The Citrix Guide to Great Teams


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As well as using the right tools to support increasingly mobile workforces, it’s critical to support team spirit and collaboration.

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The Citrix Guide to Great Teams

  1. 1. The Citrix Guide to Great Teams Reinvent the way you work
  2. 2. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. NOW WHAT? As well as using the right tools to support increasingly mobile workforces, it’s critical to support team spirit and collaboration. Jesse Lipson, GM of Data Sharing at Citrix, explains. The world of work is always changing - or is it? In recent decades we’ve left behind the idea of private offices like those seen on “Mad Men,” instead embracing open-plan spaces in an effort to make it easier for people to communicate and collaborate. But curiously, these open spaces are often still constrained by traditional practices of conventional office life. For many, work is still a place you go, rather than something you do. Has the shift to open-plan offices been largely cosmetic? It’s true that successful businesses bring their staff together, creating an ethos and shared culture that is incredibly powerful. But this shouldn’t require everyone to be in the same place at the same time. In fact, as businesses respond to highly competitive operating environments, it has become a commercial necessity for workforces to be adaptive and contingent rather than sedentary. Similarly, as Generation Y—that is, people born between 1980 and 2000—enters and progresses in workforces, more and more employees are valuing greater flexibility over where and how much they work, with a significant proportion even prepared to give up pay or delay a promotion in exchange. Fortunately, increasing Internet speed, the availability of powerful mobile devices (such as tablets and smartphones) and access to secure flexible working technology has now made it possible for a new generation of SMBs to change the way they do business. Alongside them, mobile, application-hungry employees increasingly view flexible working as standard operating practice rather than a perk. The importance of social capital This trend towards flexible work has been characterised by the readiness of employees to use their own mobile devices to tackle work. Recent research by Citrix and YouGov found that the UK has overtaken the United States and other countries and is now leading the way in BYOD (bring your own device) management. Thirty-four percent of UK SMBs have implemented policies and IT systems to manage employees’ use of personal devices at work, recognizing that the sharing of data across such devices needs to be seamless, scalable and secure. But once the tools are in place to enable workforces to diversify in terms of device and working location, it becomes critical to maintain and improve our social capital: the spirit of collaboration and teamwork. While everything around us changes with awe-inspiring speed, these qualities remain as valuable as ever. That’s why we’ve created this short guide: to help you build awesome teams. “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu
  3. 3. COLLABORATION THROUGH THE AGES Teamwork is essential to business success. Throughout history, humans have joined forces to accomplish important goals and reduce individual effort. The Romans The stupendous success of the Roman Empire was built upon a hierarchical, ambitious society, expressed in legions’ interlocking shields and remarkable feats of engineering and planning such as Rome’s famous roads and postal network, which stretched from outposts on Hadrian’s Wall to central Asia. Each individual had a clearly defined role and knew how that role fit into the bigger picture. But the Empire finally collapsed when ambition outstripped means. Learning: Clearly define roles and ensure your processes are scalable. Monks Medieval monasteries were almost entirely selfsufficient, producing everything they needed to support themselves and people in surrounding local communities. This sufficiency was founded upon literacy and learning. The monks were the bookmarkers of their time, diligently recording and collating information for the ages. However, these repositories of knowledge were easily wiped out by invaders. Learning: Be systematic about storing and making data accessible but ensure it is secure. You never know when Vikings will appear. Ford Production Line Henry Ford’s democratic vision of car ownership succeeded thanks to his single-minded vision: cut costs while simplifying complex production processes. Working together on highly efficient production lines, his teams were able to assemble vehicles faster than anyone ever thought possible. Ford’s Model T sold millions before eventually losing market dominance. Learning: Efficiency is everything. Never stop looking for ways to improve and simplify, but be wary of cookie-cutter processes. Bletchley Park Bletchley Park was the home of an elite codebreaking unit tasked with cracking secret codes during WW2. Their success in doing so was testament to dedication, with small teams working around the clock to defeat mission-critical puzzles by making astute use of technology—such as Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer. Learning: Build powerhouse teams around your innovators. Use technology to gain competitive advantage. What’s next? Until recently, communications had to be conveyed physically, often via slow and unreliable means. But that’s no longer the case. We’re now able to collaborate effectively with individuals on the other side of the world in real time via social networks, secure data transfer and remote conferencing. Highly connected, high-performing teams using secure mobile technology across multiple locations and time zones will define the future world of work. “Either don’t attempt it, or carry it through to the end.” – Ovid
  4. 4. THE COLLABORATOR’S TOOLKIT How do you support collaboration across mobile, contingent workforces? Start with this toolkit. The Internal Social Network The antithesis of the office cubicle and the business silo, internal social networks act as a place for colleagues to let each other know what they’re working on and thinking about, and to identify where skills and expertise lie across an organisation. Bookmarking tool The amount of information we have access to is staggering, but how do we sort through it all, file the valuable pieces, and flag what’s relevant to our colleagues? One solution is to use a bookmarking tool such as Delicious or Diigo to highlight key articles and sites. Collaboration enabler Remote conferencing software Need to discuss the latest plans with colleagues in a different location? Remote meeting software enables collaborators to meet face to face from anywhere, while screen-sharing enables you to review key documents. Digital whiteboards One of the oldest forms of communication and collaboration is handwriting. New whiteboard-style apps like Talkboard allow users to invite anyone to write or sketch together, wherever they happen to be. The app updates live so everyone can see as the board evolves and share what is created. “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” – Seth Godin
  5. 5. The Notebook Many of the world’s best ideas started in a notebook. In the age of the mobile device, some would argue they are no longer relevant, but we beg to differ. The process of writing across a sheet of paper, as opposed to typing, engages different circuits. Try it. Exercise app Staying fit and strong energises your thinking, but finding time for the gym can often be tough. Fortunately, a new generation of fitness apps can help you tailor workouts to suit your lifestyle, saving you time and money. Collaboration supporter Twitter Lists Need to know what thought leaders are saying, thinking and doing? The oft-overlooked Twitter list is the perfect way to find out. It can be used as a simple monitoring tool, or as a springboard for networking and conversation—which, in turn, can help raise your profile within your field of expertise. Make it private to keep surreptitious tabs on key people, or public, as a mark of recognition and your understanding of movers and shakers. Email Poor use of email is the cause of many productivity problems, but a clear, concise email chain with relevant files attached can help us get on with the task at hand when the rest of the team are busy or away from their computers. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
  6. 6. “TECHNOLOGY IS COMPLETELY TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE.” Rising B2B marketing agency Klaxon has done away with the office altogether. Co-founder Andy Bargery reveals the secret to their success. Tell us a little about the rationale behind Klaxon’s remote working strategy. We wanted to create a more flexible working environment where we could concentrate on delivering outputs rather than spending a certain amount of time at a desk. We also wanted the freedom to balance our professional and personal lives, working at the times we are most productive and spending plenty of time with our families. What are the strategies you use to collaborate successfully as a team? The most important strategy is to get the right people. It takes a certain mindset and level of experience to be able to work remotely, staying motivated to get the job done without a stable office environment. We also couldn’t work remotely without a very good communication infrastructure and solid processes. That means being able to share documents seamlessly, or to get in touch easily through instant messaging or conference calls. It also means we have a documented system for how things get done, which helps people to work within our environment. We call it the Klaxon Playbook. How do you maintain a team spirit when all working in different locations? The key is regular and open communications, both remotely and in person. We’re currently planning a team dinner where we’ll get everyone around a table to discuss at our strategy for the next year, but in the past we’ve done things like taking everyone for a snowboarding lesson. This helps to build a platform for team working and a team spirit. What are the essential tools your business couldn’t live without? The key tools are cloud based file-sharing, instant messenger, Google Apps, GoToMeeting, email and SaaS accounting applications. Where do you see technology taking SMBs in the short-term and longer term (5+ years?) Technology is completely transforming the future of the workplace. It’s increasingly easy for people to work anywhere anytime and you can see this trend impacting companies of all shapes and sizes. The digital revolution and the impact of social technologies within businesses are fascinating to watch. Mobile and the consumerisation of devices and applications is also a big challenge, particularly for large traditional enterprises. Who knows where we will be in five years’ time. Technology is evolving so rapidly at the moment. Tech startups are creating new apps and tools all the time that have the potential to transform how we work and live. One thing I wouldn’t bet against is that in five years there will be another dozen or so big technology brands shaking up the status quo. “Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” – Franz Kafka
  7. 7. THE COLLABORATORS Who should you look to for inspiration and advice on teamwork and collaboration? Here are four of the best. Clay Shirky Will McInnes A leading thinker on the effect technology has on individuals and business, Clay’s ideas on how we work together and form institutions are essential for modern business. Key Clay takeaway: the more we involve employees in planning our structures, the more opportunity we give ourselves to succeed. Co-founder of leading business consultancy NixonMcInnes, Will is the author of Culture Shock, a 21st century handbook for business. Here he expounds on the qualities that characterise the new wave of business, such as a move towards organisational openness and empowering individuals within formerly rigid business structures. Emma Jones Brian Solis Emma is one of the UK’s leading experts on starting and growing new businesses, having founded Enterprise Nation. Her advice on building teams and growing your business is essential for anyone with an interest in improving the way their employees work together. A respected author and keynote speaker, Brian has spent the last 20 years exploring the ways technology is changing business and helping us work together, both internally and externally with customers. What’s the Future of Business, his latest book, explores how businesses create compelling experiences for customers. Workplace anthems For a growing number of offices, the playlist is an important, often intensely debated piece of workplace infrastructure. It can also be a fun way to foster team creativity. Why not follow our Spotify playlist of workplace anthems and add your favourite tracks? Top tracks The Beatles - With a Little Help from My Friends LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends Queen - We Are the Champions AHA - Take on Me Snow White & the Seven Dwarves - Heigh-Ho Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - In the Air Tina Turner - Simply the Best Mick Jagger - Let's Work Jefferson Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ― Stephen King,
  8. 8. ROLL UP ROLL UP , Crique du Soleil is the world’s largest theatrical producer, so it’s essential to have the right project management framework in place Since its first performance in Canada in 1984, Cirque Du Soleil has become internationally renowned for its dynamic mix of circus arts and street entertainment. So it’s no surprise that its marketing team was struggling to keep track of the sheer number of actions on their plate at any one time. Plunging through an ever-growing list of actions but with no clear idea of who owned each task and how far along each project was, the team attempted to keep track using a jumble of emails and documents. The solution Andy Levey, senior manager of new media and analytics, knew the team needed a piece of software that could efficiently handle these challenges for them. He found what he was looking for in Podio. “What attracted us to Podio was that it put everything in one place, and it was something you could fully customize,” said Andy. “It wasn’t just a project management system—it was a project management system for our needs. No two projects are the same, and it’s really cool as the project manager to build in different aspects of that in different apps on the Podio platform itself.” The jobs app has become the central hub of activity for the Cirque du Soleil team. Everyone from graphic designers to project managers to executives can request and follow the progress of creative jobs in one place and on any device. The benefits • Every project the marketing team is working on is tracked from a central location, from social media content calendars to full-scale design projects • Increased transparency, enabling team leaders an overview of who is working on what at any given time • Greater connections with other departments: PR and sales are both now looped in on the marketing work schedule • Cross-device support means everyone has full access to the team’s action list, no matter where—or what—they’re working from Visit to try Podio for free today. “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” – John Maxwell
  9. 9. MEETING OF MINDS Faced with the challenge of regularly bringing far-flung specialists together to discuss vital, highly sensitive cases, the Wertachklinken clinical group rethought its approach to meetings. Caring for up to 32,000 patients in the space of a year is no mean feat—and it’s even harder when your physicians are spread across a region the size of Bavaria. But that’s the challenge that was faced by the Wertachklinken clinical group. The weekly tumour conference sessions, where the group diagnosed patients and discussed treatment plans, were proving a substantial drain on the group’s resources. They needed a solution that would allow physicians to meet and discuss options without having to be in the same room. It was crucial that the system be secure, given the highly confidential nature of patient’s medical records. But permanent video conferencing systems were too expensive and impractical, requiring each individual physician to use the same hardware. The solution The team turned to GoToMeeting, which offered IT the security they needed while offering a broad range of features. The key selling point was the screen-sharing features, which meant just one doctor could have access to the required charts and images and share them seamlessly with his colleagues. Andreas Neckermann, Wertachklinken’s head of IT, cited the software’s ease of use and the features it offered to participants as keys to the success of the programme. “GoToMeeting is not only very easy to implement, but also extremely user-friendly. An additional reason why we chose GoToMeeting was the brilliant picture quality, which we saw when the CT and MRT images were being very clearly and sharply displayed. The physicians could also use different applications to enlarge a specific area.” The benefits • Reduced time travelling has meant more time can be spent on what matters—caring for patients • Reduced travel costs mean more money to invest in other aspects of patient care • The ability to record meetings means physicians who were unable to attend the meeting were able to give their opinion on cases from their own location. Visit to download your free trial and get started today. “Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.” – Pablo Picasso
  10. 10. @GoToMeetingUK (c) Citrix Online, 2013