, good or not so good.'
    • Know yourself - what your skills are, what you're looking for, what you enjoy doing, how you'd like to grow, what's fulfilling for you. This increases the likelihood that you will seek a role which best fits your current and projected needs.
      • 'Know what you don't know, what you don't like.'
    • Seize the opportunities to stretch yourself so that you can grow strategically in a direction which meets your needs.
      • 'Make the unexpected stepping stones to what's next.'
    • Solve a problem presented by your team or organization, even if it's not your problem to solve, even if you don't yet have the skills to solve the problem.
      • Become known as someone who has the skills to solve a problem, not someone with a specific title.
    • Work for a greater purpose a deeper cause.
      • Be a passionate world-changer, working with people who also want to make a difference.
    • Stop comparing yourself negatively to others. Be uniquely you.
      • 'Pretend that your career path to date is something that you meant to do, even if it's not.'
    • Accept that you are where you are, where you are meant to be. There's time to reach higher, be better in specific ways.
      • Make each career step an opportunity to learn about yourself and make a difference for the team and organization.
    • Work with leaders and colleagues you like and respect.
      • Build relationships with quality people and deliver results consistently for them.
    • Never settle.
    The bottom line is that the pace of business, the pace of technology is rapidly increasing, and we must all be resilient enough to withstand the ugly side of change and agile, courageous and bold enough to keep reaching for what's next despite the shifting landscape.

    Resources:
      Get Informed and Involved
    • Join our free FountainBlue mailing lists: weekly event invitations and monthly newsletter on leadership and innovation topics
    • Please feel free to forward these notes, with proper credit to FountainBlue, and our speakers and hosts. See notes from past events and join us for our upcoming events.  
    See notes for this program online at https://fountainblue.blog/2021/02/12/agility/ and see the PowerPoint attached.
    We hope to include you for next month's When She Speaks program, or another one in the near future. Have a great weekend.
    Until We Next Connect! 
    Linda

    About FountainBlue's When She Speaks Series
    Launched in Silicon Valley in May 2006, FountainBlue's monthly When She Speaks panel discussions feature senior women leaders from partner tech companies speaking on leadership and innovation topics. Our interactive conversations are known for being inspiring, educational, practical and fun. 
    Our monthly programs have shifted to an online format in response to the pandemic, and will continue to be held online for the foreseeable future, to better manage content and to provide broader access to a more distributed customer base. See notes from FountainBlue's past When She Speaks events and/or sign up for our weekly invitations and monthly newsletters 
    • Be the Brand You Seek to Be, March 12, 2021, hosted by Maxim Integrated
    • Building a Culture of Trust, April 9, 2021, hosted by Renesas
    • Expanding Your Circle of Influence, May 14, 2021, hosted by Oracle
    • Start-ups Changing the World, June 11, 2021, hosted by Coupa Software
    • Next Generation Collaborations, July 9, 2021, hosted by Intel
    • What He Said, What He Meant, August 13, 2021, hosted by Samsung
    • One of 'The Onlys', September 10, 2021, hosted by ASML
    • Local Input, Global Impact, October 8, 2021, hosted by Cisco
    • Third Annual Mentorship Awards, November 12, 2021, hosted by Pure Storage
    • Fourth Annual Men Who Open Doors Awards, December 10, 2021, hosted by Nova 
    FountainBlue's notes are copyrighted by FountainBlue for 2006-2021.

    FountainBlue's When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series
    February 12, 11:50 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Online
    Career Agility in the Age of Digital
    Link will be sent to registered attendees

    What happens when your career plan doesn't go as planned? Whether it's a choice that you're making, changing market dynamics or larger macro trends, our careers are now more an obstacle course than a hopscotch game. This month, our panelists will share their career journey to date and how circumstances within and outside themselves have taught them to be more agile and more proactive in managing their careers. 
    Order your tickets online: $50 each for general admission 
    • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
    • Panelist Alyson Crafton, Managing Director, Global Information Systems, Lam Research 

    • Panelist Stacey Moser, VP Global Sales Operations, Tektronix

    • Panelist Suchitra Narayen, VP Commercial Legal, Informatica

    • Panelist Roma Wadhi Ghai, HR Director - Office of CTO & Sales & Marketing, Maxim

    • Panelist Vidya Venkatesh, Director, Global Product Strategy (Urologic Cancers Portfolio), Exact Sciences

    • with an introduction by Kimberly Harr, Sr Director Pilot Operations, Lam Research 
    E-mail us at info@... if you're interested in becoming a corporate partner for this year, for a fee of $2500 for the remainder of the year, and includes select Front Line Managers Online programs.




    --
    Linda Holroyd
    CEO, FountainBlue
    650-646-1117 text and cell


    Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

    Linda Holroyd
     

    Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's February 5 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Efficiency in the Next Normal'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 

    • Bruce Berkoff, LCD TV Association
    • Kris Kelly, Renesas
    • Luciana Vecchi, Amazon Web Services
    • Aaron Wruthmann, ROAMSEC
    Efficiency.png


    Below are notes from the conversation.
    Our panel this week represented a wide range of backgrounds and interests. We agreed that we were all impacted by the events of 2020, and will continue to be impacted in the next normal. Below is a summary of their advice on how to be more efficient, more effective in this next normal.

    Be Strategic
    • Be Agile with your Strategy, Planning and Execution. Nobody knows what the future will hold, but we know that being agile, plan-ful and flexible will help you better succeed.
    • Adopt Collaborative, Ecosystem Approaches to optimize the ability to deliver to the needs of your customer. Having a consultative style of communication will help yourself and your team better understand the problems faced by our customer, and better partner with them to address their needs in the short term and for the long term.
    • Manage the risks involved and fund the risk mitigation strategies.
    • Do the research and gather the data, the input, but draw a line in the side and make a choice, select a direction, erring on the side of decisiveness. Nobody can predict the future, but making a calculated choice will give you feedback and more information, and can help you better understand what's next.
    Support Your Team
    • Empower your team to better communicate, better deliver on measurable goals. 
    • Help your team create healthy boundaries between work and life, supporting them to resources and services which would help them better manage their work loads. 
    • Engage your team in collaborative projects. 
    • Connect regularly with your team members.
    • Help your team members address emotional and logistical challenges of working from home. 
    Provide a Secure and Efficient Infrastructure  
    • Train your team on how to keep work laptops secure and private. Provide resources, including housing so that your junior team for example has private space to perform their work tasks at home in a secure environment. 
    • Create an expectation that everyone is responsible for the security of the network and devices and data.
    • Leverage bots and devices and processes to efficiently and securely serve our hybrid workforce.
    Build Long Term Relationships through Consultative Sales 
    • Build long-term relationships with your customers and collaborate with them and with other partners to continue providing exceptional service to these customers - understanding where they want to go, brainstorming how to get there, iterate on the deliverables in getting there.
    The bottom line is that we must all facilitate the Thinking, the Planning and the Execution to be more efficient in the next normal.

    Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2021/02/05/efficiency/ and attached is the slide deck.
      Resources
      We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs. Have a great weekend.
      Until we next connect.

      Regards,
      Linda

      ==========
      About FountainBlue
      FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
      Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
      In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

      About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
      FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
      Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

      Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

    • February 19, 2021: The Urgent Need for Inclusivity
    • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
    • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
    • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
    • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
    • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
    • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
    • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
    • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
    • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
    • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
    • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
    • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
    • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
    • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
    • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
    • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
    • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
    • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
    • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
    • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year


    • --
      Linda Holroyd
      CEO, FountainBlue
      650-646-1117 text and cell


      Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

      Linda Holroyd
       

      Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's January 22 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Networking to Expand Your Circle of Influence'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 

      • Roxanne Dos Santos, Samsung
      • Linda Christensen
      • Shruti Gautam, PayPal
      • With input from Susan Norton, BOLD and Preethy Padmanabhan, Freshworks

      Below are notes from the conversation.
      Jan22NetworkingPanel.png
      Humans are social beings, and networking helps humans to better connect with a broader range of other people. Below are some best practices shared by our speakers on the topic.
      • Align with others in the network (team/project/group) on a purpose and a vision. Know the 'why' before you think about the 'what you've doing' and the 'how it will get done'. Measure to see if you're successful in getting it done and iterate. WHY => WHAT => HOW => MEASURE
      • Take a customers-first mindset and deliver to the needs of the customer. Be curious about what they want and need, what they think about your product or service. Build relationships, networks and ecosystems of customers to help you better inform them, and deliver value to them.
        • Seek the feedback, integrate the feedback, inform them of how the feedback is help you shift the policy, strategy, offering, support, etc.,
        • Speak in a language of platform which would work for the customers, whether they are internal staff or partners or customers. 
      • Take a Culture-First approach to networking, building on the values of the executives, ensuring that people at all levels feel that they are important, are treated as if they matter.
        • Engage and connect with people throughout the organization and drive toward common goals. Help make them feel connected to each other even when we can't meet in person. This may involve gamifying activities, making the time to have fun and connect at a more social level, rather than just being Zoom-Zombies.
      The bottom line is that Networking is about making deep ongoing connections with a wide range of others so that you can better learn and grow yourself, and support others in doing the same. Together, we are all better.

      Linda’s Top Ten Truths About Networking
      1. Be other centric.
      2. Networking is not transactional.
      3. Be courageous.
      4. Be authentic and empathetic.
      5. Be genuine, without an agenda.
      6. Be helpful.
      7. The more the merrier.
      8. No ulterior motive.
      9. Make a mark, be memorable. Remember the other person.
      10. Leverage technology.

      Notes from the discussion are available at  https://fountainblue.blog/2021/01/22/networking
      and attached is the slide deck.
        Resources
        We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs.
        Until we next connect.

        Regards,
        Linda

        ==========
        About FountainBlue
        FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
        Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
        In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

        About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
        FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
        Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

        Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.
      • February 5, 2021: Efficiency in the New Normal
      • February 19, 2021: The Urgent Need for Inclusivity
      • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
      • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
      • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
      • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
      • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
      • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
      • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
      • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
      • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
      • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
      • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
      • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
      • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
      • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
      • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
      • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
      • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
      • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
      • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
      • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year


      • --
        Linda Holroyd
        CEO, FountainBlue
        650-646-1117 text and cell


        Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

        Linda Holroyd
         

        Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's January 8 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Goal-Setting Best Practices'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 

        • Lori Kate Smith, Health Wildcatters
        • Shobhana Viswanathan, Automation Anywhere
        • JD Dillon, Tigo Energy
        • Lynn Marie Viduya, Intermedia
        Goals.png

        Below are notes from the conversation.
        Goal-Setting is important all the time, every time, but especially important in times of great change. To optimize for impact, focus on the vision and mission of the organization and ensure that your team's goals and your personal goals are in alignment with the corporate mission, vision and objectives.
        Indeed measured outcomes should be mapped to these overarching goals, and when market/people/technology change happens, and goals need to be re-visited, the new goals must be checked for alignment with the organization's strategic mission/vision/objectives.
        • Communicating regularly within and outside the team will help create collaborations and help coordinate to achieve results. 
        • Having clarity on your target audiences and the definition of success will increase the likelihood of success.
        • Being clear on metrics - what to measure, what the commitment is, what the best case scenario is - will help everyone focus on driving results.
        • Being clear on the variables which impact whether a goal is reached will help all parties coordinate and collaborate to shift configurations in order to reach identified results.
        • Understanding the motivations of all parties will help you manage toward outcomes and build engagement.
        • Create a common agenda, a common goal, and empower and engage stakeholders to contribute in specific ways towards achieving that goal.
        • Understand the market needs and focus on the markets which best sustain your products and services in the short term and for the long term.
        • Base goals on the needs of the customer.
        • Treat your people well as you help them achieve their goals. Make sure that they have the resources and support they need, and that they are realistic about what they can achieve, particularly with current work from home mandates.
        • Measure your performance through OKR frameworks (objectives through key results), QBRs, etc.,
        Make sure that the goals you're targeting are in alignment with your personal needs, those of your team, and those of your organization.

        Notes from the discussion are available at  https://fountainblue.blog/2021/01/09/goals/
        (opens in a new tab)
        and attached is the slide deck.
          Resources
          We look forward to including you in our other upcoming 2021 programs.
          Until we next connect.

          Regards,
          Linda

          ==========
          About FountainBlue
          FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
          Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
          In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

          About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
          FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
          Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

          Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

        • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
        • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
        • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
        • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
        • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
        • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
        • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
        • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
        • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
        • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
        • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
        • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
        • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
        • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
        • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
        • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
        • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
        • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
        • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
        • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
        • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
        • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
        • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year


        • --
          Linda Holroyd
          CEO, FountainBlue
          650-646-1117 text and cell


          Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

          Linda Holroyd
           

          Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's December 15 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of 2020 and Its Impact on Planning for 2021'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
          • Amber Barber, Lam Research
          • Roxanne dos Santos, Samsung Research America
          • Maranda Dziekonski, Swiftly
          • Ronald Goossens, ASML
          • Karthi Gopalan, Maxim Integrated
          • Thenu Kittappa, Nutanix 
          • Louise Lamb, Coupa Software
          • Debbie Shotwell
          • Amanda York, Lam Research
          Dec15GoodBadUgly2020.png
                We launched the discussion by talking not just about the social, political, economic, and cultural impact of everything that has transpired, but also discussing how we as leaders and organizations have benefited.  
                The events of 2020 helped us to see how fragile, how inter-connected we are to each other. Like a house of cards, systemic issues arose in America's economic, political, social, operational systems as a direct and indirect result of the global pandemic. Everyone has been impacted directly and indirectly.
                Yet we must also exclaim at how resourceful and resilient individuals, corporations, teams and technologies have been through these challenges.
                • Technology and innovation rose to the challenge, providing solutions which keep us connected and working securely and efficiently. Indeed the adoption of digital systems has surpassed expectations because of the necessity to do so around pandemic-related circumstances.
                • Technologies and companies have actually increased their revenues and projections as a direct result of the increased need for technology and innovation. This trend just keeps growing, as demand gets bigger and broader.
                Key to the success of organizations and leaders is how we treat how people.
                • Thinking, speaking and acting like your people are your primary resource builds trust and credibility as well as productivity and sustainable earnings.
                • Involving our people in identifying and solving problems builds engagement and involvement as well as commitment.
                • Work with your people to help them be more resilient, more adaptive, more receptive, more collaborative.
                • Listen with empathy, with the sincere intent to be of service and provide support, tools and resources in a format which is digestible to the people served.
                • Solicit feedback and input. Genuinely talk to others and sincerely ask for feedback and input on a wide range of topics.
                • Arm your people with dialogues, resources, skills so that they can better understand the people they manage and lead.
                • Be more open-minded, more tolerant and expand your definition of what's acceptable and professional as the line between personal and professional further blurs.
                • Be more agile in understanding and solving problems, more inclusive on who gets involved in the process.
                • Each resource may be double-edged swords, so customizing what people get and how they receive it would serve everyone well.
                • Teaching and supporting others on how to better lead and manage is a great investment.
                • Companies and managers who have not been good to their people will see massive turnover when the economy returns and jobs become more plentiful.
                The problems we face in the next normal are not known or predictable, but the learnings from this year of great change will increase the likelihood that we would together rise to the challenge.
                • There may be a hybrid model for returning to work, so management and leaders need to figure out how to deliver everyone what they need to optimally perform.
                • The decision-making process will be much more nuanced as we factor in so many more things that are important. 
                • Be deliberate and intentional on all things that matter, particularly if it directly impacts the health, safety and happiness of your people.
                • Collaboration across organizations and countries is helping companies build a more versatile, flexible and robust supply chain and deliver a wider breadth of offerings and solutions. 
                • Productivity has not waned much, despite the disruption to on-site work. But the productivity gains are not sustainable, so we must make sure that we manage for empathy and balance, and provide resources to make working from home easy, and respectful balance to support separation of work and life.
                • Companies and teams that 'follow the money' will see where the business opportunities are, especially if they are nimble enough to not just see the new needs of their customers, but resourceful and committed enough to deliver same.
                • Through this year of chaos and disorder, we each have plenty of time to contemplate What's important, Who's Important, and What We're Going to Do About This. 
                We closed the discussion looking at the upsides of the challenges we faced this year, and reflected on how we each found opportunities to be more resilient, more creative, more resourceful, more human, and even more connected through these challenges. Indeed, in the face of potential Doom and Gloom, we found and created Black Swan effect.

                Investopedia: Understanding a Black Swan - https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blackswan.asp
                A black swan is an extremely rare event with severe consequences. It cannot be predicted beforehand, though after the fact, many falsely claim it should have been predictable.
                Black swan events can cause catastrophic damage to an economy by negatively impacting markets and investments, but even the use of robust modeling cannot prevent a black swan event.
                Reliance on standard forecasting tools can both fail to predict and potentially increase vulnerability to black swans by propagating risk and offering false security. ..
                Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer, and former Wall Street trader, used the 2008 financial crisis and the idea of black swan events to argue that if a broken system is allowed to fail, it actually strengthens it against the catastrophe of future black swan events. He also argued that conversely, a system that is propped up and insulated from risk ultimately becomes more vulnerable to catastrophic loss in the face of rare, unpredictable events.

                Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2020/12/15/2021planning/
                and attached is the slide deck.
                  Resources: 
                  We look forward to including you in our 2021 programs.
                  Happy Holidays to One and All!
                  Until we next connect.

                  Regards,
                  Linda
                  ==========
                  About FountainBlue
                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

                • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
                • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
                • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
                • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
                • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
                • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
                • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
                • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
                • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
                • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
                • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
                • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
                • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
                • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
                • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 
                • December 17, 2021: Roundtable: Planning for the New Year


                • --
                  Linda Holroyd
                  CEO, FountainBlue
                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                  Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                  Linda Holroyd
                   

                  Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's December 4 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'The Next Normal'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                  • 2020 - A Story for the Ages - Debbie Shotwell
                  • Collaborating to Create An Agile and Resilient Supply Chain - Amanda York, Lam Research
                  • Optimizing Operations and Facilities - Aaron Campbell, OhmniLabs
                  • Rethinking Business Strategies and Business Models - Krista Pavlakos, Renesas 
                  • Embracing a Decentralized Workforce - Louise Lamb, Coupa Software
                  NextNormalPanelists.png
                        We launched the discussion by talking about the social, political, economic, and cultural impact of everything that has transpired and its impact on the people, the companies and even the industries impacted by the changes. All speakers agreed that this is not just a moment in time, but a seismic shift in the way we work and live.
                        • We will never look at viruses and germs in the same way. Whereas before we might have pushed through and work as warriors when we are sick, we now would rather not infect others and take the time to stay home, responding digitally, or just stay home for self care.
                        • We will be more agile, more labile with the way we manage our business and technology processes, the way we manage our relationships and our people. An iterative approach to managing would make us more effective as leaders and managers.
                        • We will all be more strategic with our business strategies and business models - not just more agile, but also more creative, more resourceful, more resilient, and more collaborative.
                        Below are some best practices shared by our panelists.
                        • Leveraging digital technology to deliver customized services has helped small companies get big, big companies get bigger, and everyone get more customized services more quickly. Indeed, the events of 2020 has greatly accelerated the adoption of the digital experience at all levels.
                          • To build more digital dexterity, innovate your technology, respect the speed of innovation and provide real-time support.
                        • Strategically coordinate between internal and external teams to proactively manage and lead through change.
                          • Manage the rhythm and cadence of communication and change.
                          • Align the various ecosystems of stakeholders.
                          • Ensure accountability and clear communication on measured outcomes.
                        • Partnerships with customers and vendors, partnerships across teams and organizations will help develop win-wins when the game changes in unexpected ways, through this and future pandemics and their associated other disruptive challenges.
                        • To build employee involvement and engagement through times of great change, provide transparent, proactive communication and updates, challenge them to participate in strategy and execution and innovation challenges, where relevant, make them feel valued, and provide opportunities to learn and have fun.
                        • To stay relevant during these extraordinary circumstances, you could Outwit others, or Outplay others, but more important than that is the ability to Outlast others - the resiliency and ability to pivot are key.
                        • Measuring important data will help us to focus on managing the impact of a pandemic (or just about anything) on our people, our processes, our operations.
                        • With every challenge comes an innovation opportunity. Leveraging collaborations will lead to more original innovations. Finding niche opportunities and adjacent markets may be a silver lining through this period of great change.
                        The bottom line is that we will all be more cognizant of our impact on people, on what matters to us most, and be more humane, more human as we now better understand what's important.

                        Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2020/12/07/nextnormal 
                        and attached is the slide deck.
                          Resources: 
                          We look forward to including you in future programs.
                          Have a nice weekend everyone!
                          Until we next connect.
                          Regards,
                          Linda

                          ==========
                          About FountainBlue
                          FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                          Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                          In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                          About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                          FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                          Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                          Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

                        • December 15, 2020: Roundtable The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of 2020 and Plans for 2021
                        • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                        • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                        • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                        • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                        • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                        • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                        • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                        • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                        • May 7, 2021: Collaboration Best Practices
                        • May 21, 2021: Embracing Agility
                        • June 4, 2021: Building Emotional Intelligence 
                        • June 18, 2021: People Not-Like-You
                        • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed 
                        • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset 
                        • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management
                        • August 20, 2021: Negotiating for a Win-Win
                        • September 3, 2021: The Why Before the What, Before the How 
                        • September 17, 2021: Climb the Mountain 
                        • October 1, 2021: Be the Sherpa 
                        • October 15, 2021: Never Settle 
                        • November 5, 2021: The Gift of Gratitude 
                        • November 19, 2021: Choose Your Battles 
                        • December 3, 2021: Open Minds, Open Hearts 


                        • --
                          Linda Holroyd
                          CEO, FountainBlue
                          650-646-1117 text and cell


                          Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                          Linda Holroyd
                           

                          Everyone, thank you for joining FountainBlue's November 6 Front Line Managers' Online meeting was on the topic of 'Welcoming the Gift of Feedback'. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                          Feedback.png
                          • The Gift of Feedback - Maranda Dziekonski, Swiftly
                          • Explain the Why - Maranda Dziekonski, Swiftly
                          • The Customer as King - Kavita Shah, Nova
                          • Performance Review Feedback - Colm Lysaght, Micron
                          • Facilitating Awkward Feedback Conversations - Thenu Kittappa, Nutanix
                              Notes from the discussion are available at https://fountainblue.blog/2020/11/20/feedback/ and attached is the slide deck.

                              Our panelists agree that Feedback is not a choice, but a reality, a natural part of learning and growing. In fact, you should worry if you're not getting feedback, as you may be getting complacent or you may be isolated or others might be afraid to provide you with input.

                              Thoughts on Welcoming Feedback
                              • Giving or receiving feedback means that you're invested in the success in the person or project or initiative - invested enough to provide input with the objective of improvement.
                              • A good way to get positive feedback is to be proactive about managing yourself, and communicating what you're doing, what you need to succeed, what success looks like, etc., 
                              • Provide the data and information to back up the feedback you're giving. Have the same expectation when others give feedback to you.
                              • Feedback should be given continuously and productively. There should be no surprises at annual performance reviews for example.
                              • Feedback is a team sport. Share feedback across teams and organizations.
                              Thoughts on How to Better Communicate Feedback
                              • Treat feedback as a gift, an opportunity to learn and grow and level-up! Be open enough so that you can understand and integrate that feedback so that you can grow and learn.
                              • Give feedback with sensitivity and humility and curiosity. Give feedback because you care about the person or project.
                              • Use feedback to help your team feel empowered and engaged. A happy team makes for a happy customer!
                              • When feedback is painful, be open and curious, but also give yourself time for self-reflection and integration. Keep being courageous and open, but don't make deadlines for when feedback must be adopted.
                              • Remember that feedback about the quality of work done can be a very sensitive discussion - it's a tough conversation whether the quality is too good (not efficiently produced) or not so good…
                              • Manage and communicate feedback so that the other party takes ownership, adopts strategies for improving, and invests in making a necessary change.
                              • Second-hand feedback must be dealt with directly, so feedback doesn't become gossipy and petty.
                              • Provide feedback which is SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. 
                              • Be clear on expectations and the metrics for success. 
                              • When you're giving feedback on somebody's communication style, be clear whether you're addressing the performance, the communication pattern or both. 
                              The Role of Customer Feedback
                              • Listen to the feedback that customers provide, and leverage that feedback to drive the product roadmap.
                              • With that said, understanding the market feedback and the input of multiple customers helps you in turn give insights and input to customers.
                              • It's critical to then provide feedback to the team, about the input of customers, as this would help the team implement the solutions in demand.
                              • Let market and customer feedback define the time, the effort and the commitment to products and solutions.
                              • Respect the transactional aspects of relationships, but focus on the partnerships developed and long-term commitments made.
                              The bottom line is that feedback is a critical part of the growth of an individual, a team, a product, an organization. Creating a culture of empathy and trust can lead to more productive and constructive feedback, raising the bar for all makes everyone better and stronger. 
                                Resources: 
                              • 6 Ways To Build A Feedback Driven Culture That Inspires
                              • 8 Examples of Constructive Feedback With Sample Scenarios
                              • How to Ask Your Customers Questions to Get Feedback (Tips) 

                              • We look forward to including you in future programs.
                                Have a nice weekend everyone, and a great Thanksgiving!
                                Until we next connect.

                                Regards,
                                Linda

                                ==========
                                About FountainBlue
                                FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs. Register for any of them by visiting https://www.tikkl.com/fountainblue/c/frontline.

                              • November 20, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                              • December 4, 2020: The New Normal
                              • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders: Predictions for 2021
                              • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                              • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                              • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                              • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                              • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                              • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                              • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                              • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                              • May 7, 2021: Mentorship Best Practices
                              • May 21, 2021: The Art of the Pivot
                              • June 4, 2021: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence
                              • June 18, 2021: Personality Styles
                              • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed
                              • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset
                              • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management


                              • --
                                Linda Holroyd
                                CEO, FountainBlue
                                650-646-1117 text and cell


                                Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                                Linda Holroyd
                                 

                                Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the topic of Stress Management Best Practices. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                                StressManagementOct162020.png
                                • Stress as a Part of Life - Linda Holroyd, FountainBlue
                                • Building Self-Awareness and Centeredness - Courtney Gribble, Coupa Software
                                • The four A’s of Stress Management – Diana Pohle, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
                                • Helping Others Manage Stress - Roxanne Dos Santos, Samsung
                                • Stress as an Opportunity - Preethy Padmanabhan, Freshworks
                                • Advice for Dealing with Change - All
                                Below are notes from the discussion.
                                Stress is a part of life. The challenge is to adjust to the stressors in life and remaining happy and productive and flexible, come what may! Our wise and seasoned panel recommends the following strategies for managing stress.

                                Know yourself and see the bigger picture.
                                • Accept that stress is a part of life and adopt the mindset that the stressors are learning and growth opportunities.
                                • Adopt a larger perspective, frame your challenges looking at the bigger picture.
                                • Build the self awareness to know what matters most to you and make your choices based on what matters most to you.
                                • Count your blessings in every circumstance.
                                • Find your peace. Protect your peace. 
                                Become a progressively better version of yourself.
                                • Learn to thrive in an environment of organized chaos; seek the opportunity in the challenge.
                                • Be passionate, persistent, and proud of what you do well, and keep raising the bar for yourself and others.
                                • Choose to be positive and spend time with others with the same mindset.
                                • Don't expect perfection, but do be both strategic and execute well consistently.
                                • Accept that everyone will make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes rather than feeling the guilt for making a mistake.
                                Nurture and support yourself and others.
                                • Make yourself a priority - give yourself the kindness, support, stimulation, exercise, sleep, nourishment, etc., you need to be your best self.
                                • Have high standards, but also choose your battles when managing others, to maintain good relationships and to ensure productive and positive time together.
                                • Judge yourself and others gently. We are all going through a wide range of challenges.
                                • Accept yourself and others as 'Good Enough'. Be positive and supportive of yourself and others so that they FEEL 'good enough' even when things don't go as planned.
                                Proactively manage your stress.
                                • Know what to avoid, what to accept, what to adapt to, what to alter.
                                • Be selective about your commitments.
                                • Be realistic about what you can do within specific timeframes, given your priorities.
                                • Plan and manage your tasks and actions, based on priorities which make sense for you.
                                • Know what's real, what's urgent, what's YOUR stress and act accordingly.
                                • Manage your time and energy both for the moment and for the future.
                                • Manage your energy. Manage your mindset/outlook. Develop a strategy for managing stress. 
                                • Don't compare yourself negatively to others. We are all unique. 
                                • Focus on 80% planning, 20% execution.
                                • Understand what's worked in the past, what new strategies could be applied, and address the stressful challenges with energy and agility, preferably in collaboration with other stakeholders.
                                • The hardest person you can ever manage and the only person you can manage is yourself.
                                Stress is a part of life, and life during this year riddled with health, economic, social, political challenges have increased everyone's stress levels.  

                                Resources: 
                                  Thank you again for joining the discussion!
                                  Have a nice weekend everyone! We hope to see you at another future event.
                                  Until we next connect.

                                  Regards,
                                  Linda

                                  ==========
                                  About FountainBlue
                                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs.
                                • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
                                • November 20, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                                • December 4, 2020: The New Normal
                                • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders: Predictions for 2021
                                • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                                • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                                • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                                • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                                • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                                • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                                • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                                • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                                • May 7, 2021: Mentorship Best Practices
                                • May 21, 2021: The Art of the Pivot
                                • June 4, 2021: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence
                                • June 18, 2021: Personality Styles
                                • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed
                                • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset
                                • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management





                                • --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  When She Speaks Meeting Follow-Up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, Thank you for attending FountainBlue's October 9 When She Speaks event on the topic of 'Who Moved My Cheese?'. Please join me in thanking our hosts at Aruba, and our esteemed panelists: 
                                  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
                                  • Panelist Win Chang, Western Region Public Sector State and Local Sales Consulting Director, Oracle
                                  • Panelist Sona Mahavni, Director - SW Engineering, Aruba HPE
                                  • Panelist Nicole Sharratt, VP of User Experience, FICO
                                  • Panelist Kim Willetts, Senior Director, Global Brion Division, ASML
                                  • with opening remarks and panel participation by Partha Narasimhan, CTO, Aruba HPE
                                  Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 11.58.52 AM.png
                                  WhoMovedCheeseDescription.png

                                  Our panelists represented a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, companies and roles. Because of the many amazing accomplishments they've shared and their amazing stories of perseverance and success, I have dubbed them the BTDT (been there, done that) - then Be Humble, Be BOLD panel. They humbly and eloquently shared their wisdom around change with us. 

                                  Take a Long-Term View
                                  • Accept change as a part of life. Embrace the opportunities it unfolds for you, and those around you.
                                  • Plan for a marathon, not a sprint. Create structure and boundaries to make sure that you have the strength, balance, perseverance and willpower to remain strong and centered.
                                  Seize the Opportunity in the Chaos
                                  • Accept circumstances for what they are, but embrace the circumstances to make opportunity
                                  • Every crisis has two elements - Danger and Opportunity. 
                                  • Be bold - go for it. Embrace failures as learning lessons and seize the day.
                                  • Be open and curious about what's next, what's new. Never settle into complacency.
                                  • Ask yourself how this challenge with the pandemic, or any challenge really, levels the playing field and opens up new ways of doing things better or differently.
                                  Be a People Person 
                                  • It always boils down the the people around you and how they can each rise up in the midst of change, under extraordinary circumstances. 
                                  • The human spirit is stronger than we all realize. People accomplish the impossible every day.
                                  • Put people first in your mind, in your words, but most of all, in your actions.
                                  • Be positive, supportive and empathetic to others. Choose kindness and support. Everyone is going through so much in these uncertain times.
                                  Unite People in Community, Align Them on Purpose
                                  • Share your humanity with others.
                                  • Create platforms and community to unite people, to align them to common causes at work and in life.
                                  • Accept that change is hard and help people help each other to address changes.
                                  • Be a force for good. Make a stand for others, for values, for principles. 
                                  Leverage Technology as a Tool to Connect and Create
                                  • Use tools to build social connections even during a pandemic.
                                  • Show your empathy and authenticity regularly through through technologies and processes.
                                  The bottom line is that through this change, we have remained productive to date, but we need to take care of our physical and mental health and build connections and community, plus leverage technology to maintain that productivity. 

                                  Notes are available online at  and bios are online at .


                                  Excerpt mentioned in the program is below:

                                  A recent Boston Consulting Group study of 12,000 employees in the U.S., Germany and India found that productivity can be maintained surprisingly well in a virtual or hybrid work setting.
                                  This may be a result of many factors. Without long commutes, small talk with colleagues and leisurely coffees in the break room, many workers — especially those who don’t have to worry about child care — are getting more done.
                                  Companies, too, are discovering that processes and procedures they previously took for granted — from lengthy meetings to regular status updates — are less essential than once imagined. And though some executives are concerned about burnout as working from home continues, they are enjoying the gains for now.
                                  But key to success is tracking the pulse of employee sentiment. When analyzing the data, BCG found four factors that correlate with employees reporting continued or even enhanced productivity on collaborative tasks: social connectivity, mental health, physical health and workplace tools.
                                  Katsoudas agrees. “In the future we’ll put more focus on work and less on roles. We will give people opportunities to try new things and give leaders more flexibility in how they hire talent. But for all this to work we have to keep abreast of human development. Wellness and the mental health of our employees comes first.”
                                    Get Informed and Involved
                                  • Join our free FountainBlue mailing lists: weekly event invitations and monthly newsletter on leadership and innovation topics
                                  • Please feel free to forward these notes, with proper credit to FountainBlue, and our speakers and hosts. See notes from past events and join us for our upcoming events.  
                                  We hope to include you for next month's When She Speaks program, or another one in the near future.
                                  Until We Next Connect! 
                                  Linda

                                  About FountainBlue's When She Speaks Series
                                  Launched in Silicon Valley in May 2006, FountainBlue's monthly When She Speaks panel discussions feature senior women leaders from partner tech companies speaking on leadership and innovation topics. Our interactive conversations are known for being inspiring, educational, practical and fun. Our monthly programs have shifted to an online format in response to the pandemic, and will continue to be held online for the foreseeable future, to better manage content and to provide broader access to a more distributed customer base. 
                                  See notes from FountainBlue's past When She Speaks events by visiting 
                                  and sign up for our weekly invitations and monthly newsletters by visiting 
                                  • Mentorship Best Practices, November 6 - 8:30-9:30 a.m.
                                  • Ways to Lead, November 13, 2020
                                  • Men Who Open Doors, December 11, 2020
                                  • We are ALL ONE, January 15, 2021
                                  • Career Agility in the Age of Digital, February 12, 2021
                                  • Have Your Cake, and Eat It Too, March 12, 2021
                                  • Building a Culture of Trust, April 9, 2021
                                  • Expanding Your Circle of Influence, May 14, 2021
                                  • Start-ups Changing the World, June 11, 2021
                                  • Welcoming the Gift of Feedback, July 9, 2021
                                  • What He Said, What He Meant, August 13, 2021
                                  • One of 'The Onlys', September 10, 2021
                                  • Local Input, Global Impact, October 8, 2021
                                  • Third Annual Mentorship Awards, November 12, 2021
                                  • Fourth Annual Men Who Open Doors Awards, December 10, 2021  
                                  FountainBlue's notes are copyrighted by FountainBlue for 2006-2020.





                                  --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  When She Speaks Meeting Follow-Up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, Thank you for attending FountainBlue's October 9 When She Speaks event on the topic of 'Who Moved My Cheese?'. Please join me in thanking our hosts at Aruba, and our esteemed panelists: 
                                  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue 
                                  • Panelist Win Chang, Western Region Public Sector State and Local Sales Consulting Director, Oracle
                                  • Panelist Sona Mahavni, Director - SW Engineering, Aruba HPE
                                  • Panelist Nicole Sharratt, VP of User Experience, FICO
                                  • Panelist Kim Willetts, Senior Director, Global Brion Division, ASML
                                  • with opening remarks and panel participation by Partha Narasimhan, CTO, Aruba HPE
                                  Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 11.58.52 AM.png
                                  WhoMovedCheeseDescription.png

                                  Our panelists represented a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, companies and roles. Because of the many amazing accomplishments they've shared and their amazing stories of perseverance and success, I have dubbed them the BTDT (been there, done that) - then Be Humble, Be BOLD panel. They humbly and eloquently shared their wisdom around change with us. 

                                  Take a Long-Term View
                                  • Accept change as a part of life. Embrace the opportunities it unfolds for you, and those around you.
                                  • Plan for a marathon, not a sprint. Create structure and boundaries to make sure that you have the strength, balance, perseverance and willpower to remain strong and centered.
                                  Seize the Opportunity in the Chaos
                                  • Accept circumstances for what they are, but embrace the circumstances to make opportunity
                                  • Every crisis has two elements - Danger and Opportunity. 
                                  • Be bold - go for it. Embrace failures as learning lessons and seize the day.
                                  • Be open and curious about what's next, what's new. Never settle into complacency.
                                  • Ask yourself how this challenge with the pandemic, or any challenge really, levels the playing field and opens up new ways of doing things better or differently.
                                  Be a People Person 
                                  • It always boils down the the people around you and how they can each rise up in the midst of change, under extraordinary circumstances. 
                                  • The human spirit is stronger than we all realize. People accomplish the impossible every day.
                                  • Put people first in your mind, in your words, but most of all, in your actions.
                                  • Be positive, supportive and empathetic to others. Choose kindness and support. Everyone is going through so much in these uncertain times.
                                  Unite People in Community, Align Them on Purpose
                                  • Share your humanity with others.
                                  • Create platforms and community to unite people, to align them to common causes at work and in life.
                                  • Accept that change is hard and help people help each other to address changes.
                                  • Be a force for good. Make a stand for others, for values, for principles. 
                                  Leverage Technology as a Tool to Connect and Create
                                  • Use tools to build social connections even during a pandemic.
                                  • Show your empathy and authenticity regularly through through technologies and processes.
                                  The bottom line is that through this change, we have remained productive to date, but we need to take care of our physical and mental health and build connections and community, plus leverage technology to maintain that productivity. 

                                  Notes are available online at  and bios are online at .


                                  Excerpt mentioned in the program is below:

                                  A recent Boston Consulting Group study of 12,000 employees in the U.S., Germany and India found that productivity can be maintained surprisingly well in a virtual or hybrid work setting.
                                  This may be a result of many factors. Without long commutes, small talk with colleagues and leisurely coffees in the break room, many workers — especially those who don’t have to worry about child care — are getting more done.
                                  Companies, too, are discovering that processes and procedures they previously took for granted — from lengthy meetings to regular status updates — are less essential than once imagined. And though some executives are concerned about burnout as working from home continues, they are enjoying the gains for now.
                                  But key to success is tracking the pulse of employee sentiment. When analyzing the data, BCG found four factors that correlate with employees reporting continued or even enhanced productivity on collaborative tasks: social connectivity, mental health, physical health and workplace tools.
                                  Katsoudas agrees. “In the future we’ll put more focus on work and less on roles. We will give people opportunities to try new things and give leaders more flexibility in how they hire talent. But for all this to work we have to keep abreast of human development. Wellness and the mental health of our employees comes first.”
                                    Get Informed and Involved
                                  • Join our free FountainBlue mailing lists: weekly event invitations and monthly newsletter on leadership and innovation topics
                                  • Please feel free to forward these notes, with proper credit to FountainBlue, and our speakers and hosts. See notes from past events and join us for our upcoming events.  
                                  We hope to include you for next month's When She Speaks program, or another one in the near future.
                                  Until We Next Connect! 
                                  Linda

                                  About FountainBlue's When She Speaks Series
                                  Launched in Silicon Valley in May 2006, FountainBlue's monthly When She Speaks panel discussions feature senior women leaders from partner tech companies speaking on leadership and innovation topics. Our interactive conversations are known for being inspiring, educational, practical and fun. Our monthly programs have shifted to an online format in response to the pandemic, and will continue to be held online for the foreseeable future, to better manage content and to provide broader access to a more distributed customer base. 
                                  See notes from FountainBlue's past When She Speaks events by visiting 
                                  and sign up for our weekly invitations and monthly newsletters by visiting 
                                  • Mentorship Best Practices, November 6 - 8:30-9:30 a.m.
                                  • Ways to Lead, November 13, 2020
                                  • Men Who Open Doors, December 11, 2020
                                  • We are ALL ONE, January 15, 2021
                                  • Career Agility in the Age of Digital, February 12, 2021
                                  • Have Your Cake, and Eat It Too, March 12, 2021
                                  • Building a Culture of Trust, April 9, 2021
                                  • Expanding Your Circle of Influence, May 14, 2021
                                  • Start-ups Changing the World, June 11, 2021
                                  • Welcoming the Gift of Feedback, July 9, 2021
                                  • What He Said, What He Meant, August 13, 2021
                                  • One of 'The Onlys', September 10, 2021
                                  • Local Input, Global Impact, October 8, 2021
                                  • Third Annual Mentorship Awards, November 12, 2021
                                  • Fourth Annual Men Who Open Doors Awards, December 10, 2021  
                                  FountainBlue's notes are copyrighted by FountainBlue for 2006-2020.


                                  --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the topic of A New Take on Old Management Challenges. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                                  Oct2ManagementPanel.png
                                  • A New Take on Old Management Challenges - Linda Holroyd, FountainBlue
                                  • The Importance of Stability, Then and Now - Urvashi Sheth, Intermedia
                                  • The Importance of Relationships, Then and Now - Nehal Mehta, Genesys
                                  • The Importance of Social Cohesion and Inclusion, Then and Now - Debbie Shotwell, Saba
                                  • The Importance of Individual Purpose and Contribution, Then and Now - Kim Harr, Lam Research
                                  • Managing in the Digital Age - All
                                    • People Issues
                                    • Team Issues
                                    • Managing Change
                                    • Technology as a Double-Edged Sword
                                    • Sifting the Signal from the Noise
                                  Below are notes from the discussion.
                                  Management has always had perennial ongoing challenges around people, teams, performance, but always 'crisis' challenges around critical conflict resolution, efficient decision-making and comprehensive change management to ensure relevancy of the company and its offerings to a rapidly evolving market. The digital age makes it much more difficult to manage, and COVID further exacerbates the management challenge. Our esteemed panel provided some best practices on how to best manage through all this change.

                                  Embrace Technology, while providing stability
                                  Innovation is key to the success of any company in the digital age. Improving your own performance and results doesn't just help yourself, your team and your organization, but your products and services help your customers and partners all around the world. Balancing innovation with balance involves:
                                  • Planning what you're doing (in alignment with market needs and corporate goals), how's it going to be done and what success looks like greatly increases the likelihood of success;
                                  • Analyzing the ROI of innovation and its internal and external impact will help leaders to evaluate options, feature-sets, customer needs, and timelines;
                                  • Factoring in the impact of decisions on talent helps ensure that the company culture is sound, that the workforce is productive and happy; and
                                  • Continually communicating the three above to the ecosystem of stakeholders is a fundamental management requirement.
                                  Relationships Matter
                                  Relationships have always mattered - no matter what your role is within or outside an organization. Building relationships now is quite similar to how it's always been done - by building trust, remaining engaged, being vulnerable, sharing humanity, etc., But building relationships in a global and digital world, especially in a time where travel is limited and human contact is nominal is challenging at best. Below are some best practices for doing so.
                                  • Leverage the technology to communicate regularly with others in different modalities - from email to Slack, from LinkedIn to WhatsApp, from Teams to Twitter.
                                  • Nurture your established relationships, groom your new relationships, build for adding new relationships. 
                                  • Recruit a circle of directors to advise you on how you are building and growing yourself and your network.
                                  Building Social Cohesion and Inclusion Inside and Outside the Organization
                                  • Be vulnerable, genuine, compassionate and human. Remember that we are all going through so many challenges, so much change right now.
                                  • People need varying degrees of human contact. Some people would be fine never returning to the office in person, while others are starving for that human, in-person contact with others.
                                  • Leverage your ERGs and your HR departments to best support your people through loneliness, mental health, medical and others issues which may show up in these trying times.
                                  • The family unit has shifted with the health, economic, political and social impact of the pandemic, and the stress will impact our staff in different ways. Flexibility and support will be key to ensure that your people feel valued, empowered, and engaged.
                                  • Provide social opportunities leveraging tools and technologies that allow for competitive, collaborative experiences.
                                  Facilitate a Sense of Purpose
                                  • Focus your communication and your planning on WHY something should be done, HOW it is in alignment with corporate/product/team goals, and WHAT else role/person will contribute to realize a positive outcome.
                                  • Be clear on WHY a current task must be done NOW, WHY a specific problem takes priority, WHO should do what by when for WHAT result.
                                  • Sometimes, put the company or team's purpose in front of your own, but only if consciously/proactively done, so that the individuals also all feel important.
                                  Final thoughts on how to manage in the 'next normal':
                                  • Manage your stress directly, don't sweep it under the rug.
                                  • Get input from your employees on what works for them. 
                                  • Assume that everyone is experiencing stress in different ways and would gravitate to different tactics for managing their stress. 
                                    • We are all like ducks paddling in a pond - we may look good on the surface, but we are all just treading water. 
                                    • With this thought in mind, be empathetic.
                                  • Take it one day at a time. It's a journey, not a destination.
                                  • Chunk down the workload/stress.
                                  • Work with the senior staff to take change by the horns, and navigate toward the opportunity in the change.
                                  • Negotiate toward a middle ground which would satisfy the needs of most people.
                                  • Manage your own energy and that of others around you. 
                                    • Embrace opportunities to learn and grow. 
                                    • Think and act positively, despite overwhelming circumstances. 
                                    • Be proactive, but change only the things you can. 
                                    • Believe that change is possible.
                                  Resources: 
                                  Until we next connect.

                                  Regards,
                                  Linda

                                  ==========
                                  About FountainBlue
                                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs.

                                • October 16, 2020: Stress Management Best Practices
                                • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
                                • November 20, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                                • December 4, 2020: The New Normal
                                • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders: Predictions for 2021
                                • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                                • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                                • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                                • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                                • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                                • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                                • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                                • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                                • May 7, 2021: Mentorship Best Practices
                                • May 21, 2021: The Art of the Pivot
                                • June 4, 2021: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence
                                • June 18, 2021: Personality Styles
                                • July 2, 2021: The Need for Speed
                                • July 16, 2021: A People-First Mindset
                                • August 6, 2021: Meeting Management

                                • --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the Centered Leadership topic. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                                  • A Time for Centered Leadership - Linda Holroyd
                                  • Alignment of Values and Principles - Julie Cullivan, ForeScout
                                  • Deer-Stops-Here Mindset - Stacey Moser, Tektronix
                                  • Slow Down to Speed Up - Preethy Padmanabhan, Freshworks
                                  • Strategy Meets Execution - Krista Pavlakos, Renesas
                                  CenteredLeadershipPanel.png

                                  We were fortunate to have such a dynamic and authentic set of panelists speaking on the topic of Centered Leadership. They shared many stories and thoughts on how to create purpose in your work, how to positively frame your communications, how to more deeply connect with others, how to engage fully in the work you do, and how to manage your own energy and outlook so that you can be at your best, and help bring out the best in others. Below is a compilation of notes from our conversation. 

                                  Create a Product and Cause Worth Supporting.
                                  • Collaborate with your people to create a solution everyone can believe in.
                                  • Give everyone at all levels a voice so they can contribute to creating that cause.
                                  • No matter what internal or external changes are happening, try keeping everyone focused and aligned on a common purpose.
                                  Embrace Business Best Practices.
                                  • Step into leadership opportunities - fully assume the responsibilities of leadership but also take the credit for leadership done well. Many of us take a little credit, and much of the blame. That's not sustainable. 
                                  • Adopt a positive, Growth Mindset. 
                                  • Understand the needs of others and bridge the gap.
                                  • Adopt an 'ALL-IN, ALL-ONE' Mindset.
                                  • Practice Compassionate Candor.
                                  • Create and execute on the common goal and plan, leveraging the support of executive sponsors.
                                  Learn to Humble-Brag.
                                  • Front line managers are so important as they have the best connection to the team, the culture, the customer. 
                                  • Whether it's by Skill or by Will, leaders at all levels have a way of making things happen. Ask yourself how you are doing that now.
                                  • Create your own personal highlight reel so that you can better understand and appreciate how you're showing up.
                                  Thriving and striving in a time of COVID.
                                  • Change has always been a part of life, but change is even more intense now as the pandemic has directly and indirectly impacted our health, our economic welfare, our sense of equality and social justice, and even our political system.
                                  • All this instability causes stressors for everyone at work, making people think that things are out of control, that nobody is in control! Leaders need to step in and help manage these very real stressors while also focusing on delivering results for the company.
                                  • In these times of COVID, we've had to make tough decisions with little information. This may be part of the new normal so get better at doing this well. And forgive yourself a mis-step.
                                  • Leaders are more in the spotlight today. Their influence has been magnified, so your leadership is more important, more impactful than ever before. 
                                  • Trust your gut when you have to make big decisions with little time and information. Don't insist on being right all the time, but do insist on learning from every opportunity.
                                  • Be decisive about what to do, but not necessarily how it is to be done. 
                                  Listen Well, and Say and Do Something to Show that you Understand.
                                  • Perception is reality. So don't assume the perception and perspective of others. Ask them directly for that.
                                  • If you ask for feedback, accept the feedback that you're given and do something to address the feedback.
                                  • Check in regularly and authentically with your team, even if you're asking for one word check-ins.!
                                  • Meet the team where they are, using tools and language which works for them.
                                  • Know yourself and your skills and your team and their skills, so that you can better understand how to work together.
                                  Keep Reaching for Stars.
                                  • Go in every day with the intent of proving yourself WRONG, not proving yourself RIGHT.
                                  • Nobody expects you to get it right all the time, but do have a learning mindset, and do be truthful, authentic, honest all the time.
                                  • Take care of yourself. Celebrate your own successes. Replenish your own energy, so that you have more for others.
                                  Resources:
                                  ==========
                                  About FountainBlue
                                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs.

                                • September 4, 2020: Uncomfortable Conversations
                                • September 18, 2020: Centered Leadership
                                • October 2, 2020: Common Management Challenges
                                • October 16, 2020: Stress Management Best Practices
                                • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
                                • November 20, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                                • December 4, 2020: The New Normal
                                • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders: Predictions for 2021
                                • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                                • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                                • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                                • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                                • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                                • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                                • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                                • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                                • May 7, 2021: Mentorship Best Practices
                                • May 21, 2021: The Art of the Pivot
                                • June 4, 2021: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence
                                • June 18, 2021: Personality Styles

                                • Until we next connect.

                                  Regards,
                                  Linda

                                  --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the Uncomfortable Conversations topic. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                                  • Feeling Uncomfortable in Conversations: Linda Holroyd
                                  • Embrace Diversity and Change: Steve Jarrett, Oracle  
                                  • Draw a Line in the Sand: Lora Muller, Tektronix 
                                  • It's Not Personal, It's Just Data: Amber Barber, Lam Research
                                  • Making A 'Me Outlook' Into a 'We Outlook': Tracy Meersman, Skybox Security
                                  Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 12.48.38 PM.png
                                  Below is a compilation of notes from our conversation. 

                                  We were fortunate to have a wide range of panelists speaking from varying perspectives on how to best have an uncomfortable conversation.
                                  We started the conversation by accepting that having these uncomfortable conversations is inevitable as we are all different - with different objectives, motivations and perspectives. 

                                  Accept these foundational beliefs:
                                  • Embracing people with diverge backgrounds provide many business advantages. But with people coming from different backgrounds and perspectives and objectives, it's inevitable that we will have uncomfortable conversations. To manage these conversations, we must first accept that they will be inevitable and be courageous, gracious, and open enough to have uncomfortable conversations. 
                                  • The command-and-control mindset rarely resolves the issues underneath the uncomfortable conversations. This tactic might bring short-term results, but it rarely builds buy-in and engagement.
                                  • It's not the fast and quick that necessarily win the race and make the most progress. Many times, the persistence, the consistency will help bring about lasting change through ongoing uncomfortable conversations.
                                  Strategies for facilitating uncomfortable conversations:
                                  • Be specific and detailed in your communications, and focus on the data and the facts, agreeing on what you're accomplishing over what timeframe with what resources as well as what is to be measured, and what success looks like.
                                  • Focus on the data and the facts. Don't make things personal. Diffuse a situation by referring back to the data and the facts. 
                                  • Adjust your expectations on what 'progress' means, especially if you're working with deep-seated ongoing issues. Celebrate the small wins and make progress little by little, staying positive and collaborative throughout the process.
                                  • Meet the other person where they are and speak in a way which resonates for her/him, respecting their motivations and objectives. As you better understand where the other person, it might make sense to re-set your own expectations and objectives by being realistic about how you can meet in the middle and what you should attempt to do together. 
                                  • When having an uncomfortable conversation for a project which has gone south, focus on identifying and fixing the gaps and improving the process rather than making personal judgments on who should have done what by when.
                                  • The language you use makes a big difference. Be calm and gentle and speak in a tone and vocabulary which would resonate well with the other party.
                                  • Emphasize that we are all on one team. Use 'we' rather than 'me' language, go from WIIFM to WIIFY and WIIFU (what's in the it me/you/us). 
                                  • Align the individual with team, corporate and professionals goals.
                                  • Provide context/history for the behavior/circumstances which might make the other party feel uncomfortable.
                                  • Be authentic and empathetic and assume positive intent no matter how uncomfortable the conversation becomes.
                                  • Seek to understand the position of the other parties. 
                                  • Focus on the learnings with each experience - whether it's good or not so good.
                                  • Mirror back/rephrase what the other person is saying to make sure you're understanding their position.
                                  • Accept that no business, no business is perfect. We will all err in some specific way. Helping everyone to be transparent, to be open, to be humble and collaborative will build trusting relationships and networks and increase the likelihood of success for projects and teams. 
                                  • Be aligned on why uncomfortable conversation must be had and how that conversation would benefit everyone.
                                  • Gently call out people who are avoiding uncomfortable conversations, who are making people uncomfortable without compassion, who are using uncomfortable conversations to further their own agenda, rather than a common agenda.
                                  • When you have to give negative feedback, consider the sandwich technique which starts with a positive, has the requested behavior in the middle, and ends with another positive request, which might set a direction for the next interaction.
                                  • Don't force acknowledgment, compliance, responsibility for something someone is not ready to accept. Focus more on how that person does things more productivity the next time. 
                                  In working together, we can meet our personal, professional, corporate and human goals.
                                  • Acknowledge and Embrace Differences. Nurture a Culture of Openness and Acceptance.
                                  • Be Courageous and Clear in Your Communication.
                                  • Continuously learn how to better have uncomfortable conversations.
                                  • Embrace a Relationship-First, Customer-First Mindset.
                                  • Listen deeply and well.
                                  Resources:

                                  ==========
                                  About FountainBlue
                                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs.

                                • September 4, 2020: Uncomfortable Conversations
                                • September 18, 2020: Centered Leadership
                                • October 2, 2020: Common Management Challenges
                                • October 16, 2020: Stress Management Best Practices
                                • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
                                • November 20, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                                • December 4, 2020: The New Normal
                                • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders: Predictions for 2021
                                • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                                • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                                • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                                • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                                • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                                • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                                • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                                • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                                • May 7, 2021: Mentorship Best Practices
                                • May 21, 2021: The Art of the Pivot
                                • June 4, 2021: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence
                                • June 18, 2021: Personality Styles

                                • Until we next connect.

                                  Regards,
                                  Linda

                                  --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the Performance Management Best Practices topic. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                                  • Doing Performance Management Differently - Linda Holroyd, FountainBlue
                                  • Show Me the Data - Charu Madan, Veeam Software
                                  • A Culture of Feedback - Larissa Boyd, FireEye
                                  • Peer Review and Support - Kavita Shah, Nova Measuring Instruments
                                  • Recommended Tools, Processes, and Approaches - David Ortiz, Oracle
                                  Aug21PerformanceManagement.png
                                  We were fortunate to have such an experienced and diverse panel of leaders and managers sharing their best practices around Performance Management. Below is a compilation of notes from the discussion.
                                  Performance management has been relevant from the earliest days of humans living in social groups. But it's more important and more challenging today for many reasons:
                                  • There's a War on Talent where companies are vying for quality people.
                                  • Collaboration is key, and it's tougher to find quality people who are also collaborative by nature.
                                  • Customers are empowered and demanding, so staff needs to be hard working, collaborative, AND customer-oriented, making recruitment, retention, development and management even more difficult.
                                  • Managing a diverse workforce adds an extra layer of challenge.
                                  • There are so many available technologies, tools and processes which teams could leverage, further complicating performance management goals.
                                  • To top it off, the pandemic and the resulting financial and social impact globally and socially have further complicated performance management objectives.
                                  Below are some best practices for managing performance.
                                  • Show Me the Data
                                    • Focus not just on the anecdotal, the he-said/she-said input, but more on the data which makes things less complicated, less personal. 
                                    • Practice management by objectives (MBO), targeting goals which are Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based (SMART).
                                    • Allow the data to help drive the operations, to help inform strategies and decisions.
                                    • Make sure that what you measure follows the guiding principles of the company, of the team.
                                    • Beware of 'bad data', information which is irrelevant, biased, un-vetted, un-true, etc.,
                                  • Create a Culture of Feedback
                                    • Adopt practices which motivate, processes which facilitate, systems which support, activities which propagate, and look for the information needed to make decisions around rewards. 
                                    • Facilitate a culture of feedback where people are clear about what they are dong, how it is aligned with the larger purpose at the team, product, or company level. 
                                    • Hold everyone accountable and provide feedback based on how they measured up to their commitments and responsibilities. 
                                    • Performance management should not be a once-a-year practice which is a surprise to any party. It's better to connect regularly - at least once every couple of weeks.
                                    • Focus on the 5-5-15 Management Strategy: Take 15 minutes to write down 5 things you've done this week, 5 things you're doing next week and talk about it with your manager. Discuss also what you need from the manager in terms of resources, network, connections, support, etc.,
                                    • Discuss performance in terms of a common language, common definitions.
                                  • Solicit Feedback and Input
                                    • Know your own strengths and that of others on the team. 
                                    • Know your own personality style and understand how you like to be managed. Know also the styles of others on the team, and recognize how each person likes to be managed.
                                    • Get input from others so that you can have a broader view of what you're doing and how it's impacting others within and outside your organization.
                                    • Seek good and not-so-good feedback, but be aware of the agenda of the person providing the feedback.
                                    • Separate 'the signal from the noise'. With so much data and input coming in, learn what's important, what's real, what stands out.
                                    • Calibrate your feedback based on the audience you're speaking with. 
                                  • Leverage tools and processes to ensure clear and ongoing communication.
                                    • Don't be prescriptive about how things should be accomplished.
                                    • Grow a learning library and provide other resources for your team so each member can grow their skillset. 
                                    • Coach and support everyone to understand her/his own career path.
                                    • Focus always on purpose and outcomes. Communicate these results and ensure its alignment with larger goals.
                                  • General Advice for Managing Your Own Performance, and also that of your team
                                    • Delineate between personal growth and performance growth. 
                                    • Focus on the longer journey, rather than on individual performance destinations. 
                                    • Be aware of your own strengths, your own tendencies and biases. 
                                    • Get the big things right. Make sure that the little things add up to some big things. 
                                    • Coach people on how to rate and manage themselves, so that they are not short-changed because they are less communicative, less confident, less assertive than others.
                                    • Choose your words carefully.
                                    • Watch for micro-aggressions as you manage. 
                                    • Sometimes the focus is on the performance of the individual, and sometimes it's more about managing the team and their performance. 
                                    • 90% is about Emotional Quotient, 10% about IQ, so help each team member better develop their EQ. See resource section for link.
                                    • Management is a choice. Choose how you manage others. Choose how what others say and do to manage you affects you.
                                    • Look not just what's on the surface, but also double click to see what's under the covers. 
                                  The bottom line is that performance management is not a one-man/woman sport. We are all in it together, and the better we each get at improving our own performance, and that of others on the team, the better each of us are in the long run.

                                  Resources:

                                  ==========
                                  About FountainBlue
                                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs.

                                • September 4, 2020: Uncomfortable Conversations
                                • September 18, 2020: Centered Leadership
                                • October 2, 2020: Common Management Challenges
                                • October 16, 2020: Stress Management Best Practices
                                • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
                                • November 20, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                                • December 4, 2020: The New Normal
                                • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders: Predictions for 2021
                                • January 8, 2021: Goal-Setting Best Practices 
                                • January 22, 2021: Growing Your Network
                                • February 5, 2021: Optimizing Performance
                                • February 19, 2021: Adopting a More Inclusive Workforce
                                • March 5, 2021: Change Management Best Practices
                                • March 19, 2021: Show Me the Data
                                • April 2, 2021: One Dot a Point, Two Dots a Line, Three Dots a Trend
                                • April 16, 2021: Managing Up
                                • May 7, 2021: Mentorship Best Practices
                                • May 21, 2021: The Art of the Pivot
                                • June 4, 2021: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence
                                • June 18, 2021: Personality Styles

                                • Until we next connect.

                                  Regards,
                                  Linda





                                  --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell


                                  Front Line Managers Online Meeting Follow-up

                                  Linda Holroyd
                                   

                                  Everyone, thank you for joining this afternoon's Front Line Managers' Online meeting on the Decision-Making Best Practices topic. My thanks also to our panelists for their participation. 
                                  • Monica Kaldani-Nasif, Kateeva
                                  • Monika Thakur, Oracle
                                  • Suruchi Sharma, T-Mobile
                                  • Marilyn Becker, Western Digital
                                  Decision-MakingAug7Panel.png
                                  We launched the program talking about the increasing importance of making big and little decisions faster and better now. Technology and the great enabler has armed us with the data to make these choices, and the connected world helps us all to leverage the data and information to make these informed decisions. In addition, in this age of the empowered customer, much rides on getting these decisions right, and there are financial and brand implications for not getting them right in this fast-moving world. Exacerbating these factors is the fact that the worldwide pandemic is impacting the health, safety and financial viability of millions of people. Whether you're making decisions just for yourself, or also for your family, your team, your company, your industry, your nation, today's panelists provided input and insights on how to get these big and small decisions right.

                                  Our panelists talked about why we need to engage more of the right people in the decision-making process.
                                  • Secure a broader and more diverse swath of people involved in a decision-making process to help build engagement within and across the organization.
                                  • Engaging more people (but not too many more people) would help get provide more diverse perspectives and a wider range of options on the table for any individual problem. With these broader options, there's potential for bigger and/or longer-lasting impact. 
                                  • People at all levels appreciate the opportunity to get involved early in a decision-making process. They feel respected and important when it's clear that their input and their opinion matters.
                                  • To address complex decisions, people must not just consider the strategy for making decision, but also the pros and cons and data around the decision, as well as the short-term and long-term implications for the decisions made. Different people with diverse skill sets might do any of these individual things well.
                                  • When solving a problem, sometimes it's not about connecting the dots, and sometimes the dots don't make a line (or another expected shape). Getting a wider range of people involved in the decision-making process will help you see unexpected trends and hear new ways of thinking about or seeing something.
                                  Additionally, companies were able to make broader impact with better decision making in the time of COVID.
                                  • Redeploying talent. A global telco redeployed 1,000 store employees to inside sales and retrained them in three weeks.
                                  • Launching new business models. A US-based retailer launched curbside delivery in two days versus the previously-planned 18 months.
                                  • Improving productivity. An industrial factory ran at 90-percent-plus capacity with 40 percent of the workforce.
                                  • Developing new products. An engineering company designed and manufactured ventilators within a week.
                                  • Shifting operations. Coordinating with local officials, a major shipbuilder switched from three shifts to two, with thousands of employees.
                                  Below is a summary of best practices for making effective decisions efficiently.
                                  • Be outcome-focused and involve a wide range of people, but not too large a group of people.
                                  • Try these tactics for getting more of the right people involved in the decision-making process:
                                    • Ask for volunteers.
                                    • Ask 'the usual suspects' to do something beyond what they're generally selected to do.
                                    • Make sure the participants feel important and engaged as part of the process.
                                  • Communicate clearly and continually and measure and report on progress using pre-approved metrics.
                                  • Focus on the problem at hand and its short-term and longer-term implications.
                                  • Make critical small choices which lead to the larger desired result.
                                  • Don't over-think the small things!
                                  • Know when you have enough data.
                                  • Trust your gut and your experience.
                                  • Make the tough call, even when it's unpopular.
                                  • There comes a point where everyone needs to commit to a decision made. There are then two acceptable options: Agree and Commit or Disagree and Commit.
                                    • Agreeing and not-committing is not acceptable. Either someone is being difficult/obtuse or not actually agreeing.
                                    • Disagreeing and not-committing is not acceptable. Tolerance of this behavior can lead to lower productivity, reduced credibility, team dissension and other undesirable consequences.
                                  • Understand the motivations of each decision-maker.
                                  • Don't expect to make the right decision every time all the time. Have the courage to be gracious and direct if you've made an error in a past decision and be clear about why corrective actions need to be taken.
                                  • When you get a dropped-jaw, wide-eyed reaction to a decision made, talk through why that decision was made, bringing up the data, talking through the objections. 
                                  • Follow the 80-20 rule, erring on the side of decisiveness. 
                                  • Choose to become a better decisions. 
                                    • Practice making small decisions within your comfort zone.
                                    • Make better small decisions, which will set you up to make better bigger decisions.
                                    • Build yourself up - be positive with yourself that you're being decisive. Value the learning from a decision-gone wrong, without getting down on yourself for getting it wrong.
                                    • Give yourself feedback on your decision-making success. Understand the process you followed, learn about your decision-making tendencies, decide to get progressively better.
                                  • Set up a nerve center when managing larger decisions, to gather a representation of voices.
                                  • Insist on getting a 'yes-or-no' outcome at the end of a meeting. If there's a yes, there's a follow-through from specific people. If it's a no, then maybe it's the wrong task or not important enough!
                                  • What can be done with a well-planned 15-minute (standing) meeting might be more productive than a 50 minute meeting.
                                  • Empower leaders at all levels to participate in the decision-making process.
                                  • The people who are most impacted by a decision might be consulted first, even if it the end it's not their budget nor their decision. Without their buy-in and feedback, it would be more difficult for a decision to bring positive and measured results.
                                  • To increase the likelihood of buy-in, focus on facilitating and influencing a decision rather than driving a decision through command and control tactics like pushing, convincing, badgering. 
                                  • To improve the likelihood of collaborative decision-making, build a culture of trust built on authenticity, respect and transparent communications.
                                  • Avoid second-guessing yourself when a decision has been made. But if the data shows that the decision was incorrect, take corrective actions. 
                                  • Distribute decision-making to improve collaboration and engagement across the organization.
                                  • Keep asking yourself and your team some key questions:
                                    • How can we better optimize?
                                    • What would you like to do more of?
                                    • How can we better do this together?
                                  • To help influence all stakeholders into a common conclusion/decision:
                                    • Ask the tough questions.
                                    • Shift the focus from opinions to data.
                                    • Understand the motivations of all parties. 
                                    • Tell a structured story to illustrate the options.
                                    • Identify and work with the 'resisters'.
                                    • Include the 'resisters' in the process and conversation.
                                  Recent Quotes from CEOs regarding decision-making, Linda Holroyd, FountainBlue
                                  • “Decision making accelerated when we cut the nonsense. We make decisions in one meeting, limit groups to no more than nine people, and have banned PowerPoint.”
                                  • “I asked on Monday, and by Friday we had a working prototype.”
                                  • “We have increased time in direct connection with teams—resetting the role and energizing our managers.”
                                  • “We adopted new technology overnight—not the usual years—as we have a higher tolerance for mistakes that don’t threaten the business.”
                                  • “We’re putting teams of our best people on the hardest problems. If they can’t solve it, no one can.” 
                                  Resources:
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                                  About FountainBlue
                                  FountainBlue is a management consultancy which supports leadership and innovation for tech companies by providing strategy and execution consulting services around markets, products and people. 
                                  Launched in 2005, FountainBlue has served thousands of innovators and leaders through our monthly When She Speaks series (launched in May 2006), our VIP roundtable series (launched in Dec 2013), and our Front Line Managers Online program (launched in May 2020). 
                                  In response to the pandemic, starting March 2020, all FountainBlue programs will be held online, even after the shelter in place mandate is lifted. This will provide the opportunity to serve a larger and more global network of innovators and leaders. For more information, visit fountainblue.biz

                                  About FountainBlue's Front Line Managers Online Series
                                  FountainBlue's Semi-Monthly Front Line Managers Online series features a panel discussion of HR leaders presenting on leadership and innovation topics of interest to front line managers. 
                                  Our meetings are conducted online from 11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m., generally on the first and third Fridays. Each meeting features articles and research on topics of interest for Front Line Managers in the network, along with additional input and advice from participating HR leaders within the FountainBlue network. Participating attendees are invited to send their questions to the panelists through email prior to the meeting or through chat during the meeting.

                                  Please join us for other upcoming Front Line Managers Online programs.

                                • August 21, 2020: Performance Review Best Practices
                                • September 4, 2020: Uncomfortable Conversations 
                                • September 18, 2020: Centered Leadership
                                • October 2, 2020: Common Management Challenges 
                                • October 16, 2020: Stress Management Best Practices
                                • November 6, 2020: Productivity Hacks
                                • November 27, 2020: The Gift of Feedback
                                • December 4, 2020: The Next Normal
                                • December 18, 2020: HR Leaders' Predictions for 2021

                                • Have a great weekend everyone!
                                  Linda


                                  --
                                  Linda Holroyd
                                  CEO, FountainBlue
                                  650-646-1117 text and cell

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