INVENTURES

December 2017

 

Wishing You a Happy Holiday

Inventures would like to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your organization's journey and continued success. We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

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Leadership Lessons From the Sports Pages

Recently in San Francisco Bay Area sports, leadership has resulted in some phenomenal success and achievement. Setting goals, creating the path forward, and evolving with the environment are all part of the art of leadership. Technology alliances can take much from the world of Bay Area sports and create effective, winning organizations.

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A Lighter Weight Method of Cross-Company Collaboration

It is well known that companies who may compete with each other can better develop new markets and products through collaboration. Typically, this collaboration has been through the creation of strategic alliances, which are often formalized as stand-alone technology alliances in the form of not-for-profit organizations. For 25+ years, Inventures has served and supported various alliances; however, more recently, companies have been utilizing a different form of collaboration called "project-based collaboration."

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To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say

Learning how to develop and convey a more strategic voice when communicating with others in the organization is important for leaders. What you say, when you say it, how you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it in the proper context are critical components for tapping into your full potential as a leader. For those looking to establish credibility and influence people, be concise and let individuals know clearly what role you want them to play in the discussion.

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imageWishing You a Happy Holiday

Inventures would like to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your organization's journey and continued success. We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

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imageLeadership Lessons From the Sports Pages

Recently in San Francisco Bay Area sports, leadership has resulted in some phenomenal success and achievement. Setting goals, creating the path forward, and evolving with the environment are all part of the art of leadership. Technology alliances can take much from the world of Bay Area sports and create effective, winning organizations.

Create an Environment Where Anyone Can Speak Up - In 2012 the San Francisco Giants were one game away from elimination against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, Hunter Pence brought the team together and said "…look into each other's eyes, I want one more day with you… play for each other not yourself…" The Giants created an environment that made Pence feel safe enough to speak up AND be heard.

A Charismatic Leader is Not Required - Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, had only one coaching assignment before taking on the Champion Warriors - his son's seventh grade basketball team. Steve has missed two long periods of coaching while dealing with back issues that has enabled him to say that seeing the big picture is paramount. "The people to me who are the most powerful leaders are the ones who have great talent in whatever their field is, great conviction in their ability to teach it and act it, but an awareness and humility and compassion for others." Coach Kerr has created an environment of freedom, trust, and lets people be themselves. Coach Kerr is smart, likeable, and understanding… most importantly he does not take himself too seriously and it is not about him.

Rebuild When Needed - The San Francisco 49ers have hopefully hit the bottom and the only way out of this mess is to rebuild. Jed York hired a new "executive team" of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan as General Manager and Head Coach respectively. For each, this is their time through this level of the NFL turnstile and they have quite an "opportunity" ahead of them. Lynch, who lacks personnel/draft experience, has surrounded himself with top quality personnel people. Shanahan, one of the best play callers in the NFL has pulled together a top-notch assistant coaching staff and together have pulled in Jimmy Garoppolo, a Tom Brady/Bill Belichick disciple. The 49ers have created a sound and energetic nucleus with a work ethic that forms a foundation for the future.

The world is changing and technology alliance leadership needs to move and evolve with the changing climate. Create an environment where Anyone Can Contribute, not just the stogy, forever-on-the-board guys. The Leader need not be ultra-Charismatic, but does need to be smart, likeable, understanding and willing to listen to others. At Inventures, we call it an Inflection Point in our Life Cycle, but every alliance needs to take a critical look at its goals, resources, and relevance and Rebuild When Needed.

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imageA Lighter Weight Method of Cross-Company Collaboration

It is well known that companies who may compete with each other can better develop new markets and products through collaboration. Typically, this collaboration has been through the creation of strategic alliances, which are often formalized as stand-alone technology alliances in the form of not-for-profit organizations. For 25+ years, Inventures has served and supported various alliances; however, more recently, companies have been utilizing a different form of collaboration called "project-based collaboration." 1

Most often, this project-based collaboration takes place in a separate not-for-profit organization like the Linux Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, or OASIS. These organizations typically hire full-time staff in order to service and support all the projects that comprise the organization. Some of these organizations specialize in open-source projects, some in non-open-source projects (e.g., technical specifications or closed source), and some in both.

While some industry challenges are best suited for a stand-alone technology alliance, executing projects in an existing organization provides many benefits such as quicker start-up, leveraging existing intellectual property and governance policies, using available collaboration tooling, and saving the cost of starting a new alliance from scratch. The advantage to utilizing an existing organization to launch a project-based collaboration vs. creating a new stand-alone technology alliance, is that the project can usually be started much more quickly, because the project can leverage the existing infrastructure (of the host organization) and not have to build a new organization from the ground-up. Additionally, depending on the organization hosting the project, the costs are usually lower than for participating in a stand-alone technology alliance.

Because project-based collaborations are quicker to launch and (usually) lower in cost, they are ideal for addressing many industry needs such as:

  • Validating technology solution approaches and producing adoption guidelines
  • Exploring technology collaborations
  • Developing standards/specification reference implementations
  • Facilitating multi-vendor interoperability testing/demonstration
  • Executing pilot projects in targeted contexts
  • Transferring (and hosting) Intellectual Property from previous collaborations

Inventures is structuring a new not-for-profit organization named the Inventures Collaboration Forum, to facilitate project-based collaborations. The Forum will have a Board of Directors, consisting of a subset of Forum members, and will host multiple projects of differing types such as IoT, cyber security, smart cities, consumer electronics, and more. Both open-source and non-open-source projects will be supported by the Forum and companies will need to join the Forum in order to participate in Forum projects.
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One of the main advantages of the Inventures Collaboration Forum compared to other existing organizations that host project-based collaborations will be the cost. Inventures' scalable a la carte services will reduce the cost needed to both launch and maintain a project as compared to many of the other organizations that host project-based collaborations, which most often have several full-time staff members. Additionally, Inventures best-practices knowledgebase built on 25+ years of experience managing technology collaborations can be employed by the Forum. Companies who would like alternatives to certain open-source repositories or would like to specify more fully the open-source development environment, should consider the Collaboration Forum as a way to meet those needs. Finally, Inventures experience launching stand-alone technology alliances is useful for those projects that may want to "spin-out" of the Forum and create their own alliance if the collaboration has achieved a level of participation that warrants that spin-out.

The Inventures Collaboration Forum will enable cross-company, industry collaboration in compliance with anti-trust regulations, and with an agreed upon IPR Policy, but with easier/quicker entry and lower-costs (when compared to a stand-alone technology alliance).

Please contact Inventures and specify an interest in "Project-Based Collaboration" if you would like to learn more about this topic in general or the Inventures Collaboration Forum specifically.

1 Hamel, Doz, and Prahalad, "Collaborate with your Competitors - and Win," Harvard Business Review, January-February 1989, https://hbr.org/1989/01/collaborate-with-your-competitors-and-win.

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imageTo Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say

Learning how to develop and convey a more strategic voice when communicating with others in the organization is important for leaders. What you say, when you say it, how you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it in the proper context are critical components for tapping into your full potential as a leader. For those looking to establish credibility and influence people, be concise and let individuals know clearly what role you want them to play in the discussion. "It's also important to demystify the content of any message you deliver by avoiding jargon and being a person of few - but effective - words," author Rebecca Shambaugh writes.

The author details several coaching strategies she uses frequently to help executives develop a more strategic voice. The first is to understand the context in which you will be operating. Shambaugh states, "Knowing or finding out in advance what your expected role is in a group forum or event can guide you in determining the kind of voice you need for that venue." Second, be a visionary. In this regard, the goal is to take an enterprise view that focuses less on one's self and more on the broader organization. Third, build your strategic thinking by leveraging relationships more intentionally, with specific goals in mind. Fourth, Shambaugh says a strong voice focuses on finding solutions, not just pointing out problems. Finally, "stay calm in the pressure cooker," Shambaugh concludes. Harvard Business Review (10/31/17) Shambaugh, Rebecca

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