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Caucus Helps Merged Organizations Work As One
Senior managers of Avery Dennison plan unified corporate future using Caucus
Caucus conversation spaces were a key tool in making a merger work last year. As business products giant Avery Dennison moved aggressively to leverage its earlier merger and plan its global future, senior management teams from the two original companies Avery and Dennison used Caucus as a key tool in shaping corporate strategy.
Teams from the two major office products companies began using Caucus in 1995, working with a consulting company and registered Screen Porch Business Partner. Consultants aided the senior management teams to create online meeting spaces, called conferences, using Caucus on the World Wide Web. In the Caucus environment it became possible for teams from the once-separate Avery and Dennison organizations to begin to work together creatively. Although still located physically on opposite coasts, the management teams developed a sense of mutual purpose and agenda.
According to consultant Douglass Carmichael, "Caucus supported the team's weekly staff meeting, allowing more people to be more deeply involved, and enabling discussions of complex issues to move into the online conference space. Caucus also allowed daily online participation in updates of staff meeting issues. The success of Caucus with the senior management team led to demand within Avery Dennison for Caucus conferences at other management levels, to work on additional issues of strategy, product development and quality."
According to Don Thompson, then the President of Avery Dennison, staff enjoyed the open exchanges and always-available record of the conferencing space. "This was just the kind of development we needed." Before the online discussion spaces were created, agendas for change were low level; meetings to plan future strategy were perfunctorya drain on the senior team's energy. Caucus conversation spaces made the project work. Thompson found that participating in the Web-based conversations created a company sense of community and openness.
According to Carmichael, "It was a wonderful experience being the coach and a participant in this project. I found that in online conversations in Caucus, participants could become more value-oriented but also more thoughtful."
Screen Porch was founded in 1996 to develop and market Caucus, the most powerful and open way to create Web site workspaces for teams and learning groups online. Caucus enables people to meet, share, learn, and work together in open and flexible Web conversation spaces. All Caucus tools and technologies are completely Web-compatible. Caucus conversation spaces can include and integrate any-and-all Web applications and Web-compatible information. Caucus is distributed both directly and through partnerships with resellers and consultants. Screen Porch is located at 2000 North 15th Street, Suite 103, Arlington VA 22201, and may be reached at 703-243-3001 (telephone) or 703-385-3209 (fax), and on the Web at http://screenporch.com.
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