Microsoft posted an episode of its Partner Network Podcast that features our very own Shann McGrail along with partner Nancy Watt discussing how play can inspire creativity in the workplace.
Devreve was proud once again this year to have had company Co-Founder and Strategic Program Specialist, Shann McGrail, delivering a few sessions at Inspire. We are especially proud to share that she was recognized with the Microsoft Inspire 2017 Speaker Excellence achievement for having engaged and inspired others through great storytelling and sharing valuable insights and information. Congratulations!
Devreve and TheKreklowGroup successfully wrapped-up delivery of a program held exclusively for members of the IAMCP WIT community. The program consisted of a series of webinars and coaching sessions designed to draw on the unique strengths of this dynamic community, providing it with tools, best practices, approaches, and peer connections needed to deliver results.
Devreve worked with Canada's Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) organization to facilitate a series of seven roundtable meetings held across the country this past year. Information gathered from leaders through those will serve as input to the “Blueprint for Women's Leadership” that is being created with sponsorship from Status of Women Canada.
A late addition to the cross Canada Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) Blueprint for Women's Leadership roundtable series was set up to coincide with the introduction of a new WCT chapter in Waterloo, Ontario. This event proved to be rich with content. It augmented contributions from previous roundtables and introduced a few new perspectives that we had not yet explored over the course of the tour.
The streets were full of snow on March 28th but weather could not stop a room full of Haligonians from joining us for coffee, muffins, and contributions to the advancement of women in the digital economy.
The fifth of WCT's Blueprint for Women's Leadership roundtables took place in February at the Microsoft offices in Montreal. A lively group showed up bright and early and were ready to work barely pausing for coffee.
While Microsoft is continually adding new features to improve the Office suite, the company will also relegate features to the boneyard every now and then. I am personally still grieving the loss of the "clip art" feature that was available in Office.
I once heard from a Microsoft product manager that most users only ever take advantage of 20% of the features in Microsoft Office—the problem is that everyone uses a different 20%.
Beyond making the usual annual resolutions to exercise more and give up sugar, the start of the new year presents an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to achieve our career ambitions. This commonly means introspection and a search for options that will help us get "unstuck" from our current job situation by actively implementing strategies for advancement.
On my way to visit family over the holidays I was listening to the CBC's 2016 year-end wrap-up discussion on the radio. In that, comedienne Amanda Barker was asked "who was 2016's biggest loser?". She responded, "Women". While I was surprised and maybe even a bit offended by her answer, I could not help but think about what might give credence to the response she gave.
On a rainy October 27th at the KPMG offices in downtown Vancouver, the third in a series of six roundtable sessions for WCT's Blueprint for Women's Leadership in the Digital Economy was held.
The Blueprint for Women's Leadership in the Digital Economy roundtable road trip continued with stop number two touching down in Calgary, Alberta on October 25th. The initiative, sponsored by Women in Communications and Technology with support from The Status of Women Canada, brings together Canadian leaders through a series of roundtable discussions in six cities across the country.
This past week, Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) kicked off the first in a series of roundtable discussions with leaders from Canada's communication, media, and technology (CMT) sectors. WCT is hosting these roundtables with the express purpose of soliciting input for the creation of the Blueprint for Women's Leadership in the Digital Economy.
16,000 was the number of Microsoft Partners who travelled from around the world to attend Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto last week. For those familiar with Microsoft and its partner ecosystem, WPC is known as the place where business gets done. Partners come to hear firsthand the latest news and insights from Microsoft executives. They come to meet other partners that can help them drive more revenue, bring new solutions to market, and expand their businesses. They also come to learn from the hundreds of professional education sessions being presented covering a wide range of topics. As it turns out, they had yet another reason to come to WPC this year—the beach balls.
Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 (WPC), being held in Toronto this coming July, will host over 12,000 partners from around the world. As was the case with WPCs of years gone by, partners will travel from far and wide knowing that they will hear directly from Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella and a long list of other dynamic, visionary keynote speakers. While these talks are sure to deliver on a good part of the expectations of attendees, when it comes right down to it, partners really do want to walk away with more that the bullets from a visionary speech. They want line-of-sight to serious opportunities and a clear understanding of the best and fastest ways to grow their businesses.
I've been enjoying the workshop experience with the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and my colleague Diana Kreklow of The Kreklow Group checking in with Partners in the Microsoft ecosystem. Following workshop deliveries in Toronto, New York, New Jersey, and Washington DC, the IAMCP sponsored "Partner-to-Partner (P2P) Road Tour" made a visit to Tampa last week.
I recently had the opportunity to host a webinar panel on the topic of "The Mentorship Impact" with IAMCP's Women in Technology Community (WIT). WIT is a worldwide group of women from the Microsoft Partner channel focused on supporting each other to achieve professional goals and on attracting to, and retaining women in, the technology field.
It is the second week of January and 25% of the population has given up on their New Year Resolutions. With the other 75%, I'm proud to say, I'm still on track with only 50 more weeks to go. I admit it—I love New Year's resolutions. I love the process of setting them and tracking them. Just before the ball drops, I take time out to evaluate how I did against my goals and decide which ones I'm going to tackle when the calendar flips over.
Recently, the president of an international technology association asked me for a couple of ideas on how kick off her upcoming board meeting. She was looking for something that would prepare the group to be open and ready to work together to address the tough discussions on the agenda.
As I began to consider how to best advise her, my thoughts turned to just how important the start of any meeting really is. After all, it is the start of any meeting that sets the tone for the quality of the interaction that is about to take place. It establishes the conditions for success. In general, however, this familiar part of a businessperson's day usually gets the least amount of focus. Most meetings begin with a brief overview of the agenda and then a leap into "the important stuff". The issue is that this jump takes place before everyone is on the same page, putting at risk the successful outcome of the meeting.
My two Working Improv partners and I had a great time in the workshop we ran at PCMA's Canadian Innovation Conference this past week. And how could we not? The creative group of professional meeting and conference planners in our workshop enthusiastically jumped into the exercises we put forward. They made new best friends, went on exotic adventures, discovered multiple uses for socks, and told stories like champions.
I am excited to join my colleagues in presenting at PCMA's Canadian Innovation Conference on November 22-24. The aim of the conference is to provide professional education for the 500+ professionals attending the event. In preparation for the event, we have been thinking hard about how to deliver a high-impact session for a group of people whose job every day is to design and deliver awesome experiences. Meeting and conference planning is serious business. Big bucks are at stake and the pressure is on to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Fortunately, the choice of what to do for our session could not have been clearer—we... are going to play.
I really enjoyed a video I recently came across from TEDx Victoria. It was Improviser Dave Morris presenting what he coined, "The Ways of Improvisation". In the video, he describes improvisation as a way of doing things that can be used in everyday life. He makes the clear distinction that improvisation is not a single thing, but rather a process that is followed.
I stood in front of the National Sales Team I managed and could feel the cynicism
staring back at me. Certain they knew the script, they braced themselves for the "start of the fiscal year motivational speech"—the speech delivered by every sales leader since the dawn of quotas. The basic format of the speech goes something like this:
In the last week, I have received a few comments from people who have been introduced to the concept of leading with "Yes" and they have expressed how challenging it can be. I think it is an interesting topic worthy of additional exploration and so in this post I will do my best to uncover what it really means to lead with "Yes
During my frequent incarcerations, I've texted friends to find out where we are meeting for dinner, checked stock market quotes and calculated whether I can afford a European vacation next summer. My detainers were paying no attention and had no idea that these activities were going on right under their noses. On behalf of corporate prisoners of meetings being held captive in board rooms for countless hours around the globe, I'm pleading for release.
Reflecting recently on a class assignment, I remarked how well our group worked together and made the best of each other's strengths. I also found it interesting that we didn't experience the "ugly middle". So what does that really mean?
Few mysteries of the professional world prove as elusive as defining the leadership trait commonly referred to as Executive Presence. This is a compelling topic because it has been cited many times as a contributor to whether people advance or stagnate in their careers. Yet clear, actionable explanations as to what exactly constitutes Executive Presence are obscured in mystery.
Tiffani Bova, VP and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner Research and the keynote speaker at the IAMCP Women in Technology Charity Luncheon during Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, focused her talk on "Flexing our Confidence Muscles". Her words of encouragement to the crowd of attendees at this sold-out event were as follows: build confidence by taking steps in the direction you want to go and with each step forward, you grow those "confidence muscles".
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference recently held in Orlando more than 15,000 Microsoft Partners attended to hear company messages, network and develop their technical and business skills. My colleague and I were thrilled to be speakers at the conference and were asked to deliver a couple of sessions in the leadership track.
Seeking to improve skills in a corporate environment often involves training or studying the latest books and articles that provide methods and approaches for leadership, communication, innovation, or problem solving. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, it looks like I'm in good company with top-tier business schools in thinking there could be other techniques to enhance the must-have skills for corporate workplace survival.
A project without risks is doomed to fail. That does not sound right, does it? The fact of the matter is that for all but the least-complex, short-run projects, there is always going to be one or more twists and turns to maneuver around on the road to successful delivery. Identifying and planning for those events through a risk management strategy is the first step towards increasing the chances of reaching the desired end state.
Proactively identifying and planning for potential project pitfalls can help any team's chances of a successful delivery. Devreve created the Mitigate App to help project managers, consultants, team leads, or anyone who is looking to instill risk management discipline in their projects.
Mitigate couples a lightweight process with a user-friendly app for Windows PC and Windows Phone devices for anywhere, anytime risk management.