Tag Archives: Collaboration

12 Steps to a Life of Extraordinary Collaboration

Ben Ziegler, a mediator, collaboration consultant and owner of Collaborative Journeys shares an excerpt with us from his blog post “12 Steps to a Life of Extraordinary Collaboration,” posted on March 21, 2012:

“There is no shortage of big problems facing us today; in our communities, cities, globally! These problems are complex. There are many parts to the problem, and how all the parts connect together can be a mystery. What the solution is, another mystery.

What to do?

Collaborate. (You knew I’d say that, right?) And, the bigger the problem, the bigger the collaboration effort needed. It takes a system to change a system. Forget the KISS principle.

And, as the scale of collaboration ramps up, we need to involve people with collaboration skills that match the context. Massive collaboration calls for people with massive collaboration skills; extraordinary skills that go way beyond the ordinary.

I got to thinking about extraordinary collaboration, on reading Jane McGonigal’s book, Reality is Broken, in which she explores the positive potential of games and virtual collaboration. I tip my hat to my creative conflict resolution colleague, Stephanie West Allen (@idealawg on Twitter, blogs at Brains on Purpose), for pointing me to Jane’s work.

12 Steps

What are the personal skills associated with extraordinary collaboration? How about these:

  1. Believe in collaboration; in creating something new, that would be impossible to create alone. Collaboration is a “generative act”.
  2. Learn collaboration; think and act collaboratively. (Collaborative Maxims can be your guide)
  3. Get social, in a networked environment; we are all connected, “be an extrovert in the virtual world”, it’s a godsend of opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert in face-to-face settings.
  4. Make connections, of all sorts; making connections is at the heart of bridging differences, creating the new, innovation…
  5. Develop your internal “collaboration radar”; ask yourself – who will make “the best collaborators on this particular task or mission”?”

Click here to read the seven other steps…

-Guest Blogger: Ben Ziegler,
Mediator and Collaboration Consultant,
Collaborative Journeys

Rave Reviews & Some Learning for Collaborate & Produce : SharePoint 2010 Introduction for Gov’t & Business Event

The Collaborate and Produce: SharePoint 2010 Introduction for Government and Business event delivered on Thursday, April 12, 2012 was well attended, with 49 registrants filling the Ambrosia Conference Centre’s main room.

The presentation itself was well received by those looking for a general introductory overview of SharePoint. Some comments we received were:

“It was just what we needed to help us understand what SharePoint 2010 can do for us. In particular the document management discussion is encouraging us to change our processes and systems to have ‘one version of the truth’ wherever practical.”

Scott Clark,
Assistant Director Information Technology (CIO),
City of Victoria


“Nurses are people-focused – they don’t want to have to be computer savvy to be able to get the information they want. They just want it to be easy – so they can get what they need and then go back to doing what they are passionate about – caring for people.

SharePoint has allowed our staff to become accustomed to accessing documents and conversations whenever and wherever they want.  As the largest nursing program in BC, we have a lot of information that is coming to our staff. Information is getting up and out and that’s a big deal.

From an administration point-of-view, I’m completely stoked for the new features in SharePoint 2010 – especially document collaboration and the new Windows Explorer browser feature – which will resolve so many of the frustrations I was hearing from our staff.”

– Dawna Hurst,
 Camosun College – Nursing Program

For some attendees, who were looking to gain in-depth information, the presentation was not an ideal fit. Based on their comments, we have made the following adjustments:

  • We have changed the name of the presentation to – Collaborate and Produce : SharePoint 2010 Overview Introduction –  to be clear that this presentation is an overview that does not include in-depth information.
  • We have narrowed the scope of the intended audience – only those who are new to SharePoint, or have had limited experience using SharePoint, will be advised to attend.
  • We will advise future registrants who are looking for more information about the specific differences between SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010 to attend our half day hands-on SharePoint 2010 Skills Upgrade course.
  • Future offerings of this presentation will include more real world examples of how different organizations have used SharePoint to improve their collaboration and increase their productivity.

We want to thank all the attendees who provided feedback to help us continue to improve our processes and our presentations.

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

2-for-1 Registration Special for Collaborate and Produce: SP 2010 Event

Collaborate and Produce:
SharePoint 2010 Introduction for Government and Business

Join us for a half-day demonstration-style overview of SharePoint 2010.

Thursday, April 12, 2012
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Complimentary Lunch: noon – 1:00pm

This session will be useful and relevant to those familiar with SharePoint 2007, or new to SharePoint altogether.

at the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre,
Victoria, BC

Host Gerry Brimacombe spices up his presentation with tips, tricks, and best practices gathered and developed over many years of using and teaching this exciting product.

2-for-1 Registration Now Available:
$100 per person – includes catered lunch
Redeem our 2-for-1 Special and bring a friend for free.
Click here for event description and to register.

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

Win Free SharePoint Training at Sector’s Collaborate and Produce: SP 2010 Event

By attending Sector Learning Solutions’
Collaborate and Produce:
SharePoint 2010 Introduction for Government and Business 

event on Thursday, April 12, 2012 :

you will be eligible to win one free registration for
our two day SharePoint 2010 – Level 1 course ($885 value)

April 12 – 9am – 12 pm
Complimentary lunch : noon – 1pm.

Register today!

Registration: $100 – includes a free lunch
catered by

What topics will presenter Gerry Brimacombe cover in this 3 hour lunch and learn?

  • The SharePoint 2010 Ribbon
  • Creating Pages, Lists and Sites
  • Wiki Home Page editing
  • Co-Authoring
  • Microsoft Office Integration
  • Calendar Overlays
  • Themes
  • SharePoint Workspaces

Other available prizes:

Please click here to register.

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

No person is an Island – The Importance of Collaboration in the Office

John Donne, the 16th century English poet wrote “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated….No man is an island, entire of itself...”

I think this can be translated into the modern business view by adjusting the words as follows:

“A business is developed and sustained by all its staff, as one person works, or if they leave, if their knowledge is captured and shared, then the business can continue to prosper and grow from that person’s knowledge and skill…..No one can operate independently in a business, even if they wanted to, but must work together to maximize results...”

We call this collaboration. You are not an island. You are a node on a network. Your knowledge, skills, and hard work can get the job done today, and then, if captured properly, searchable and shareable, can help other staff save time and make better decisions down the road.

The challenging part, I believe, is the “capturing, searchable, and shareable”. There is a whole field of Knowledge Management to address the “capture, storage, and dissemination of information”. For a small company like mine, SharePoint accomplishes most of what I need, very, very simply.

First of all, at Sector we do everything on SharePoint (2010). We do not have file servers. We do have Exchange serving our email, but it is underworked as rather than attachments, we send links to SharePoint documents, wiki pages, and list items.

My motto lately has been “email sucks”. Even more so today since my Outlook has been acting up…but even in general. I shudder when I hear “I have it in my email”. Sure, email has lots of great organization and searching tools, but it is still a PERSONAL storage system. (Yes, system administrators and the like can read your email, but that is only if necessary.) It fails to make the information you gather every day accessible to others in the organization.

What we are doing at Sector, and it is working well, is to keep as much corporate knowledge as possible in a central location, that is searchable and accessible by everyone. SharePoint is our tool of choice for this not just because it is free to install, but also because we think it does a very good job!

Think about it. If one of your staff leaves suddenly (the lottery syndrome), how much of that person’s day-to-day is gone with them? Lots. What if they have organically, without any real extra work, been storing their work products, to-do lists, and job skill knowledge on a central server (SharePoint) where everyone can look? With SharePoint 2010’s Fast™ Search, in seconds everyone in the organization (given appropriate permission levels – easily settable in SharePoint) can reads that person’s documents and pick up where they left off with a lot less fuss. By the same token, my interim work products are available to all my staff so they can use what I have developed, without actually having to be aware of it or ask me for it. One tool I really like, that Sean Wallbridge of itgroove showed me, is to use a simple view on our document libraries to show “15 most recent modified files” – this keeps my finger on the pulse of what everybody is doing, without them having to tell me.

In today’s business and government environments, “no man (or woman) is an island”. We don’t have time to tell everybody all the time what we are up to, nor is everybody able to remember what everybody else has done last week or last year. But when you store as much as possible in a central location, and provide powerful search mechanisms, each person becomes an information hub, sharing with everyone else on an as and when needed basis.

Gerry Brimacombe
CEO, Sector Learning Solutions

VIDEO: Collaborate for Success – SharePoint for Project Collaboration

Veris is a Platinum Sponsor of PMI-SAC and was pleased to present “Collaborate for Success” with Gerry Brimacombe at the PMI-SAC (Southern Alberta Chapter) 2011 Conference.  When Gerry launches a new project, the first thing he does is build a SharePoint site for team collaboration and communication. In this presentation Gerry demonstrated and discussed his favourite tools, techniques, lists and libraries for team collaboration.

Click here to watch the VIDEO of the presentation!

-posted by Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

SharePoint for Project Collaboration

November 21st, 2011 @ 4pm  in Calgary.

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions