Friday, November 26, 2010

Reduce Churn through Social and Continuous Learning

Did you know that global firms spend 50 times more on recruiting than training? This is one of the reasons, Nick Van Dam contends, that leads to significant churn within the most talented employees... In his book "25 best practices in learning & talent development" he delivers very clearly articulated best practices gleaned throughout the course of his work at Deloitte. He elaborates on how to use learning to build the company brand image for career growth and development.

And, his definition of the Chief Learning Officer as the chief architect of the learning organization that must design learning interventions and solutions that support both continuous individual learning, as well as, organizational learning is right on! Also, his views regarding the role of informal learning and simulation games will prove very useful to the success of the multi generational, multi cultural and always-on enterprise of the 21st century.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Role of Informal Learning in the New Workplace

In a world where knowledge has become increasingly perishable, people learn best through a combination of having the right knowledge in the right context with the right people. Knowing the right people to ask the right question has more power than knowing all the answers. The process of managing informal learning in an organization is commonly achieved through the deployment of Social Learning solutions. Nurturing and harnessing informal learning enables organizations to surround their people with structured and unstructured learning experiences so they can easily access what they need to learn and what they want to learn.

The workplace is, more often than not, now a place of shifting needs and responsibilities rather than a hierarchy set of jobs with interchangeable people to fill a structured set of job titles. Saba Social Learning is built to adapt to the changing nature of work.

Tag it, share it, discuss it, bookmark it, contribute it, add classmates to the group: the social experience of learning is flexible and boundless. Combined with the strength of formal learning, these experiences engage learners and accelerate how fast people learn. Further Saba Social Learning’s “always on” experience reinforces how learners change behavior and put learning into practice.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Crossing the valley of death - according to Chevron's Jim Davis

I thought that you might be interested in how Chevron Energy Solutions's president characterizes the role of the Cleantech Open as an innovation catalyst:


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Accelerate your sales cycle with Sales 2.0

For those of you who have an interest in improving your sales process I highly recommend Anneke Sele’s book Sales 2.0 at

Having rolled-out the first Oracle web site in the 90’s, in a (very successful) effort to increase the penetration of the Oracle database in the mid-market, I had the opportunity to work very closely with Oracle’s inside sales organization. I later took advantage of this experience to design Siebel’s enterprise CRM software, which gave me the privilege to work with some of the most talented companies who were trying to build great sales organizations and were striving to integrate the multiple channels of customer communications!

I certainly wish that Anneke Sele’s book had been available at the time as it very clearly and realistically explains and underscores how successful sales organizations need to use contemporary technology and while codifying processes from prospect inquiry to customer close. Anneke’s emphasis on a common lead framework between sales and marketing is right on! Don’t wait to implement a low-latency sales cycle: Implement Sales 2.0 now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Increasing sales velocity though Enterprise Social Networks: FICO

At the interface of main street and Wall Street, FICO (previously known as Fair Isaac) caters both to consumers and businesses and delivers a wide range of predictive analytic solutions. The company generates more than half of its B2B leads from digital marketing through a very deliberate use of social networks both, private and public.

The main reason social networking is so important to FICO is that it enables both prospects and customers to educate and inform themselves by communicating with other similarly minded people in a safe and semi-structured environment, in their own language, 24/7. My strategy was to build FICO’s own private enterprise social network,, and to use public social networks like YouTube,, LinkedIn and Twitter to attract potential participants. This strategy, coupled with a user interface focused on maximizing positive user experience, has been very successful. In a very short period of time, we’ve managed to attract thousands and thousands of professionals to join FICO’s online-community the world over.

This project is a real-life example of how to put cloud computing to work to enable and facilitate customer engagement: By inviting our customers to become our most valuable collaborators with regard to defining new product requirements and other enhancements to our services.

FICO’s private enterprise social network,, was launched in a matter of weeks. It uses Salesforce Ideas and Lithium Customer Community applications. It integrates with Six Apart’s Typepad, Amazon EC2 and Sharepoint. The vision that lead to this strategy sprang from the marketing team working in very close collaboration with the CIO. The bulk of the implementation for this cloud-based composite application was outsourced to Salesforce’s partner, Reside.

The community is open to everybody using or evaluating FICO technology and services such as Chief Risk Officers, business analysts, developers and many others. Demos, free trials, and best practices are all a click away. Expanding he FICO community from the physical world to the digital world has been a very worthwhile investment! And, let’s not forget that for the customer‘s experience to be successful, the interaction must be multi-channel and consistent both on-line and in-person.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tribute to a giant: Art Rosenfeld, the father of energy efficiency

I had the honor and privilege of meeting Art several years ago at the launch of what was then called the Stanford Institute for the Environment. The launch constituted of several days of fascinating world class presentations and conversations about- you guessed it- the environment and climate change. I have great memories of all the speeches but none as vivid as Art’s presentation. Art had very few slides and the ones he had weren’t very polished. However, his knowledge, passion, style and above all humor were absolutely riveting. Bear in mind that Art was talking about how to make cities more energy efficient… I couldn’t wait to meet him. Which I did after the crowd around him had subsided. He generously spent half an hour with me discussing the economic merits of energy efficiency vs. renewables.

A few years later, I called him at the California Energy Commission to help me launch the then fledgling Clean Tech Open - The mission of the California Clean Tech Open is to encourage the development of clean technology companies that foster a healthy natural environment. Yet again, I was struck by his generosity and kindness. He took the time to understand what we wanted to achieve, provided guidance and made many invaluable introductions at the C-PUC, LBNL and PG&E. He also accepted very graciously to be a keynote speaker at the launch of the Clean Tech Open at San Francisco city hall, on March 21,2006. He has remained a staunch supporter of the Clean Tech Open and I could not thank him enough for his support. Art will once again be the keynote speaker at the Feb 26, 2010 national launch of the competition!

Art received his Ph. D. in Physics under Enrico Fermi and later formed the Center for Building Science at LBNL. He received the Enrico Fermi award in 2006 and co-founded the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. He is stepping down from the California Energy Commission and he will be sorely missed.

Recently I installed a “cool roof” on my own house, an action of which Art is a big proponent. My daughters love our new “cool roof”, as well as, the many other energy efficient design features we are incorporating into our current home renovation. Thanks to people like Art, with his passion, vision and incredible intellect kids today are more inspired and aware of energy use issues than ever before.