If you think people waste money on meetings, you aren’t wrong…just look to the recent move made by Cisco. According to a recent article in Techcrunch, Cisco paid BIG (no word on the number, but it’s approximately in the seven-figure range) for the startup, Worklife.
What does Worklife do? Make software to make meetings better.
Worklife is a meeting platform that has a couple of cool features. Specifically, it has a countdown clock in the corner of the screen, so you can get really freaked out when your meeting is long. It also has some very cool agenda tools, which help to keep your meeting on track. (You know what else is helpful? Keeping your meeting on track. But I digress…)
Remember that Cisco owns WebEx, and they also has a division called Cisco Spark. They now will now have a new division called the Cloud Collaboration Technology Business Unit. This is designed to go head-to-head with tools like Slack and Yammer, as well as to fend off Microsoft’s Skype for Business initiatives.
So what does this all mean to the likes of us? First of all, we’re looking at tweaks to existing technology rather than whole new breakthroughs. This means that virtual meeting technology has reached a maturity point. Secondly, even small changes to the way we run meetings and work together can make a huge difference, otherwise these companies wouldn’t be pouring money into solving the problem.
Here’s the thing to bear in mind: I have no idea whether this new effort from Cisco will change our business life as we know it. I do know, though, that if enough people admit there’s a problem, we might actually do something about the wasted time and effort meetings create.
Of course, we could just also put our minds to start collaborating and run better meetings. Facilitate conversations, have the courage to stay on track, and lead with the objective in mind. (But who could make a buck off that?)
What do you think about our current technology landscape? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Co-Founder and Product Line Manager
Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute. For twenty years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It – a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Management-Issues.com.
Marshall Goldsmith calls him “one of the unique voices to listen to in the virtual workplace”. He works with organizations around the world to help people use technology to lead people and projects and build productive human connections in an increasingly remote and virtual work environment.