Kavi Blog

Articles on collaborative technologies, team effectiveness, Kavi customer success and occasional product news.

A Portland, Oregon Standards Story

Portland is sometimes called “Stumptown,” a reference to what the early immigrants found when they arrived on the banks of the Willamette River. The native landscape had originally been blanketed with old-growth fir, spruce and other big trees, which, WoodSkyscrapers after extensive logging, left huge stumps throughout the developing region. That wealth of forest provided the lumber for the growth of Portland, the Northwest and many parts of the U.S.  read more…

Why Standards Matter

William Sellers

William Sellers

A little more than 150 years ago, a mechanical engineer named William Sellers initiated the first successful standardization fight in history, establishing a set specification for the standard screw thread. Sellers had proposed the adoption of a system of screw threads that was easier for ordinary mechanics and machinists to cut than a similar design already in use. His struggle was about far more than a particular standard, business columnist James Surowiecki argued in a case study published in Wired: It was about the importance of standardization itself.  read more…

Work Worth Doing

There’s an often-repeated story about a janitor working his shift at NASA who, when asked what he was doing, responded that he was “helping to put a man on the moon.” From its very inception, NASA has been a mission-driven agency, with missions that both required and inspired dedication and focus at every level of the organization. What’s more, the organization’s mission and purpose remain constant today, nearly 60 years later. IoT image

Whether non-profit or for-profit, public, private or governmental, a mission-driven organization is differentiated by its authentic commitment to higher-order goals and its efforts to promote responsible practices along the supply chain. These entities represent a growing phenomenon. Their impact exceeds their collective size in terms of generating path-breaking ideas that can shape entire industries, author Michael V. Russo wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
read more…

Key Takeaway from CES: The Internet of Things is a Thing


Our team was out in force at CES last month to support the launch of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Tech Alliances Community and visit with Kavi customers and partners. The CTA, a Kavi customer, organizes CES, and Kavi is providing a version of Kavi Workspace for use by the new community program.

One of our favorite things about CES is that it provides a forum for the latest and greatest thinking around all things related to consumer technology. One theme that was impossible to miss: the Internet of Things (IoT) is a force to be reckoned with. The interconnectedness of devices is going to become more common in our daily life.
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Survey Reveals Challenges Collaborators Face

I wrote recently in an article in Association News about the challenges teams face in today’s business environment, which requires us to span time zones, connect with remote workers and somehow keep everything moving. In it, I shared the results of a survey Kavi conducted of attendees at the annual meeting of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

The survey identified three common challenges: the lack of a single system of record, a heavy reliance on email and limits in existing systems. More than half of the leaders we polled said they are operating without a “single version of the truth,” relying instead on a changing set of tools, separate data sources and even private accounts.

In addition, important, often time-critical communication is still relies heavily on email, which can pose significant challenges to teams engaged in complex collaboration. These association leaders also indicated that common tools suffer from a lack of traceability and aren’t easily modified without expensive IT resources.

Read the full article in the January 2016 issue of Association News to find out more about these common challenges and learn how collaboration styles and needs vary depending on the nature of teamwork.

CTA Alliances Community Reception at CES


Kavi is proud to be a supporting sponsor of the Consumer Technology Association’s Alliance Community Reception, taking place at this year’s CES.

Time: 4 – 6 PM on January 7, 2016
Location: Venetian Hotel, Level 2, Bellini 2005

CTA (formerly the Consumer Electronics Association – CEA) is launching their new Alliance Community at this event. As the leader in the consumer technology industry, CTA supports the alliances, consortia and other organizations that contribute to the ecosystem. Kavi is supporting the Alliances Community with an implementation of Workspace for group discussion, document sharing and communication.

Learn more about the Alliance Community at techalliances.org.

Dynamic Collaboration at Kavi User Group Meeting

Over 40 people from 24 Kavi customer organizations joined us in Alexandria, VA last week at our 2015 User Group Meeting. It was a dynamic day of sharing about industry trends, product news, best practices and more.
Kavi - Fourth Annual User Group Meeting (6 of 47)
Our Customer Experience team presented information on best practices in two areas important to effective team engagement: meetings and document management.

We talked about the trends and challenges facing technology alliances and standards organizations. One of the trends is the convergence of technologies, and the interoperability of once separate systems. These days, that trend is identified broadly with the term “Internet of Things” (IoT). Applications in IoT are affecting strategic direction at many Kavi customers.
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Are Your Teams Cooperating or Collaborating?

As the essence of teamwork, collaboration is the primary reason organizations build teams in the first place. There are as many different ways to define and describe collaboration as there are teams practicing it.

The term “collaboration” derives from the Latin word com, which means together, and labōrāre, which means to work or labor. We’re all familiar with the labor part; it’s the “together” part that’s challenging sometimes.
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Five Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

It’s widely accepted that collaboration, when done well, is a good thing. In an often-cited study by leadership training consulting firm Fierce, 86 percent of respondents said a lack of collaboration led to workplace failures, and 90 percent believed that decision-makers should seek out other opinions before making a final decision.

High-performing team

High-performing team

But as “Collaboration” author Morten Hansen discovered, bad collaboration is much worse than no collaboration. Collaboration starts and ends with people, people who invariably bring differing ideas, viewpoints and opinions to the table, and it can be tricky to get it right.

How can you lay the foundation for effective collaboration? High-performing teams have five key characteristics in common — they follow strong leaders, debate and record decisions, set and meet deadlines, embrace accountability and make use of a system of record. read more…

Four information culture types – and teamwork styles

Organizations have distinct information cultures that prioritize certain kinds of behaviors and values over others. There are also distinct ways that people collaborate in those environments. We think a lot about that here, as we tune Workspace to support team collaboration needs.

In a research paper titled “Information Culture and Organizational Effectiveness,” Chun Wei Choo, a professor at the University of Toronto, proposes four information culture types that describe how organizations manage information. It’s also a way of describing how teams collaborate in those cultures. read more…

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