Thursday, January 21, 2010

Collaboration Networks and a CEO who Gets it Right

Cristobal Conde, the President and C.E.O. of SunGard, a software and IT company, provides some very illuminating and effective management insights in this interview in the New York Times. His experiences have led him to conclude that "flatter" is better, and that collaboration is key in organizations. He provides a unique perspective in how to give employees credit for their ideas and contributions through Yammer. Recognition (and not only money) is what many employees seek, and especially from their peers. In academia, we have peer review when it comes to our journal articles and many grants but these tend to be anonymous. In organizations, those public pats on the back for good work done can serve as substantive recognition and as fuel for further endeavors and achievements.

This article deserves a close reading. I also applaud Mr. Conde, for whom English is not a first language, for his emphasis on the importance of good writing skills in his employees. Plus, he tries to scope out 90 minutes of his work day in which he can think without interruptions.

As Director for the Virtual Center for Supernetworks, I try to synergize the activities, whether in research or education or service of our Associates. I am personally proud when they excel since we then all benefit.