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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:

 

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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!

 

pastedImage_1.pngClinicians today are caught in a catch-22. While their goals are generally aligned with the Affordable Care Act’s directive of improving patient care, they’re stuck dealing with expensive technologies that offer more obstacles than solutions. That’s because EHR vendors are caught in the middle between clinician desires for ease-of-use, the need to capture billing code information and HIPAA’s strict security mandates. Unfortunately for both providers and patients, so far they’ve chosen to err on the side of regulatory compliance and billing.

 

That’s resulted in steep declines in both pay and productivity for providers, as well as a sharp increase in hours worked per day. A vast majority of clinicians describe themselves as over-extended, at full capacity and, in some cases, burned out. And patients have noticed. According to a recent Prophet study, “an alarming 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience.”

 

Some forward-thinking clinicians have reacted by finding efficiencies in the areas they can affect most quickly. They are supplementing their EHRs with alternative, secure collaboration solutions to streamline communication and knowledge-sharing within their practices, as well as externally with patients, administrators and payers.

 

In an article I wrote for Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, I diagnose the problem with EHRs, develop a treatment plan and suggest a cure. To read the entire article please visit Empowering the clinician around the EHR.

 

Healthcare

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:

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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!

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Technology is breaking down barriers like never before and blurring the lines between our lifestyle and workstyle. Everyday, easy access to tech in a mobile world is driving change continuously. But, even with all this opportunity, there’s a huge engagement gap today in U.S. business, with disengaged workers outnumbering engaged employees 2:1. How can this new reality be embraced to help shape our organizations’ culture and grow the business?

 

Companies' biggest asset are employees. And, employees thrive in transparent, open and collaborative cultures. Organizations that offer those types of environments see increased productivity and profitability, as well as far lower turnover.

 

In my newest post on Medium, I discuss three big engagement rules the best companies live by – embracing diverse workstyles, empowering and engaging employees, and engaging customers on their own terms. I also touch on how one of our awesome Jive customers, Humana, has leveraged transparency and technology to succeed in the competitive healthcare industry. Thanks @sochuckified for your inspiring LinkedIn posts!

 

Join me in talking about how engagement is changing the face—and future—of work at The Future of Work is Now, and It’s All about Engagement.

Last week, the Jive Creative & Content team spent some quality time in NYC, soaking up lots of content marketing awesomeness at the NewsCred #ThinkContent Summit.  The annual event, united more than 1,000 marketers from some of the best global and local companies.  An incredible amount of energy filled the mainstage as well as the exhibit hall, producing much inspiration, ideas and obviously fun! 

IMG_7377.JPGMy Jive partner in crime, Molly Elwood and me at the Newscred #ThinkContent Summit selfie station.

 

You'll no doubt hear from Molly about all the interesting content and sessions presented at the conference, but here I'd like to share with you a few key strategic themes that stood out to me--ones that content marketers should take note of. 

 

Theme 1 - Content Marketing is here to stay

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Most have probably heard the phrase, Content is King ad nauseom and while most experts we heard from that day wouldn't put it in those words, the overflowing room of content marketers and experts was testament to how this rang true.  I loved how Alex Cheeseman, Head of Global Marketing Solutions at NewsCred put it when he said that Content is marketing.  And good content is also about timing! "When you get the right piece of content to the right person at the right time, you're creating an ecosystem that allows people to create their journey." In other words, to produce content that people will truly engage with, you have to personalize it to them and make it worth their while. 


Theme 2 - Let others tell your story

IMG_7389.JPGUGC of course played a huge role at the conference and personally got me inspired about the authentic stories that ones customer can tell.  Meaningful experiences coming from a customer's perspective not only feel genuine to others, they're the absolute truth.  I enjoyed hearing about various forms of UGC content including on consumer platforms such as Instagram but also through a B2B lens at companies such as First Round Capital, JP Morgan Chase, and Emerson.  While the latter group holds the misconception of being traditional in their content approach, I was pleasantly surprised about their innovative content formats that helped these companies stand out - long form, narrative content being one of them.

 

Theme 3 - All content should have business purpose

IMG_7370.JPGIt's easy to forget sometimes why as marketers we go through the trouble of making content. And while it should absolutely be interesting, informative and entertaining, above all else, content must have business value.  In his powerful keynote, Co-founder and CEO of NewsCred, Shafqat Islam put it best when he said that in creating effective content, brands shouldn't treat themselves as publishers (yes, another cliche phrase) but that their goals should be to drive an action (aka a purchase). Think about that next time you sit down to plan your next content initiative - I know it'll certainly be in the back of my head.

 

These are just a few things that got me excited at last week's conference.  Molly Elwood will no doubt have other juicy insights for you to enjoy.  If you're feeling inspired, I encourage you to peruse NewsCred's site, as well as their own event recap on their blog.  Enjoy and get content happy!

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

I recently wrote on the topic of User Generated Content (UGC) and the high influence it has on a buyer's purchase decision. The ultimate form of UGC is the popular "rating and review". It's rare to go to a retail or eCommerce site these days without stumbling on a "star" rating. And increasingly, consumers won't even consider buying a product without checking out how other customers feel about it.

 

The same can be said for technology buyers. Customer referrals and reviews are often a mandatory step in the decision-making stage.

 

So it shouldn't come as any surprise that Gartner, the top IT research firm in the industry, has thrown their hat into the ring and launched a new public ratings & reviews site for IT buyers called "Gartner Peer Insights". Immediate validation of the power of the rating & review!

 

What is Gartner's Peer Insights?

Gartner Peer Insights is an online platform of ratings and reviews of IT software and services. It's like a Yelp for IT --- but better (more on that later).

 

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You can check out Jive's current ratings on Gartner's Peer Insights here.

 

 

Why Should You Participate?

Jive's customers are the most passionate customers on earth! Gartner's Peer Insights provides all of our customers with the ability to amplify that passion! Your honest review will help your peers make more insightful purchase decisions when considering an interactive intranet or customer engagement community. And your review will also help Jive continue to develop high quality products by receiving objective, unbiased feedback from our customers.

 

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How Long Will This Take?

I checked out the survey process myself to confirm that it was as painless as Gartner claimed it to be. I followed each step on Gartner's test survey site and I found it to be quick and easy. It only took a few minutes to complete---much less than Gartner's estimated 10 minutes. Here is an example of the survey experience:

 

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And here are the terms and conditions you need to agree to before you hit "submit".

 

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Is There A Catch?

Like most reputable ratings and review sites, you will have to register before you can submit a review. This allows Gartner to vet the identity of the reviewer to ensure they are "authentic". Your contact info including your company name is kept anonymous.

 

 

OK, I'm ready to submit my review! Where do I go?

Go to this link which will take you directly to the Jive review page:

 

Jive: Jive Platform

 

 

All of us at Jive send you a HUGE thank you for taking the time to share your Jive experience with your peers!

Scrolling through a long list of comments that can continue for pages and pages just to find the right answer can be time consuming and frustrating for your users. Not to mention, many of us use Correct Answers as a key performance indicator for internal and external communities. It's important for your community members to understand why and how they should be marking answers to the questions they have asked because:

  1. It keeps your community nice and tidy
  2. Saves other users time and effort to find answers to the same questions
  3. Helps you quantify the value of your community

 

So here's a helpful video you can share with your communities on why and how to use the Mark Correct feature in Jive:

(hint: be sure to click on the second video in the embedded player)

 

 

Check out our Resource Library for more Tips & Tricks videos.

When I was hired to manage the Jive Community in 2014, I adopted a community that was well established both in good and not-so-good habits. It was clear that our community needed a fresh look and some new ways of thinking and that getting a partner's help with the effort was just the thing to bring in that new perspective.

 

We engaged Social Edge, a professional services consulting firm with Jive-focused expertise, to help us develop a branding refresh of the Jive Community. Social Edge is a Jive Consulting Partner that helps companies implement Jive, while using Jive’s solutions themselves every day to collaborate and work more aligned as a team.

 

Our focus was to redesign the Jive Community homepage, as well as key spaces including Jive Customers, Partner Home and SMB Labs. Right away I could see an impact from working with Social Edge including seeing new approaches to developing tiles and an open mind with how to get things done. Anything became possible.

 

Special thanks to the joint team: Andrew Kratz Brooks Jordan Madalina Papacica Greg Lowe Ben Zweig John Reynolds Ruth Neighbors Robert Hanson Laura Batten Nicole Stark I love working with all of them!

 

Be sure to check out this interview with Andrew Kratz, Social Edge's Consulting President and CEO, to find out how Social Edge works with Jive: Breaking the Partnership Mold - The Social Edge Consulting and Jive Story

We’re living in the age of digital disruption. It’s no longer a question of if your business will be disrupted, it’s only a matter of when. Will you be ready?

 

While some executives believe the solution to disruption is to throw ever-more technology at the problem and hope it sticks, smart HR professionals know there is a more human answer. Rather than giving employees more tools that they must learn and adapt to, many companies are turning to a single solution instead – the Interactive Intranet.

 

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An Interactive Intranet brings people together with the experts they need, the corporate memory they desire and the solutions they already use. Allowing employees to connect with colleagues, showcase their contributions, and get the feedback and recognition they deserve is key to engagement – and engagement is key to success.

 

In a brand new article for Talent Management entitled “HR’s Role in Technology Disruption,” written by myself and Jive’s Senior Manager of Employee Success, Amy Dobler, we discuss the importance of engagement, retention and culture in this age of disruption.

 

Today, the companies that succeed will be those that employ HR to connect people, information and systems in ways that create productive and rewarding experiences. You have a choice; ignore the inevitable and face friction and unmanaged change or leverage disruption to cultivate inspiration and empowerment for employees. So, what’s it going to be? Disrupted or disruptor?

 

To find out more, read HR’s Role in Technology Disruption.

With the coming wave of IoT devices, businesses that find a way to utilize all that data will have a big advantage over competitors. Machine learning is enabling new algorithms to explore and dissect those massive amounts of data in ways unimaginable even a few years ago — and in ways that people can’t even begin to understand. AI is also freeing executives and employees alike to focus on more creative endeavors such as ideation, innovation and gaining competitive advantage.

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In my recent CMSWire article, I discuss the importance of analytics and how new AI technologies will lead the shift away from human interfaces toward more intelligent and intuitive systems. Jive is at the center of these changes. By anticipating employees’ next actions and needs, future Interactive Intranets will further improve tasks such as searching for experts and institutional knowledge across silos of corporate memory by short-cutting the steps they need to go through to find information.

 

To find out more, read my article here: How AI Will Serve Us in the Workplace.

Ever since JiveWorld, I've been looking forward to the Power of Connection event tour, which officially kicked off in New York City this week.  What an apropos way to get things going, I thought, as the topic of connection, inspiration and collaboration never fails to be relevant.  I had the pleasure of helping our team put on the event and got to sit in on a few sessions too, seeing what the magic was all about.  Here's a little personal recap to give you a glimpse of what went on, or to encourage you to check out a future event (and there's many of those happening through the rest of the year). 

IMG_7037.JPGLucky to enjoy some good weather karma with a crisp, sunny NYC day, the event, held at the Westin Grand Central started with some meet and greets.  Welcoming old friends and partners as well as meeting lots of new folks, it was exciting to see all the great companies represented such as the Chubb/ACE Group, CA Technologies, PR Newswire, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, New York Life Insurance, Vineyard Vines and lots of others.  The positive energy in the room was infectious and it was clear folks were there to learn!

IMG_7041.JPGJive's CEO, Elisa Steele headlined the event with an awesome presentation that broke down exactly what the Power of Connection means to us today, and as it relates to the technologies we use each day. She of course explained how Jive was central to that as a hub of connection, collaboration and a key enabler to being more human and engaged in your place of work.  She teed up the other speakers for the day and really got everyone jazzed about the knowledge they'd be taking back with them.

 

The day continued with other excellent sessions and presentations from not only our own experts, but also our fantastic partners and customers such as Tim Wike, Principal, Shaper Solutions; Howard Cohen, VP of Social Web & Knowledge, Chubb; and Sam Creek, Advisor, CA Technologies. 

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I learned something in each session, such as how the Chubb team uses their Jive-powered community, The Village to deliver strong unified work across the organization. It was also interesting to learn how instrumental Jive was in helping Chubb achieve better integration and working relationships with their new colleagues as a result of their recent merger with ACE.  One thing in particular that stuck with me was when John Benfield, AVP of IT Process at Chubb said "Don't discount personal communities and discussions because they help establish bonds between employees." In this way, having fun at work and finding things you have in common with others actually helps your people feel more engaged and in turn helps to support your core business functions. I live and breathe this each day at Jive!

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The evening ended with a fun cocktail reception, where we really got to chatting and exchanging more ideas and stories.  We raffled off an Amazon Echo which was a big hit - congrats Teri Wayne

 

Overall lots of good vibes and connections were established and I especially loved seeing how the talented folks at these different companies have adapted Jive to suit their individual needs. It was nice to see the power of Jive through their eyes.

For those of your interested in learning more and attending a future Power of Connection event, the next one will take place on June 8th in Chicago. You can register here.

We all know that one of the key factors to success for an internal community is having active and engaged executives on the community. So it's no surprise there have been plenty of community conversations on how to get executives involved. In fact, there was an entire JiveWorld16 session dedicated to this topic, chock full of case studies and best practices:

 

Getting Executives Engaged video recording and PDF slides:

(compliments of JiveWorld staff and presenter Daniel Martin Eckhart)

Getting Executives Engaged

EEC4.pdf

Getting Executives Engaged attendee notes:

(compliments of Maren Beckman)

Getting Executives Engaged

 

An Easy, First Step For Your Executive:

ThinkstockPhotos-82172822.jpgAside from all the great best-practices shared in the resources listed above, one of the easiest use cases to describe to your executives in order to get them more involved is blogging. It helps them connect with employees, share important and valuable insights behind company strategies, and open a dialog for honest and transparent feedback. Yet, despite the head-nods we get from our execs, they can easily get overwhelmed with how to blog effectively for an internal employee community.

 

I recently sat down with one of Jive's own executives , Robert Block, for this very reason. He shared some first hand tips for blogging on an employee community, from one exec to another. If you have any executive champions that are shy about jumping in, be sure to share this helpful and credible resource with them to help them get started:

How Executives Can Write Impactful Internal Blog Posts

rob-oracle

The Like in B2B

Posted by rob-oracle May 11, 2016

If you are like me (and even if you are not), the concept of Like is, well, very social.

 

My friends post a photo or video of something memorable in Facebook and elsewhere and I'll Like it. But diving a bit deeper in these shallow waters has me pausing about the value of Like. Like, why am I really clicking Like? In these situations I can think of these reasons:

 

  • I really like what is posted - that's what Like is for? Like Right?
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is part of being in that inner circle of that moment, that moment being the act of posting something that may be memorable, but may be to demonstrate how clever we are? how creative we are? how inclusive we are? how current we are?...and this list can go on pretty much forever keeping to the spirit of the thought.
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is part of being noticed or getting recognition.
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is part of the popularity contest for what is posted. We even see blatant self-promotion in this case by companies (Like our page to get a free it-will-break-in-1-day-trinket) or by people (Like my comment so that I will earn something even though I'm not clear on what that may be)
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is a part of a kind of social threat: Like my comment even if you hate it because if you don't I will never Like anything you post.

 

These are just some examples and you really don't have to like any of them (and don't let that stop you from Liking them), but I list them because I, like, Like them so that (and I'm getting to it) I can make my larger point.

 

So, let's turn the table just a little and ask: Why do we see Like in a B2B setting? I start a discussion or ask a question or create a new idea. As we write replies or comments, sure enough, the Like button makes itself known. It would be logical to click Like if you really like the reply or just ignore it if you do not. You could also Like the reply for any of the social reasons I already listed and more that you likely have. Some bold platforms even have the Not Like or Thumbs Down icon to click, so ignoring both options must mean you are neutral or don't care one way or the other.

 

In a community I participate in, the use of Like struck me like a bolt of lightning. Someone suggested an idea and others chimed in with their opinion, myself included. It was a pretty clear cut idea and on the surface one person voted it down because of wording (as opposed to voting it up and suggested that the wording should be changed - that's what I did). When I realized that the idea could lose steam (bolt of lightning on its way) I went back and looked at the replies. Without realizing immediately why I was doing it, I started Liking all the positive replies. As I started hovering my reply, the system, of course, would not let me Like my own and that's when the bolt of lightning struck its target:

 

I like Like in this scenario because I want to influence the next reader that this is a great idea and they should vote it up plus also Like all the other positive replies!

The only missing connection is how do we know this happened so that we could see the influence of the Like in our metrics. I don't have a good answer (yet), but I have stored this experience in the think-about-it-compartment and will come back to you when I think I am on to something. Of course, if you think about it and put comments with your ideas in this blog maybe I'll Like your reply to influence and promote more discussion around the topic .

 

PS: Just moments after writing this I went back to the idea and, sure enough, more positive replies were entered and the Likes on the other replies I initiated is catching on because others are now also doing it for the same reason!

Communities have come a long way since the days of the forum and online bulletin board:

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 9.29.22 AM.png

 

Once considered a simple, low-cost tactic to exchange information online, a community has evolved into a massive, multi-functional deployment that requires a whole new level of sophistication and resources to support it. 

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 9.39.13 AM.png

 

Today's community is core to a brand’s digital initiative and can significantly impact multiple business functions. Like many community managers, you will rejoice for the huge opportunities this shift in strategic importance adds to your profession. But with this massive responsibility comes massive expectations for the success of your community and a positive ROI. If you don’t do your homework up front and map out a comprehensive community strategy and a realistic resource plan, you will find yourself in front of your executive team later down the road explaining why you did not deliver what you promised.

 

In my whitepaper, Get Execs To Say Yes, I discuss how you can prevent this uncomfortable (and career limiting!) scenario. Based on a Jive-sponsored study, I provide you with:

 

 

  • Highlights from the Keys to Community Readiness and Growth study by Leader Networks and CMX.
  • Best practices for launching a successful community
  • Essential steps for building a business case that will get your execs to "yes"

 

Whether you are launching a brand new community or trying to grow your current one, it's time to get the resources your community deserves!

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