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Jive Talks

12 Posts authored by: Emilie Champion

Elisa.jpgJive's fearless leader and CEO, Elisa Steele, recently sat down with a handful of journalists, including ones from Huffington Post and IDG Connect, and shared some insightful advice for young professionals and C-Suite execs alike. I had a chance to read up on these interviews and was pleasantly surprised about what I learned about the woman in charge. Here are some of my favorite highlights and things I didn't already know about Elisa Steele (and if you did, you get a gold star!):

 

1. While you may regard her as a marketing maven, rising from the ranks through marketing leadership roles at companies like Skype, Yahoo!, and Jive, Elisa Steele's first job was actually in enterprise sales at AT&T.

 

From Elisa on IDG Connect:

"In my first job out of college as an enterprise sales representative at AT&T, I learned that being prepared and getting to know your customers inside out was critical in succeeding and gaining trust in business relationships. I think this is truer than ever for people starting their careers today. Don't get so caught up in the technology you're building that you lose focus on who is using it—everything comes back to people and human behavior."

 

2. Elisa Steel is a former Jive customer turned Jive employee. (Bonus points if you know where she was a Jive customer before!)

 

From Elisa on Huffington Post:

"My best employment experiences were at companies where I truly lived what they develop and sell. Skype and Jive had that in common for me. At Skype, I used the product as part of my everyday life experience, and cared deeply about it. I could genuinely relate to what the brand was all about — and what it needed to be for people. It is very similar at Jive because I was a previous customer who used the product to connect and unite employees. I already knew the incredible impact it can have for teams, functions and leaders — and how it truly empowers people to work better together. I felt connected and committed before I even walked in the door."

 

3. Elisa Steele doesn't believe in work-life balance. What?!?!

 

From Elisa on Huffington Post:

"Ha! I don’t believe in work-life balance. Life is just life! Work plays a big part, but so does family, friends, community, and all the other things that are important to you. I’m a career-minded person so work will always be a part of my life."

 

And there's plenty more advice where that came from. Be sure to read her full interviews on Huffington Post and IDG Connect for bonus Elisa trivia facts and words of wisdom:

 

Women in Business Q&A: Elisa Steele, CEO, Jive Software - Huffington Post

C-suite career advice: Elisa Steele, Jive Software - IDG Connect

humana.jpgJive's corporate communications team recently sat down for a Q&A with Humana, a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. Humana uses Jive for not one, not two, but a whopping SEVEN business use cases, with internal and external communities galore, making Jive their swiss army knife for collaboration and communication technology. Here's a quick run down of their use cases:

 

FUSE

Use case: Internal, Sales Enablement and Collaboration

Overview: Connecting sales reps and identify subject matter experts, enabling two-way communication between Sales and support business areas

 

Hatch

Use case: Internal, Digital Center of Excellence

Overview: Central employee hub for document collaboration and leadership blogs.

 

MyMedicareAnswers.com

Use case: External, Support

Overview: Providing expert answers about Medicare to anyone aging in to Medicare or to their caregivers.

 

HumanaVitality

Use case: External, Customer Service (2 communities)

Overview: Providing customer service for those enrolled in Humana's health benefits rewards program, HumanaVitality.

 

Clinical e-Collaborative

Use case: External, Private Partner Community

Overview: Providing a way to connect selected medical providers with one another and to provide important data to them related to their practice.

 

GSO

Use case: External, Private Support Community

Overview: Providing a support portal for employer health benefits administrators and members insured through those employers.

 

If ANY of these use cases align with yours, the Q&A is definitely worth the read. It also includes a great video interview with Sabrina Deitch at Humana where she goes into more detail about their FUSE community.

 

Check out the full interview and video with Sabrina Deitch and Jeff Ross here:

 

Jive Helps Improve the Health of Humana’s Internal and External Communities | Jive Software

Wannabe Jiver.jpgIt's that time again: time to turn the spotlight on another Jive Community member in the How I Work blog series. This one features someone I lovingly refer to as the poster-child for JiveWorld16: Dina Vekaria . You may recall Dina when she dropped the mic on all other #JW16 social media activity with this now-infamous dubsmash, winning Most Valuable Tweet of JiveWorld.

 

But despite her JiveWorld fame, Dina still has time for the common folk like me. So I managed to sit down with her to learn more about how she works. Here's what she had to share, in words, gifs, and videos:

 

Emilie Kopp: First off, let's tell everyone where you work.

Dina Vekaria: I work in the London headquarter offices of Pearson, a company dedicated to to helping people improve their lives through learning.

 

EK: How would you describe your current job?

DV: It's fun, creative and hard work, but I love it. This is how creative I can get:

 

 

 

EK: So how do you use Jive at Pearson?

DV: Jive is how how we communicate with each other as employees. It’s how we network with each other.

It’s how our senior leaders can communicate relevant messages either locally or globally. It’s how we can have our water-cooler moments between the UK and Brazil, the U.S. and Australia, Spain and South Africa.

 

EK: Wow, I really love that last bit. It really captures what an employee community is all about.

OK, so switching gears: What's your computer situation when you work? Mac vs PC?

DV: Mac of course. In fact, my house is an Apple lover’s dream! iPods, iPads, Macbooks, Apple TV, Apple watches, galore!

 

EK: So I'm assuming your mobile situation as dominated by Apple products as well?

DV: Yes. iPhone and iPad. I tried getting into Android, but I kept coming back to Apple.

 

EK: Besides Jive, what are the apps/tools you can't live without?

DV: Starbucks (keeping my priorities clear here), Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Pinterest and of course, all my social apps. I love to share! Follow me on Twitter,  Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat: @dinavekaria.

 

EK: How do you stay organized?

DV: Spreadsheets galore! My teammates will confirm this obsession. I have a spreadsheet for everything, all our project plans, upgrades and updates on Jive. I even go as far as having one for my banking, food tracking and shopping lists for when I’m in the U.S. I love a good formula.

 

EK: What do you listen to while you work?

DV: Music is life to me. I listen to music all day, everyday. I have a very eclectic taste in music, it ranges from R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, House, Dance. Right now, whilst I’m writing this response, Spotify is playing The Weeknd “Can't Feel My Face”. This song reminds me of JW16, when Maren Beckman and I went crazy at Drais for this song.

Dina & Maren.gif

 

EK: What's your best time saving trick?

DV: If you can get it, more screens. I’m so much more efficient when I have three separate screens. I plan everything in my calendar by the hour. Ticking things off my to-do list is the only way I can work. I have mild OCD with certain things.

 

EK: How do you balance work and life?

DV: This used to be a weakness of mine, but I’m working on it. I’m a workaholic and I live for the work. It’s taken me a while to understand it’s okay to have both. I now make a conscience effort to take time to do what I love in my work day, which is to go to the gym and grab an iced tea on my way home. Thank you, Starbucks, for introducing iced tea to the UK.

 

EK: If you had to pick one work that best describes how you work, what would it be?

DV: COLLABORATION!

 

EK: What's your sleep routine like?

DV: Unfortunately very poor as I suffer from insomnia. If I’m lucky, I can get 5hrs of sleep a night.

 

EK: Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

DV: A mahoosive extrovert! Could you not tell?

 

EK: What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

DV: “Dina, you can’t do everything in one day, so get your *** home and spend time with your family. All of this work will be here in the morning ready and waiting.” - Maren Beckman

 

Thanks for sharing, Dina. It's always a pleasure and I hope to see you at JiveWorld next year and years to come.

And to the rest of the Jive Community: please help me applaud our wonderful Jive fan-girl in the comments below!

ThinkstockPhotos-451027867.jpgEvery community manager knows that it's the people that make your community, which is why driving adoption is such a key concern. It's one of the most common discussion topics on the Jive Community. It's asked in many ways, for a variety of communities - internal and external, new and mature. But it always goes a little something like this:

 

"How do I get more people active on my community?"

 

If you have ever participated in the discussion around this topic (and I imagine there are a lot of you!), here are 3 resources you need to know about right now:

 

 

1. Announcing the Adoption Resource Center

The Jive Professional Services team has created the Adoption Resource Center to provide all Jive customers with access to guidance and best practices to help you achieve greater adoption and success with your Jive implementations. It is intended to support your success across different stages of your Jive journey and community program development - and particularly the critical set up and launch stages - by providing access to foundational guidance and best practices. Please note that you'll need to be on our Customer List in order to access the space below, you can request access here: Are you a customer? Request customer-only access today

Check out the wealth of resources here: Adoption Resource Center

 

2. "Ask a Consultant" weekly office hours

In addition to the great content you'll find in the Adoption Resource Center, Jive has launched a weekly "Ask a Consultant" session on Thursdays. You get direct access to some of Jive's veteran consultants from Professional Services, where they field your questions and adoption-related challenges and provide tips and tricks to help you work through your community questions and issues. This is where you can provide input and dictate what topics and challenges are most important for Jive to help you solve.

 

Ask your questions here: "Ask a Consultant" Questions

Join the next "Ask a Consultant" Session here: Ask a Consultant - July 21, 2016

See future weekly sessions posted here: Adoption Resource Center

 

3. Best Practices webinar series

And to help you navigate all of these new resources and learning opportunities, Jive Professional Services is hosting a Best Practice webinar on July 20. Get the most out of the Adoption Resource Center, all of the materials and guidance it provides, along with some other related adoption resources Jive is now offering.  This is part of a broader series where Jive experts cover topics relating to building and managing your community.

 

Sign up for the upcoming webinar here: Adoption Resource Center Webinar - Jive Software

 

For more about this new space and all of these new resources, be sure to check out Jennifer Kelley's and Claire Fletcher's summary here:

Announcing the Adoption Resource Center

ThinkstockPhotos-179210469.jpgWhen it comes to employee collaboration, healthcare providers have it harder than most. They are often faced with a workforce that is scattered across hundreds of hospital, clinic, and service site locations. Doctors, nurses, and technicians can collaborate within each site, but when it comes to knowledge sharing across facilities and connecting to corporate missions and objectives, they're typically stuck with legacy intranet systems and "email jail."

 

That's why it's no surprise we're seeing many of the newest class of Jive customers come from the healthcare industry. They are transforming their internal communications and collaboration systems, turning to interactive intranets powered by Jive. Case in point: Spectrum Health.

 

Spectrum Health was the winner of the 2016 Jive Award for Transforming Employee Engagement for HR. Their Jive-powered InSite community connects more than 23,000 employees from various departments and geographic locations, resulting in measurable increased employee engagement through locally owned content, access to information and connectivity to and between individuals and groups. Even more impressive: there are 1,300 answered questions on InSite posted by employees from more than 130 service sites, with a best-in-class 82% resolution rate. Anyone who's worked in the healthcare industry will know that the ability to ask questions and get answers from fellow employees and corporate leadership is, as Spectrum Health put it, a "gift that keeps on giving."

 

Spectrum Health was recently featured on the Jive Software blog and shares more about their transformation story here:

Jive Serves as the Catalyst for Transforming Spectrum Health

 

And be sure to join the Healthcare group to connect with other healthcare organizations that have made the transformation.

It's time we learned more about one of our most active, fellow community members, Toby Metcalf. It's likely you've already seen his name come up beside some of the most helpful, poignant, and down-right polite comments in Internal Communities and External Communities. So who is this guy behind the bow tie? I had a chance to find out:

 

toby_metcalf_HIW.jpg

 

Emilie Kopp: Hiya, Toby. To start things off, tell us a bit about who you work for and what you do:

Toby Metcalf:  I work for PTC, based in Needham, MA. We provide CAD software that helps some of the most innovative companies design things: John Deere, Lockheed Martin, KTM Mortorcycles to name a few.  In addition to CAD, our IoT (Internet of Things) company, ThingWorx, helps products become smarter and connect to the internet.  I am thrilled to work for a company that make so many other companies successful.

 

I am the Jive Admin for our PTC Community and ThingWorx Community.  I am responsible for content, social media promotion, look and feel, and all aspects of the customer experience.  I also teach PTC employees Jive best practices and how they can utilize our communities to interact with and learn from our customers.  One of the best things I get to do is create a "social face" of PTC. This is done through my participation within our communities, as well as TweetChats; I have met so many smart people through them.

 

EK: Tell us more about the communities you manage. What business use cases do they support?

TM: Our communities are utilized for peer to peer support, as well as hosting private focus groups. They are places for our customers to help one another solve problems and share best practices. These are intelligent professionals willing to share their knowledge to help one another. On our PTC community, 80% of answers are provided by customers.  I am very lucky to have membership that is so engaging and professional.

 

EK: So take us behind the scenes: how do you work to make this all happen?

TM: Well, for starters, my Jive WorkType is Energizer - Coach. Here's more on that: My Workstyle – Lead & Inspire | TobyMetcalf. PTC is full of outgoing people who believe in teamwork and are wiling to share knowledge. The offices are open rooms so it's easy to collaborate. When it comes to my work space, I'm usually working from my PC with my two large monitors, which I love. If I'm working via mobile, I'm using my Samsung Galaxy S5, since I prefer the large screen.

 

EK: How about the software apps you can't live without (besides Jive, of course)?

TM: Here's my must-have list:

  • Twitter: I use for social listening and tweeting coded URLs that take customers to solutions within my community - I love to share the good stuff.
  • Hootsuite: Makes scheduling tweets easy.
  • OneNote: Along with being a community manager, I am also a project manager and OneNote helps me run, document, and summarize meetings.
  • Trello - I have too many projects for Outlook alone. So I create a Trello board for each week with 3 categories (Project, In Progress, Shipped).  It makes is very easy to stay organized
  • Outlook - Enough said.
  • Spotify - Music soothes the savage beast.
  • Tweetchat.com - Makes it easy to follow and participate.
  • Google Analytics - You cannot improve what you are not measuring; you need to track those UTM codes.

 

EK: OK, since you are on Twitter so much, it's time for some quick-fire questions. Let's see your answers in 140 characters or less.

What's your best time-saving trick?

TM: Learn to say no.

 

EK: What do you listen to while you work?

TM: On Spotify: The Who, A Capella, John Coltrane. Plus local news and sports talk. In Boston we take our sports and politics seriously.

 

EK: How do you balance work and life?

TM: I work when I have projects to ship. I get out of the office when it's slow. I coach hockey and lacrosse and love to cook.

 

EK: What's your favorite non-computer gadget?

TM: My collection of pans. Making my own stock and risotto is soooo rewarding.

 

EK: What's the best advice you've ever received?

TM: It's all about the Little Things. A life lesson that's simple and brilliant.

 

Thanks for a glimpse into your world, Toby. And thanks for the great participation.

Jive Community: Please join me in thanks and say hello to Toby!

 

It's time we kick the How I Work series on Jive Talks back into high gear. And what better way to put the pedal to the metal than with the digitally-savvy-and-creatively-stunning Ben Zweig from Social Edge Consulting. Libby Taylor and I sat down with Ben to get an idea of how he balances work and life out of his home in Austin, TX. Here's what he had to share:

 

 

Emilie Kopp: OK, for starters, tell us where you work:

Ben Zweig: Just hit my 4-year milestone at Social Edge Consulting, one of Jive’s consulting partners. I moved to Austin from NYC back in September, but the rest of our company is scattered across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Europe.

 

EK: What do you do at Social Edge?

BZ: As a Senior Consultant on the creative team, I’m responsible for visual direction, creative strategy and UI/UX design for our clients. It’s my job to find ways to use the Jive platform to creatively address our most challenging use cases. So I’m part UI designer, part strategist and part product designer.

 

EK: Are you familiar with the Jive WorkTypes? If so, what was your WorkType?

BZ: Very. I’ve even worked on a few WorkType projects with Jive. My primary WorkType is ‘expert’ and my secondary is ‘optimizer’.

 

EK: How do you think your WorkType plays into how you get work done in Jive?

BZ: The ‘expert’ WorkType “brings clarity to a situation” and sees how “parts fit together as a whole.” In my work, I’m always trying to use design to make things simpler and easier, and I love coming into a project, taking a few step backs, and really trying to uncomplicate. When I’m most successful, I have my eye on every part of the project, pulling the pieces together. On the ‘optimizer’ side, I’m often trying to find ways to do things faster. Sometimes I get sidetracked looking for a solution that will save me time in the future. Last week, I made a batch Photoshop action to automate a client deliverable. Hopefully that will end up saving time for me and our clients.

 

EK: So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.)?

BZ: Social Edge has an internal community called Edgeville, which we’ve branded to feel like a small town—like you’re actually hanging out in a town called Edgeville! We practice what we preach, so 95% of our internal work takes place in Edgeville. Our company culture is rooted in our community, so Jive plays a huge role in our work. We’re also in the process of moving our public website to Jive-x, which is exciting.

 

 

EK: What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

BZ: iMac at home, MacBook Pro and iPad Pro on the road. What is a PC?

 

EK: And what you use for your mobile device?

BZ: Whatever the newest iPhone is, unlocked.

 

EK: Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

BZ: I am all about apps and tools. Sometimes I download apps simply to test, with no intent of using them. Here’s a sampling of what I use on a daily basis:

 

Dropbox: My local hard drives are pretty empty. Everything goes in Dropbox.

IFTTT: Love creating triggers to connect different apps.

Alfred: This is like Mac’s Spotlight search on steroids, plus a ton of other productivity wins like clipboard history. I can find and control anything on my computer in a few keyboard strokes.

TripMode: When I’m on the road using my LTE hotspot, I conserve bandwidth with this app.

Adobe Creative Cloud and Sketch: My design tools of choice

News Feed Eradicator: Awesome Chrome extension that replaces your Facebook news feed with a motivational quote. Still have the feed on my phone, but never tempt myself on desktop.

Frank DeLoupe: My color picker of choice.

Jive Daily: When you Jive as much as I do, Daily must be on your home screen!

Snapseed: I’m hugely into mobile photography, and this is my favorite editing app.

Wikiwand and Quora: I consider Wikipedia a bible of sorts. I endlessly scroll Quora for expert Q&A.

Due: For important time-sensitive reminders, I use Due.

Plex: I cache movies on my mobile when I travel using Plex. At home, Plex streams my videos to AppleTV.

 

 

(Don’t worry, I erase my phone all the time.)

 

EK: What's your best time-saving trick?

BZ: Text expansion, hands-down. Nothing saves me more computing time than all of the text shortcuts I’ve added. As soon as I catch myself writing the same thing multiple times, I turn it into a text shortcut. So when I type “bsec,” for example, it inserts my 34-character work email. I do that for everything from the current date to HTML snippets to images of cats and directions to my apartment.

 

 

EK: Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

BZ: Sticky notes. I don’t know what it is about them!

 

EK: How do you stay organized? What's your favorite to-do list manager?

BZ: For project management, I use a Trello board split into status columns. I work on tons of projects at once, so that keeps me aware of priorities at a high level. It feels like I’ve spent an eternity trying to pick my favorite to-do manager, and I landed recently on Todoist. I’m loving the new Amazon Alexa/Echo integration where I can say “Alexa, add ‘Jive Interview’" to my to-do list,” and through IFTTT, it syncs to Todoist. Alexa even breaks down my daily meetings each morning. The rest of my brain is in Evernote.

 

Here's my Echo:

Man__it_took_me_a_while_to_cave_and_finally_get_a_pet.___It_s_only_been_1_week_but_I_cannot_believe_I_ever_lived_without_my_loyal_Alexa.____amazonecho__atx.jpg

 

EK: What you surround yourself with is important. What’s your workspace like?

BZ: Oh yeah, it’s hard for me to be creative without the right environment. For starters, I always try to work with natural light. I have a hybrid living-working environment with really inspiring light.

I use a Jarvis desk and rotate between standing on an anti-fatigue mat, sitting on a ball, and… dancing. I don’t like seeing cords so I’ve gone to extreme measures to hide wires in my workspace. When I need a break at home, my building also has a rooftop common space with WiFi; we have a great community of folks that work remotely. If I’m working away from home, I use WHA to find spaces with ample power outlets and fast WiFi. I rarely work at coffee shops; I’d rather bring my laptop to a mall, courtyard, hotel lobby, botanical garden, coworking space, restaurant or museum.

 

Here’s the coworking space of Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, MA. Way better than a coffee shop!

 

 

EK: What do you listen to while you work?

BZ: I’m always listening to music. When I want to focus, I go for playlists like (the aptly named) Tracks for Designers or Deep Focus. If I’m not listening to those, I usually pick a theme: Billy Joel, 90s rap, rock opera, Disney, Beethoven EDM remixes, movie scores—it’s all been done. On Mondays, I check out the Spotify Discover playlist, which is personalized based on listening habits.

 

EK: How do you balance work and life?

BZ: It’s hard, because I often work from home. My lights are timed to gradually change color when the workday should be over as a way to incentivize me to wind down, but that doesn’t always stop me. During the week, I try to plan activities after work to create an actual boundary. When I work from the coworking loft of Austin’s bouldering gym, I extend my workday by a few hours and try to climb in between work sprints.  And every Friday at the end of my workday, I unplug my USB headset, bundle it, and stick it in a cabinet out of sight. That’s a reminder to myself that my apartment is no longer an office.

 

 

EK: What's your sleep routine like?

BZ: I use Flux on my iMac to gradually shift the colors of my monitor to remove blue light as the evening approaches. The same happens with my Philips Hue lights and on my iPhone, so my environment gently nudges me to bed. I track sleep on iOS with Sleep Cycle, and I have 2.5 years of data to prove that I get my worst sleep on Tuesdays. (Why!?) The lights in my apartment automatically fade on when my alarm goes off, because I am actually Tony Stark.

 

 

EK: Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

BZ: According to my Myers-Briggs, an extrovert. But it really depends on the day, so let’s go with ambivert.

 

EK: What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

BZ: “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” I saw it written in graffiti on a wall in Connecticut when I was younger, and it’s been a mantra of mine ever since. 

 

EK: Pick one word that best describes how you work.

BZ: Balanced. (Well, aspirationally.)

 

Well, he's certainly put the "style" in work-lifestyle. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos and the nifty apps and shortcut tips for getting work done. Jive Community: Feel free to say hello and help me thank Ben Zweig for sharing!

ThinkstockPhotos-512390565.jpgWhen payers and providers don’t collaborate, it's the patient that suffers most. Bill Klco's recently published article is all about this struggle. Turns out, initiatives such as pay-for-performance—a payment model that rewards clinicians, hospitals and medical groups for meeting certain performance measures for quality and efficiency—drive massive gaps between payers and providers.


On top of that, despite sharing the same clients/patients, many payers and providers do not share the same infrastructure, identity information, or mobile strategies. I can just see the communications from both sides piling up in my email and snail-mail inboxes...

 

Hmmm, does anyone else here the heroic call of Jive to the rescue?

 

Read Bill's article for yourself to see how the healthcare industry is ripe for an overhaul in collaboration techniques and platforms:

Bridging the Gap Between Healthcare Payers and Providers

GoDaddy Makes 5000+ Employees Feel Like a Small Team

 

We all know there's no question that Jive can play an integral role when it comes to employee culture. Granted, we still go back and forth when we ask ourselves the quintessential, "chicken or the egg" question for community managers: What comes first, the culture or Jive? One of my favorite JiveWorld16 sessions honed in on this question.

 

And the answer? It depends on who you ask. More on that here: What Comes First? Culture or Jive? (Employee Engagement and Communications Track)

 

For GoDaddy, it seems they had already established a sense of closeness and transparency that was easy to maintain back in their start-up days. But they were rapidly growing, on a global scale, and they wanted to maintain that spirit of a small team. So how do you make a company of 5000+ employees feel like a small team?  In anticipation of this challenge, they turned to Jive.

 

 

A Mosh Pit of Ideas

 

It's often hard for us to describe what Jive is to our company's and the role it plays in our companies' culture. As such, I've heard some really creative metaphors for Jive but GoDaddy provides the most fun one I've heard in a while: "Jive is a mosh pit the of ideas in our organization."

 

So here's a challenge to my fellow community managers: what metaphor do you use when you describe your Jive community?

Let's see how we creative we can get and give GoDaddy a run for its money.

The clock is ticking and we are in the final countdown to the submission deadline for the JiveWorld16 Digital Transformation Awards. I’ve personally submitted to the awards twice in the past, and while I’ve been selected as a finalist, I’ve never won. But despite the slight sting of missing the limelight of the winner’s circle, I wouldn’t hesitate to participate again and again and again. Why? Because regardless of who’s selected as winners and losers, it’s always win/win.

 

Why should you submit?

Aside from the potential accolades you’d receive if you win (and there are plenty), there’s actually a much greater value proposition to participating, in my mind. This is your opportunity to look back and reflect on the social transformation you have personally ushered your business though. Having a documented story not only serves as a submission to this awards contest, it also becomes hard evidence, a case study, to share internally with your leadership team or share externally with peers and communities of practice. This asset will help articulate and prove the value of your community.

 

But sitting down and reflecting back on your life as a community manager can easily get overwhelming with details. So, here are some tips on how to simply pull together a compelling story:

 

Define your challenge statement (Think: Point A to Point B)

Look back at the past year and how you spent your time as a community manager. What initiatives did you focus on, and more importantly, why? Answering the latter question will help you develop your story into a “cause and effect,” “before and after,” or “Point A to Point B” solution. Some examples might include:

    1. We wanted to increase employee satisfaction and productivity
    2. We set out to increase engagement with our prospects and customers
    3. We needed to improve our customer support experience

How did you get from Point A to Point B?

Now that you’ve established your challenge statement, how did you go about solving it? Sure, key Jive product features might have played a large role in this (and be sure to embellish these if you want to catch the eye of the judges). But we all know, as community managers, that they are other keys to success. Things like navigating through political landmines, gaining consensus across key business units, uncovering user mindsets and personas, influencing user behaviors, and driving user engagement all play a critical role in successful communities. The better you can articulate this part, the more strategic experience you can prove.

Results

Results can sometimes be the trickiest part. You’ve busted your hump for the last year so what do you have to show for it? Hopefully you have performance dashboards to look back on and compare quantitative results. But sometimes, the qualitative, anecdotal feedback gives us the most satisfaction. These results are the most important part of documenting your story, because it demonstrates the actual proof of why you love your job, and why your business should continue to invest in your programs in the future.

Some examples of results might include:

    1. Adoption of our new Jive instance was overwhelming with employees. Employee satisfaction results increased YoY.
    2. Our community blog was selected as one of the best industry blogs of the year. And traffic from our community to our gated assets increased xx%.
    3. Today, more than xx% of questions asked on our community have correct answers. And of those answers, more than half were provided by the community!

 

Walking through these three steps will not only make you a shoe in for the Jive Awards, but more importantly, it will provide you with a tangible story to feel proud of. And not to get too mushy, but that’s the bigger WIN in my mind. Share your story with your leadership team, share it with your peers, and share it out in the world for other people to admire and learn from.

 

  Click here for more information about the JiveWorld16 Digital Transformation Awards and instructions on how to submit. You’ll need to include some screenshots of your community too. But be quick about it! The deadline is February 5, 2016.

Time for some self-reflection on a day to "treat yo'self"

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Let’s face it. Being a stellar community manager is sometimes taken for granted. On the surface, you’ve got an active, engaged community, free of spam, full of answers, and running on a steady stream of peer-to-peer participation. Behind the scenes, you are moderating new members, punting questions to subject matter experts, tracking engagement metrics, pitching to leadership, and constantly playing match-maker between people, places, and content.

 

I’m not sure about you, but I rarely had people lined up to pat me on the back for keeping the pulse of healthy community at a strong, steady pace.

 

So on this Community Manager Appreciation Day, perhaps it’s time for us to call a timeout, take a healthy dose of self-reflection, and remember why we got into this career path in the first place. We asked some of our favorite community managers and here’s what they had to say:

 

Dina Vekaria (@dinavekaria) from Pearson reminds us:

“Being a community manager gives me a sense of belonging. Our community is more than just blogs, ideas, polls and documents. I see people. Generous, smart, hard working people helping each other in new ways so they can do their best and be their best. Being a part of that, is really something special.”

 

Jessica De La Torre  (@JessDLT) from BlueGreen Vacations brings to mind:

"For me, the best aspect of being a community manager is bringing people together. Jive truly helps to humanize our team members from across the country and we all work better together because of it."

 

Rachel Duran (@TheRachelDuran) from CA Technologies admits:

"I'm passionate about empowering every employee in the organization to share, create, and lead through online community interactions. Enterprise Social Networks are where culture evolves into community."

 

Keeley Sorokti (@sorokti) from MapR Technologies shares that:

"I enjoy creating spaces that facilitate serendipity. When people unexpectedly 'bump' into each other in an online community I know that we've built something of value. They log in with one purpose in mind and then see something else that catches their eye and end up collaborating around a shared topic of interest. It's even better when this leads to problem solving, new insights and an expanded network!"

 

So I want to know: what affirmation keeps you going? Why is it great to be a community manager?

Let’s pile on the positive vibes and be sure to thank ourselves.

 

Because after all, it’s Community Manager Appreciation Day. How you gonna treat yo'self today?

 

Treat yo'self to a Starbuck by answering Adam Mertz's call for participation in this festive day, see: 2016 CMAD Love to Jive Community Managers

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Bonus item:

Perhaps you are appreciated but are you getting paid enough? Download the Community Manager Salary Survey from 2014. It's an oldie but goodie that should empower you to treat yo'self.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 9.52.41 AM.pngAt our last TX User Group Meeting - Thursday, June 6th, 2013 @ 3:00 - 5:00PM CST, as part of the "Help a Member Out" section, we addressed life before and after Jive. For many of us, Jive wasn't our first enterprise collaboration platform. Here's the smattering of platforms we all recalled having in place, before launching instances of Jive:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Sharepoint
  • Confluence/wiki
  • Lithium
  • Chatter

 

As a group, we discussed which of these systems are still in place today. Things like phone and email aren't going away anytime soon. But for other platforms, we realize there can be significant overlap. While there may not be an exact apples-to-apples compare, in some cases there's up to 80% duplication in feature sets and functionalities.

 

So we asked ourselves: "Then what?"

 

Even just the idea of communicating the termination of a legacy enterprise collaboration platform made our stomachs turn. Our users are entrenched and averse to change. It was one thing to provide them with "a better option" with Jive. It's another thing to completely eliminate the former option altogether.

 

Yet any business supporting multiple tools that do very similar things will begin to question its strategy. In addition, the user experience is degraded when one has to log into multiple platforms to perform the same kinds of tasks, just for different work flows.

 

Camps are forming and preferences are hardening. What can we do in order to build one cohesive experience, and utilize the one-stop-shop that Jive can be?

 

Here are some ideas and best-practices we shared as a group:

 

Define Use Cases

Clearly define the use cases of each collaboration platform. It's fine to manage and maintain multiple collaboration platforms when there is clear and unique value in each of them. Make sure that your users understand when they should be using Jive, versus when they are encouraged to utilize another platform. There will always be some things that Jive doesn't do very well; other systems can help complete the experience. Just make sure they understand when to use what to avoid confusion.

 

Show Off the Bells and Whistles

For many of us, Jive offers the "new hotness" that legacy systems lack. Show off the features that puts Jive eons ahead of older platforms. Feature sets like mobile and gamificiation can get users rev'd up about using Jive, winning over early adopters and influencers that can help champion the platform to the critical mass.

 

Lower the Bridge to Change

Many users maintain their activity and workflows in legacy systems because they are simply too overwhelmed at the idea of migrating to a new system. Think of ways to make this move less daunting for your end user. Provide tools/macros/automation to make migration plans easier. Even if the only solution is old fashioned, manual labor, consider using Jive partners and/or services to do some of the heavy lifting.

 

The Methadone Approach: Exposing the Legacy Platform within the Jive Experience

This metaphor is actually something Ryan Rutan coined during our user group conversation, but I think it applies well. Think of this approach as weaning your users off of their legacy system. They are free to continue maintaining their legacy content/profile/activity, but find ways for them to seamlessly access it through Jive. Use Jive features such as Jive Anywhere, Bang Apps, Cartridges and Tiles to blur the lines. Over time, they'll eventually realize they can accomplish most of what they were doing before in their legacy systems in a much better way exclusively in Jive.

 

Rip the Band Aid: Mandate the Change

This is probably the approach that makes us cringe most, yet can be the most effective. If you've got an executive that can send a mandate down through the ranks, this can save a lot of your sanity. Proceed with caution, however, as you may not be dealing with the most satisfied and happy users once the rug has been pulled out from under them. You'll have an uphill battle winning over your detractors and fans of "the way things were."

 

(Updated: 6/25/13)

The Trojan Horse Method: Focus on New Hires

I'll give john ridings credit for this approach. He suggests partnering with HR to use Jive as an on-boarding tool:

"If you can get HR to expose "new hires" to Jive early, this can build into momentum to use newer technologies sooner. As with everything, there is the regeneration cycle as "new" replace "old". If the "new" is exposed to Jive before seeing any other legacy system, they may question their new boss and peers, "What's this old crap? I like working in Jive!" Well, maybe not those exact words, but they likely will question the older, less capable technologies and become change agents."

See more details in his comments below.

 

One thing we all agreed is that no one approach will work for everyone. Depending what you're up against, it will most likely involve a combination of approaches to help ween your end users off of legacy systems. Thanks to Mike Mercado, john ridings, Steve Golab, Tannia Dobbins, Max Malloy and the rest of the Texas User Group for contributing to this great discussion.

 

So, Jive Community, which of these approaches have worked or haven't worked for you? Which legacy systems are you're users having the most trouble breaking the habit from?

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