Tag Archives: Collaboration

iLiv is building a BRAND NEW APPLICATION

Most of you reading this know — and more likely than not — love iLiv All-In™. We know that because you tell us.  Makes us happy.

All-In is the software that, together with training, consulting, and customization, propels us in our mission to help our customers discover, re-use, and refine new and better ways of working together.

We have always based this mission around the idea that there are two broad groups of people who get a project done. We call them Performers and Composers, using a musical metaphor that is dear to our hearts.

With All-In we set out, first and foremost, to support Performers. For 11 years now it has helped people working on projects be more creative and much more productive.

All-In answers, for everybody working on a project, the 3 critical questions:

  • Who’s doing what?
  • What do I have to do next?
  • How are we doing?

With this one product, and a lot of customization and collaboration with our customers, iLiv’s users have realized productivity boosts of up to 1500%. Yep, that’s a lot.

All along, we have known that All-In did not deliver as much of a boost to Composers — the project managers, workflow designers, and process creators that all but the simplest projects need. That’s been alright for us, so far, because:

  1. 90%+ of project team members are Performers, and
  2. If the team members are not being productive and creating value, neither is the project manager.

Well, for the past few months, we’ve been working on addressing that shortfall.

Drum roll Please…

iLiv is building a BRAND NEW APPLICATION!

We will be posting all about it over the next 6 months, as alpha and beta users tell us what they think of it, and give us suggestions and feedback.

iLiv Project Management Composer

It’s still is the lab, and early days yet, but the goals are clear and the features growing daily.

In the next post I will tell you what its name will be. Sharp-eyed readers will spot it in this screenshot from a developer’s desk.

Stay tuned.

The 4 ‘Essential Types’ That Make a Team Great

Many factors contribute to making a team great, but one that sticks out in my mind is whether you have the 4 ‘Essential Types’ on your team.

According to David Culver, iLiv’s Chairman, you will always find all four of these types represented on any team that can truly be called great.

Culver grew Alcan to be one of Canada’s largest and most successful companies (a company that sold in 2007 for $38 Billion). He’s been awarded many accolades over the years, and is widely respected as a great leader. When asked to describe his key role as CEO, he once replied, “growing people quickly”. And this test — taught to him by management guru, James T. McCay — helped him to organize some VERY successful teams.

So, what are the types that every team needs?

Type 1: The Hunter

The Hunter is all get up and go, “Let’s do it.” Imagine a cave-dweller clubbing something and bringing it back to the cave. At that point, the hunter’s job with that ‘something’ is finished, and the hunter goes back out and continues hunting for another ‘something’ to bring back. The hunter is always hunting.

Type 2: The Spiritualist 

The Spiritualist asks questions, and then asks some more questions, and then more questions — the principle one being: “Why are we doing this?” The Spiritualist drives the Hunter crazy.

Type 3: The Jester 

The Jester has the innate ability to lower tension — to be the team’s pressure-release valve. The Jester thinks both the Hunter and the Spiritualist are a little nuts, but is fine with both of them, because the Jester is also keeping a critical eye on…

Type 4: The Leader

In spite of all of the traits that come to mind when you imagine a leader, there is one ubiquitous and essential quality of a great leader: The Leader understands that you must have all four types, and composes the team accordingly.

Of course, people can be more than one of these types at the same time. I often work with a team of 2, where we fill all four of these descriptions between ourselves. I’ve noticed my dominant ‘type’ changes as is required, and if we lose one of the types between us, that’s when we have trouble.

Your type can also change.

Perhaps you’re an executive (traditional Leader role), currently exploring your company’s purpose (the Spiritualist). Or maybe you’re in sales (traditional Hunter role), but strongly motivated to keep your sales team’s internal competitiveness in check (the Jester). This is all OK, as long as your team is always comprised of the 4 types.

So, the next time you’re wondering what you could do to make your team more successful, regardless of your traditional role, consider these 4 types, and be sure you’ve got them covered.

iLiv outside the Box

Image Source: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2005/10/CartoonCreativity
Image Source: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2005/10/CartoonCreativity

Many businesses are starting to use cloud storage for their important files and documents. The ROI is clear: why spend time and money running your own file servers when you can get someone else to do it? And that’s what service providers like Box provide: a file server in the cloud.

But what if you want to help your teams communicate and collaborate better? What if you need them to work together in new ways, build better relationships, be more creative, define and continuously refine a shared vision? These are the benefits of deep, integrative collaboration.

With a file server in the cloud, you are not enabling these benefits, because files are just data, and data does not collaborate. People collaborate.

iLiv All-In can do everything services such as Box can do with files — storage, version control, sharing, auditing, access control — because people do need to share files. But unlike those other services, files are not the center of attention in All-In. All-In puts people and process at the center.

You can’t put people in a box if you want them to be collaborative and creative. And you won’t get collaboration out of a box. Even an online box.