Another Great Review!

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Craig Lund gives a great review of our book in Metro Canada this morning.  ”Building Trust is Key to the Mobile Workforce” is the title. In it, he says that the mobile workforce model has “endless potential” but that it’s only going to work if the employer establishes trust.

He concludes his review with “This book is your guide to mobile workforce 101.”  Thanks Craig!

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MMWF Receives Kudos in Huffington Post Blog

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We were so pleased to be mentioned by Telework Exchange Senior Fellow Josh Sawislak in his Huffington Post blog, The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good. In the article he calls Managing the Mobile Workforce “very informative and easy to read”. He also makes a very nice reference to our chapter on trust, and discusses why that’s so important for teleworking. It was a particular honor to be featured during Telework Week, which the Telework Exchange sponsors and was a huge success this year.  Be sure to check it out as you’ll find tons of stats, resources, and information about Telework Week results and ideas you can use yourself.

Josh is featured at the Telework Exchange where, if you haven’t looked it up yet, you’ll find a huge resource for those considering moving to mobility. It’s focused on the federal government but even if you are from the for-profit world you will find tons of events, reports, webcasts, newsletters, and so much information to apply to your workplace that you won’t be able to keep up with it.  And of course there you’ll also find Josh’s always excellent blog – Work: It’s a Verb, Not a Noun –  about what is going on in telework today and what we should be thinking about.  Be sure to follow him on twitter too at

It’s exciting for our book to come out just when we are reaching a tipping point for mobile work.  As we say in the book, the horse is already out of the barn.  If your organization isn’t at least considering a mobile strategy you can bet your competitors are.  Let me express it in a more scholarly way here – you snooze, you lose.  Time to get with it!

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TeleMedicine – an Interview with Dale C. Alverson M.D.

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Dale C. Alverson MD

Interview wth Dale C. Alverson, MD

To Listen to this Pod Cast – <CLICK HERE > 8 Minutes  Rated ( AWESOME!)

The Greek root word “Tele” means connecting people over distance. We had an informative online meeting and connection  with Dale Alverson, MD who is the  President of the American TeleMedicine Association, Professor of Pediatrics and Regents’ Professor at the University of New Mexico and the Medical Director of the Center for Telehealth and Cybermedicine Research.

He addresses the state of “telemedicine” within our own transforming healthcare system outlining the improvements and benefits everyone will realize.  This is a timely interview for anyone who wants to better understand how the internet and technology will provide improved healthcare outcomes.

Realistically, the TeleMedicine area  is at a starting point and Dale Alverson provides a peek into this new and exciting” telehealth”  platform.

Dale Alverson BIO –

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Snowmageddon and the Mobile Workforce

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The country is being rocked right now by Mother Nature.  On Facebook I see notes from friends who are either enjoying a “snow day” or who are struggling to get to and from work.  All this, while your customers still want to buy your products. Those folks may be sitting in a balmy clime while your operation is shut down and just itching to purchase your latest offering.  What to do?

Natural or unnatural, human-created, physical disruptions are a constant threat to keeping your operation going.  For government, the consequences of shutting down could be severe.  Just a year ago more than 200,000 federal workers were told to stay home during the so-called “snowmageddon“. It cost, at that time, about $100 million/day to shut the federal government down.  More importantly, can you imagine the loss of productivity and – scarily – how much risk might be involved for our country if key people couldn’t do their work?

We interviewed Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, who was the person who had to make the call about whether to shut down the government. (You can download a chapter from our book which includes our discussion with him here.) He told us that at the time “We had between 30 and 35 percent of our employees directly accessing the mainframe…”, and some offices, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reported production at 85 percent of normal levels even during the blizzard.  That’s a pretty good start, but not nearly enough.

Now that we have the recently signed Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 federal agencies have to establish telework policies for their employees.  It’s too early to tell how much the percentage of federal employees teleworking will rise over time.

But let’s be honest, it’s not just the government that needs to keep on ticking during storms. It’s business, schools, non-profits, and anyone who is trying to get things done and needs to avoid being immobilized.

And let’s not be parochial. It’s not just our local county, state, or country that’s at risk when events disrupt.  It’s the people of the world, from Egypt to Haiti, who need to be able to continue to obtain the products and services they need – to the extent they can under dire circumstances.

More importantly than any of this in my mind, the people of the world need to be able to communicate with each other freely.  When we all have the tools and the ability to communicate and to support each other in the midst of tsunami, earthquake, political turmoil or whatever natural or unnatural disasters shake our worlds, we will have come a long way.

Is your organization as mobile as it could be?  Can your workforce continue on while the world outside is spinning?  Can you communicate with key people you care about? Things to think about.

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MMWF on the Great Books list

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Managing the Mobile Workforce was one of the books listed on the “Five Great Books for Remote Teams” list put out on BNET by Wayne Turmel.  Check it out.

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KTVB Interview Today with Carolyn Holly

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(Close Up Michael)

We had our first television interview about Managing the Mobile Workforce today. The location: Boise. The station: KTVB. The interviewer: The excellent Carolyn Holly. The interviewees: Yours truly and David. Truly.

We had a blast!

(Pan to Ysabel, Carolyn, David)

The folks at the station were so helpful. Ysabel Bilbao, our wonderful public relations person at the University of Idaho, set it up and ushered us through the process. Carolyn was the professional’s professional. She made us feel at home and comfortable, asked excellent questions, and – always a high priority for me – made us laugh and enjoy the experience.

David was at the top of his game and we had the opportunity to talk about the mobile workforce, why leaders will always be important, and in particular why leadership principles will always be, well, principles and applicable no matter how or how quickly technology changes.

(Insert HP clip)

We continuously refer in these interviews to Bill Avey from HP, who we feature in our book. He works, obviously, for a high tech company and gave us a nifty demonstration of HP’s Halo Telepresence room. (I’m telling everyone out there in TV land that telepresence, holograms, and cars that drive themselves will change our lives. Or will it be teleporting instead of remote controlled cars….time will tell…)

Anyway, he told us, as we quote him in the book, that “The good leaders I’ve seen end up figuring out a way to be good leaders. I just don’t see the technology as making the good leaders good. It’s that the good leaders figure out how to use the technology” (p. 68).  That, from a director at a major technology company, is so true, and so timeless.

(Close up Michael)

Technology is a tool of leadership, it isn’t leadership itself.

(Cut to Managing the Mobile Workforce cover)

Managers of mobile workers everywhere will love this book….

(As Enter Music, Fade to Black)


OK, I don’t know the TV cues, but I do know I hope we get to learn them by doing lots more of these over the next few months. Thanks KTVB for being our TV premiere!

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Intelligent Content Conference 2011 – Clemons to host workshop

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I-Gen, the Perfect Mobile Workforce? asks David Clemons

By JGollner, on January 12th, 2011
The following information was posted on the home page of  Intelligent Content (

It’s an interesting question. Is the “I-Generation” the perfect mobile workforce? And it’s not a coincidence that it’s David Clemons who is asking the question. Along with Michael Kroth, he is the author of a new book on the topic called Managing the Mobile Workforce, published by McGraw-Hill. And one of the ventures of his company Achieve Labs Inc. is LearnCast, a platform for delivering Mobile Learning Solutions.  David is also presenting a workshop at Intelligent Content 2011 with the engaging title Please, Turn Your Mobile Device On! Now back to David’s original question. The I-Gen, the perfect mobile workforce? For some of David’s thoughts on the answer, read on…

Why wait in line?  Their mobile device allows them to bypass the lines by purchasing movie tickets with their mobile app, as well as the popcorn and a soda. And frankly they don’t want to wait in line if they don’t have too; it’s a total time waster, right?

Welcome to the “I-Generation” (1979 – present)

This generational pool of teenagers is considered the “Speedsters” of technology, knowing how to use it for immediate personal gratification. They have no fear about technology or anything with a connection. Especially, if it makes their life move faster, with more options for freedom to move while being connected to everyone, at all times.

I must be getting old, because I like turning the electronics off, completely off the mobile grid, but it’s becoming more difficult because more and more of the devices are wireless, always on. In the case of the I-Gen, they expect the uninterrupted stream of interruptions, because t them its important. The social bond of using social technology is creating a need to learn technology at a rapid pace, another Tweet, another post to Facebook, or new SMS text message. They are showing us what the mobile workforce will look like very soon, it won’t be just the Black Berry mobile device any more.

This group of 80 million (+/-) is the next parade of workers to come out of our educational system and plugging directly into your company, in a mobile wireless manner.

Will this group be the ultimate mobile workforce or “mobiForce”? Maybe, they will be crossed trained with many, maybe thousands of technologies at their fingertips. Being able to access and use the mobile technology that fits the task, exactly, rather than fitting a square peg into a round hole.

The challenge facing the I-Gen might be more of a challenge for all of us baby boomers, to really understand this generation, trying to keep up and manage those “Speedsters” as they seriously change everything we know about using technology in the workplace and getting the job done, faster.

I watch my son, Taylor, who fits this profile perfectly, and his friends and their friends. I’m sure of a couple of things. The speed in which they learn technology is amazing and if knowledge is power, big positive changes are coming.  My hope is they connect the world to be a friendlier more social place.

- David Clemons, CEO Achieve Labs Inc.

The following information was posted on the home page of  Intelligent Content (

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Mobile Workers Have Always Reached for the Stars

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As we step back to reflect upon the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger 25 years ago, it’s worth noting that mobile workers have always been those who have taken the risks to open new territory – whether it be in space, over or under the seas, or on unknown land.

Ship captains and their crews, military and scientific expeditions, pony express riders, and missionaries were among the mobile workers of their day; Astronauts, scientists, journalists, servicemen and women, and road warriors – mobile workers all – are among the mobile workers of today, continuing the noble tradition of expanding commerce, exploring the unknown, protecting and enlightening the rest of the world.

Let us pay homage to those who take the risk to leave the comfort of home – whether it be a corporate office, a homeland, or a planet – in order to expand our knowledge, to keep the world safer, and to make our lives richer.

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Moving Toward a More Mobile Workforce – The SOTU Address

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Regardless of your party or political perspective, if you’ve been contemplating moving to a mobile workforce or becoming a mobile worker yourself you had to be jumping up and down cheering while listening to the president’s State of the Union speech the other night. It’s clear he’s on board and pushing hard to move the country in that direction. Listen up:

“Within the next five years, we’ll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans. This isn’t just about — (applause) — this isn’t about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.” From the SOTU Address, found here.

Thank you Mr. President! He’s right. Whether it’s hiring workers who may be located anywhere in the world to sell products that may be going anywhere, providing on-the-mobile-job performance enhancing tools to get work done where it is and not where the corporate offices are, teaching students at a distance using mobile devices, or delivering healthcare using the latest in telemedicine to patients who can skip the trip to urgent care it’s about a new era of technologically supported mobile strategies that need leadership from folks in every sector of the country.

Of course, we already knew that President Obama supports telework – he just signed federal legislation to that effect. We interviewed Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry for our book and he is leading the charge for the administration. Folks might argue over the means to get there, but moving not only the federal government but organizations of all types to mobility just makes total sense for a lot of reasons, only one of which is keeping the government running during snowstorms and other major events.

This isn’t a political issue, or it shouldn’t be. Anyone seeking to have a more competitive business either locally or – especially – globally ought to be resonating with the president, at least on this issue. Will the United States set the pace, struggle to keep up with the world, or lose the virtual race? Is this a Sputnik moment? Only time will tell.

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CIO Insight Article on Managing Today’s Mobile Professionals

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Dennis McCafferty does a great job of summarizing some key points from our book in this nifty article in CIO Insight and suggests that CIOs and other senior execs need to figure out how to lead them. Using a slide show he talks about the billion mobile workers, defines mobility and a mobile culture, and lays out five ways to manage mobile professionals. What are you doing to move to a mobile culture?  You’ll need one sooner or later – better get started!

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