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Microsoft 365 customer questions – Sales Productivity

I work in the business of dealing with customers questions on Microsoft 365 all the time (disclosure), either directly or indirectly. This is part of a series of posts where I share them if they can be of help to others. Where I can of course and naturally, not just the questions but the answers too. All questions and answers strive to respect both sides sensitivities (parts will have been redacted and/or anonymised) and the main topic is covered in each post title.

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Productivity is not about place and balanced views are required

If the outdated and ironic view in the DanelDoodle above does not seem familiar to you, then you have probably been living under a rock, in your living room perhaps. Or under your desk in the office ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

It’s no secret many leaders equate being in the office with being productive. This Harvard Business Review article which includes survey data on a related subject, nails it. But you will find many more with a simple search.

I struggle to believe that it is anything other than ironic, maybe even moronic, to think that the only time you can be productive is when you are in the same place and physically together with others.

That does not mean to say I don’t believe in the benefits of physical proximity to others. I’ve been writing about the middle way of hybrid work models repeatedly under the productivity tag.

And that is the point, to be balanced in your views – not blinded by the dogmatism of decades old management thinking. New tools and ways of working which favour virtual, asynchronous collaboration do work.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee โ˜•

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How to run a Hackathon for Microsoft Teams and Power Platform

Iโ€™ve decided, while I work in the business of dealing with customers questions on Microsoft 365 all the time (disclosure), either directly or indirectly, I might as well share them if they can be of help to others. Where I can of course and naturally, not just the questions but the answers too. All questions and answers respect both sides sensitivities. This is where I started the activity and this post uses a slightly different format but is essentially the same approach.

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Hyperconnected business and driving the next level of productivity with collaborative apps

This title is not really mine and comes from some of the headline announcements at Microsoft Ignite which took place this week. I have an interest since I work there (disclosure) and write about these things, collaboration especially. In this post I want to unpack one of the themes and product announcements. The theme is captured by the title, the product is Microsoft Loop.

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OuterVentures and the importance of diversity in experiences

This site and the focus of my writing is on InnerVentures which focus on adventures inside organisations and of the mind. But the latter in particular is enriched when it is combined with adventures outside. Outside of our usual circumstances and experiences and our usual habitat. This is especially the case considering the protracted limitations imposed on us through the pandemic.

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Gartner survey of Board of Director intentions 2021 – Digital

Gartner has just published a press release with some data on the survey they conducted amongst 273 people serving as directors or members of corporate boards of directors in US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

I’ve highlighted two of the stats that stood out for me in the infographic. But first, for the one, I had to try and figure out what the heck they meant by “attempted to alter their enterprise economic structure to a more digital economic architecture.” 

Gartner explained this meant boards were trying to accommodate digital investments by “changing their capital allocation and governance approaches.”

40% of respondents said they have already moved some digital business-related budgets to business functions, according to Gartner, as opposed to a more centralized tech or IT budget. 

One in every three told Gartner that they have also changed the metrics that are used in order to evaluate the returns coming from digital investments. 

So for me this is the first of the significant stats. It signifies that they want to put control of digital initiatives in the hands of those that control the commercial destiny and success of the firm, i.e. out of IT into business. This is not new but the percentage is striking and bodes really well. This is where digital initiatives should reside. Not that IT will no longer be involved, quite the contrary as you can read from the press release, but they will play a different and lesser role, as it should be.

The second stat around digital tech initiatives being the highest amongst 7 other strategic business initiatives is the other one that stood out. Again, as it should be. Why?

Because as Bainโ€™s Technology Report 2021 puts it, if you think weโ€™ve reached peak disruption and innovation, think again. This decade will see an explosion of new opportunities as cloud models evolve, AI blossoms, and every company puts technology at the heart of virtually everything they do. 

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The Kool Aid Acid Test for Culture

The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test was a book written by Tom Wolfe way back in the day. The Acid Tests were parties at which everyone takes LSD (which was often put into the Kool-Aid they served) to “abandon the realities of the mundane world in search of a state of [intersubjectivity]”. Wolfe presents a firsthand account of the experiences of Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters who went around the US in the sixties.

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An employee experience update – thought leadership from Microsoft

Microsoft, with its Employee Experience Platform called Viva, is driving some serious thought leadership for the category and since I work there and picked up on this (disclosure), I thought I would share.

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A review of the new Microsoft Whiteboard

Click to see larger view

Naturally I used Microsoft Whiteboard for the review itself. I then exported an image of it and that is what you see above. This is not so much a feature overview since you can find that all here: Welcome to the new Whiteboard! That was the announcement post from a few days ago. This is more about the drawing, writing and doodling capabilities of such a tool as I’m a massive fan – see my many DanelDoodle’s. For the record, these are the tools I use mostly on my iPad currently, as mentioned in the review: Paper and Procreate. As soon as the new Whiteboard becomes available on iOS, I’m going to try that and also in my next Microsoft Teams Meeting.

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Productivity – we have a problem

There has been a flurry of bad press for productivity recently, especially in relation to remote work, but in general too. This is not entirely a new thing – see this pre-pandemic post from a Global Government Forum on The productivity problem: causes, consequences and cures. Two recent discussions around productivity have spurred on this post.

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Microsoft 365 customer questions – Viva Connections

I’ve decided, while I work in the business of dealing with customers questions on Microsoft 365 all the time (disclosure), either directly or indirectly, I might as well share them if they can be of help to others. Where I can of course and naturally, not just the questions but the answers too. All questions and answers respect both sides sensitivities (some parts have been redacted) and the topic is covered in the post title. Answers in grey background starting with initial questions

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The ebb and flow of productivity at work

I was thinking the other day about the times when I’m most productive at work. So much has been written about the subject and I work at a company and in a role where it’s one of the key functions of my job, i.e. to make people more productive through technology. There are a gazillion sites and services out there on how to be more productive. I think a lot of them miss the point.

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Minding the accelerating technology gap

Even if every company is now a tech company, there is still a massive gap between the early and fast adopters and the laggards. It goes beyond the chasm of initial technology adoption because now the assumption is all companies have to be using technology in some form or other to compete. The question is how well and how much are they keeping up.

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