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With an average of 329 apps available for employees to interact with at their fingertips, freedom to customize work clearly plays an important role in the modern workplace. While work was once considered by many as a place to go and make money, return home, sleep and repeat, that's not the case anymore. Employees want to work alongside the company doing something that is meaningful to them. Work is no longer simply a means to an end – it's an integral part of our lives that we seek satisfaction from and consider part of our well-being.


In my article published on CMSWire, I look at how employee engagement is always a win-win for both the employee and the company. While employees enjoy the freedom of working how they want and when they want, companies also partake in the benefits considering employees who are engaged and invested can outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share.


Companies need to be careful, however, about how they manage this new approach to work. Allowing employees to engage freely with any app they choose – with hundreds to choose from – can also result in further fragmentation or loss of corporate memory as employees work within the silo of their own apps. Balancing and connecting these apps with an overarching collaboration hub is the perfect solution. It connects employees, their ideas, content and information while still allowing them to work the way they work best. Employees want to do their best work — they just want to do it in their own ways.


Find out more about how companies should invest in engaging their employees without fragmenting information for the ultimate benefit for them as well as having a positive impact on employee satisfaction. Who doesn't like a win-win situation?


And for those of you heading to JiveWorld17, I'm looking forward to discussing this and a whole bunch of other fun topics – whether in the hallway, in sessions or over drinks.  See you soon!

April is here with sunshine (in California, at least), flowers, pollen and the next How I Work blog! This month, bringing in the internet equivalent of sunshine is the woman with all the answers — Community Manager Dori Gray from Medidata Solutions. She is active in the JiveWorks community and is always willing to help. I'm not going to lie... after reading her community manager profile in the comment section of Community Manager Appreciation Day I wanted to know more about Dori Gray and how she works because I saw similarities between us (except running. The only way you will find me running is away from a spider or being dragged by my dog) and she has an incredible story. If you are interested in healthcare, Dori will be presenting at JiveWorld17  during the pre-conference Healthcare Summit on Monday, May 1st!




Where do you work?

I am a Community Manager at Medidata Solutions, we make cloud-based SaaS software to help plan, administer, and report on clinical trials. Our slogan is "powering smarter treatments and healthier people," and I love knowing that my work may be giving employees the platform they need to work better and smarter, and as a result we could potentially save more lives.


Funny story actually: I became a Community Manager by accident.


Before my current role at Medidata, I did employee communications at Verizon. I was tasked with using our new Jive instance to help communicate a potential strike. We created a space (that catered to 40,000 people) to help prepare management employees (people like us who go into an office and work at our desks) to learn how to do technician (think: climbing poles and crawling underground) and call center work in the event of this strike. This was an incredible change from the way this information was communicated in the past. It was a scary time for management employees, who had to go through extensive training in Virginia, book travel for the first possible strike day and prepare to leave their families and their lives for an extended and open-ended period of time. They couldn't plan vacations and often had to find people to help care for their pets or family members. Plus they had to learn a whole new set of skills and deal with customers!


I was on our space answering every single question that came in (and there were LOTS), sharing updated information in real time, listening to concerns and doing everything I could to help resolve them. I tracked down the right person to help in every situation, and I followed up with each employee, often referring them to similar questions that were asked before. I worked with Verizon Community Managers Edward Ford and Megan Halicek to create a subspace designed to match employees who wanted to swap strike assignment travel locations. (In the past, you went where you were told, even if it was far and someone else would rather be in that location. In the past, you emailed a shared inbox and knew you probably would never get a response.) And throughout it all, I kept the message strong: that even though this was a stressful time, we were ultimately doing this for our customers.



This experience consumed me and it changed me. I loved working, I loved what I did. I didn't mind coming in crazy early and having to stay later than I liked. I just wanted to help employees, to give them their answers — and fast. Tens of thousands of employees knew my name, they referred their friends to me as the one who could help them, as the one with all the answers.


I didn't realize this at the time, but I was a community manager.


When the strike didn't happen on the day we prepared for (it occurred about 8 months later), I had to get back into my "real job" of writing stories for our (non-Jive) intranet and employee emails. But how could I go back? How could I stop being the one with all the answers and go back to writing stories about the inner workings of fiber optics?


At the same time, a friend sent me a job description at her company, to be a Community Manager using Jive (up until then, by the way, I didn't even know that "CrowdAround," the name of our Verizon Jive instance, wasn't the name of EVERYONE'S Jive instance). I applied, and before I knew it I had a new job. A job as a Community Manager, not for one space but for the entire Jive instance that was also the intranet!


I've managed our Medidata Express community for over a year and a half now. And while I am constantly learning and adapting and growing, one thing remains the same: I am known here as the one with all the answers.


And that's no accident.


How would you describe your current job?

Fun, challenging and rewarding. Stressful at times, like when I have to present (something I had never done in my life before working here) but the exhilarated way I feel after makes it all worth it.



I get excited about projects in a way I never have before. My big one right now is my attempt to start an internal podcast. I have SO MUCH to learn about how to actually record and edit, but I am also way more excited than I ever was about any projects at previous jobs.


Check out my sweet setup:



How do you use Jive at work and what use cases does it serve for your company?

Medidata Express is our intranet and employee collaboration portal. It serves way more use cases for us than I can name, but I'll call out some of my favorites: A place to ask questions and find answers; a place to learn everything you need to know in real time about what's happening at Medidata whether it be about corporate news or system changes; a place to learn about and connect with colleagues; a place to share what you're passionate about; a place to get your work done smarter and faster; a place to search and find information; and most importantly, a place to collaborate and share knowledge.


What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the way my community connects people.


I first really noticed this during my first week at Medidata. I wrote a blog post called "My Work Uniform," about why I wear black to work every day. Our Chief Technology Officer read it and sent me an email with the subject "In support of the uniform!" Her note was really nice, about how my post resonated with her and she does something similar and can't wait to meet me. To connect with my boss's boss's boss this way is just so unusual, and never would have happened without our incredible community.


I also love seeing how our community connects others. I've seen so many Medidatians (that's what we call ourselves) find common ground with someone else who works on the other side of the world, or has a completely different type of job, or both — and suddenly they are bonding over a shared interest discovered through our community, and as a result they're more comfortable when they have to work together on a project or walk past each other in the office.


I can't even take credit for this because when I started working at Medidata, our community was already six months old. My boss Daniel Mudgett and my teammates Nik Edmiidz and Chris Mandel (In Loving Memory) (pictured with me below at JiveWorld 16) not only built and launched our community, but they turned it into the type of place where people are comfortable making connections, the type of place that enabled the CTO to find my blog and reach out to me on my very first week. They set the groundwork to help me continue to grow and improve the way our employees connect with each other.



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

Before I even started my job at Medidata they asked me if I want to use a Mac or PC, and I knew this job would be a great fit. Mac. The answer is Mac. Most companies don't give you that choice!


Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

iPhone. I find it so much more intuitive than an Android, which I've also used in the past.


Pick one word that best describes how you work.



One example is that I often get distracted from my work with work I like better. For example, right now I'm working on slides for my JiveWorld presentation. Slides are not something I enjoy doing or am particularly good at. The way I handle that is by getting really excited whenever my Medidata Express inbox has a new item, deciding that whatever it is must be urgent, and dealing with that right away. So that work gets done quickly! But it's usually not more important that the work I'm supposed to be doing.


Another example is this: I'll decide to do a task and open my browser to begin . . . and then a second later I forgot why I opened my browser at all or what I was going to do.


Or I'll think about all the things I have to do, and start to do a little bit of work on 10 things at once when it will probably be a lot faster to focus on one task and finish it before moving on.


I'm generally just all over the place. I get done what needs to be done, so it's working for me, but I do wish I could be more organized. All attempts thus far have failed.


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

At work, I love SnagIt for capturing screenshots and adding arrows, circles, text, blurring out names, etc. I am sad they no longer support scrolling capture. I also wouldn't be able to do my job without Photoshop, but my brain doesn't really work that way and I am constantly impressed with my ability to do very basic things there.


My favorite non-work app is Bitmoji. My husband and I communicate solely via Bitmoji.


I also love my Apple Watch, especially now that Strava works on it so I don't have to run with two watches anymore. I looked pretty ridiculous there for awhile.


Speaking of Strava (it's a running/cycling/fitness tracking app), I need that because I have no idea how else I'd track how many miles are on my running shoes! How do other people do it? I also love Goodreads for keeping track of my books and getting recommendations based on what my friends like.


And both of those overlap with our community at work! Thanks to our MediRun and Medidata Book Exchange groups on Medidata Express, I connected with Medidatians who share these interests. As we discussed Strava and Goodreads more and more on Express, we realized we needed a way to connect on those platforms as well - and so we formed the Team Medidata running club on Strava and the Medidata Book Exchange on Goodreads.


As a result, the president of our company joined Strava, and now he and I give each other "Kudos" on our runs! When we run into each other in the office, he talks to me about running. Just like with our CTO, this is an amazing connection I never would have made without Jive!



Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

My Kindle. I am always either in the middle of a book or just starting a new one.


I only recently discovered that because I work in NYC, I can join the New York Public Library, which has a phenomenal selection of eBooks. I thought you had to live in NYC to join (I reside across the river in Jersey City), so I've spent the last 18 months wasting money on books I could have read for free!


It helps when you have a cute reading buddy:




What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

I surround myself with rainbow cookies and pictures of my dog. We also have a fair amount of Medidata Express swag, great for getting engagement in our community, not so much for the state of my work space. Cluttered mess is probably the most accurate way to describe it.



And yes, that is three boxes of rainbow cookies. If Rite Aid suddenly stops carrying them the way CVS did, I'll be prepared.


What do you listen to while you work?

I'm a runner (bear with me, I get to the point) and when I started running, I was obsessed with my music. I created specific playlists for each race, timed perfectly to end when the race finished. I published my playlists on the blog I used to write and shared them with others, and I could not run without my songs. Then one day in June 2012, I started a 10K race with my music on, and about a mile in I found the music in my ears so irritating that I pulled out my headphones . . . and never listened to music while running again.


Same goes for work.


I'm able to listen to music when I am working from home since the music is playing out loud, but I am just too irritated having it directly into my ears. I also like hearing what is going on around me at work.


What's your best time-saving trick?

Doing as much as I possibly can from Jive Daily when I'm commuting, sitting around doing nothing, playing on my phone when I first wake up, etc.


How do you balance work and life?

I'm not the type of person who physically CAN work late. I am completely useless in the evening, I just shut down, so you'll rarely find me at work after 6 pm (at the latest). So in that aspect, it's easy for me to leave at the end of the day.


We also have unlimited PTO at Medidata which really helps work-life balance (for me, I know not everyone feels the same way - I was quoted in this article from The Muse about it, and both sides are reflected).


But . . . as you can see from my answer to the previous question, I am very, very, very guilty of using Jive Daily at all hours of the day and night, from wherever I am. I'll wake up at 2 am and start working from my phone. And again at 5 am. And then I'll check in at 8 pm. And throughout my weekends and on my vacation. But it doesn't FEEL like work, it feels like chatting with my friends and offering my advice, which is probably a sign that I love my job.


What's your sleep routine like?

Grandma with insomnia. I'm in bed by 9, but I often wake up in the middle of the night or really early in the morning and never get back to sleep.


Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

Not only am I an introvert, but according to Myers-Briggs I am the most introverted one can possibly be! I will never forget the day in 2010 when I read this Atlantic article called Caring for Your Introvert because I finally understood why I am the way I am. People from the internet are often surprised to discover this about me because I thrive in online communities! I love writing and sharing my thoughts and connecting with others — on the computer. It is way more natural for me to make friends through Twitter or connect with colleagues through Jive than to ever talk to anyone in real life.


My very accurate bag:


My dog's name is Larry, so this pretty much perfectly describes my life:



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

For some reason both of my answers are about weddings, which is weird, but it really is great advice that I really wish I received in time for my own wedding.


  • Do not let your family influence any of your decisions. This is your day so do exactly what you want even if it upsets other people.
  • Hire a wedding day-of coordinator.


I have no idea who told me either of these but they have both stuck with me even though it's too late now. My wedding was fun! But it could have been a lot less stressful and a lot more me.




Thank you for sharing, Dori! I'm glad I'm not the only person who opens up several projects at the same time. At least we get our stuff done! Keeps us on our toes . I look forward to seeing you at JiveWorld17!

An effective marketing program is driven by a solid content marketing strategy. In my previous white paper, How to Leverage Customer Communities for Content Marketing Greatness, I shared tips on how to achieve this within customer communities, but we are still missing a great opportunity to consistently produce a variety of content that is engaging without breaking the bank.


This time, I’m going to share three best practice tips to get your internal community involved with content marketing in my article, Best Practice Content Marketing with Employee Communities. Organizations who fail to utilize the talent and experience of their employees – particularly those who are customer facing – are missing out. We all know that content is king, but being able to deliver relevant and consistent content is an expensive and difficult venture unless you tap into resources you already have - your own employees.


In my article published on the Jive Software website, I’ll outline three best practice tips focused around true collaboration, crowdsourced content creation and gamification to encourage employees to contribute without feeling obligated. If you already have a collaboration platform, you already have all the resources you need in one single place and it's incredibly easy to reach out to potential contributors. All you need to do is take advantage of your collaboration hub. It’s the only place where employees are all in one place and working out loud so you know who is the perfect contributor for your next article. Avoid pouring money into content marketing with unnecessary hires or agency spend and look toward the experts – your customer-facing employees.


Don’t forget to reward your employees! While some may be more than happy to devote time to creating content for you, a bit of incentive can go a long way. When your employees go above and beyond, you should want to show your appreciation and give them the recognition and motivation to do more. By leveraging your internal and external communities together, you will have an unbeatable team to produce consistent, creative and relevant content.


Check out my article for more on content marketing, common pitfalls and three best practices for involving your employee communities in the content creation process.


Want to hear more about leveraging your external or internal communities for content marketing? I'll be available to chat at JiveWorld17 (May 1st - 3rd). Don't worry if you haven't registered yet, you can still register! Hope to see you there!

Corp memory small.jpgBreaking down silos requires more than just software – it requires a change of mindset. Up until now we have been trained to work independently and share our work only after countless drafts. When we come across something outside our expertise, we do the research and find the answers for ourselves because we don’t know who to ask. What if we could collaborate to bring in other experts, build on the work of others and have the support to improve speed and productivity?


We can’t change the way we work if we can’t change the way we think about work. In the article Corporate memory: the secret ingredient for success in the ‘age of the customer’ John Schneider, VP of Product Marketing, explains strategic ways to rethink work, as well as how to utilize collaboration software to foster corporate memory, break down silos and help your company work more effectively in cross-departmental teams. In the face of rapid change in the information age, companies face culture shock as they struggle to meet the the new customer expectation of being engaged with the company and to understand that highly skilled and specialized knowledge workers are the cornerstone of a business’ success.


It’s an issue that some have tried to solve by tossing the latest apps at their employees which only creates more noise and misalignment between them and their company leaders. In the end, it causes more fragmentation with duplicated work across the company, disjointed communication and an increase in the employee turnover rate. Even with collaboration software, it takes a dramatic evolution in the nature of work to truly understand how to connect your employees making more visible, more productive and more collaborative with other teams.


There's an undeniable advantage of integrating products so everyone can work in a visible environment without losing the freedom to use the tools they prefer. When you combine the meta-knowledge gleaned from your collaboration hub and visibility of integrated products together, you can easily pull together a powerful and productive team of experts to meet the need of a specific project. You can even take collaboration a step further by connecting your employees to your customers to engage and benefit from their feedback and advice, building a relationship that will keep your customers involved and aware of your organization.


Read the full article now to help you utilize Jive to its full potential to preserve corporate memory, build teams, relationships and drive visibility across the company whether it’s with employees or customers.

2017.3.20_Be_yourself_laughing_free.jpgJust like chameleons, humans have the ability to blend in. While our skin doesn't change colors, what we say, how we act, what we do and how we dress often depends on where we are and who we are with - whether consciously or unconsciously. We often talk about our "work life," "love life" and "personal life" as if they are different things despite being a part of the one single life we live. In the opening line of the article Can you really be yourself at work? posted on BBC News, it asks a pointed question: "When you're at work, do you behave in the same way as you do when you're at home? Or do you have a work persona - a duller, more subdued version of your real self?" We all have different versions of ourselves, but is that really the healthiest approach to separating work and life? Is it actually damaging the company?


Elisa Steele, Jive CEO and firm believer that work and life are one and the same, talks about how society is shifting and how she's embracing the change. While businesses tend to mold their employees into a certain role without considering them as a unique person, they are starting to rethink how they treat their employees. There is a push back from employees who want to be able to be themselves at work and demand a culture that supports and allows them to thrive as an individual.


Elisa explains how Jive has welcomed new Jivers and accepts them the way they are from Day One. "They feel the culture," she says, "because they have complete access to the whole company the first day they start." Being transparent is the best way to encourage people to in turn becoming transparent about who they are and how they work, rather than simply doing as they are told. Elisa intentionally works transparently so that Jivers, no matter how new to the company, has a solid understanding of the foundation the company is built on and staying connected.


In the past, businesses have favored CEOs that rule with a strong hand who tells everyone exactly what to do and how to do it. That isn't cutting it anymore. Dr. Doty, the founder and director of The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine talks about how this kind of leadership creates stress and does not actually improve productivity. Treating employees as replaceable is not beneficial for the company and can mentally drive employees into the ground with anxiety, stress and pressure.


Read the full BBC News article for more in depth discussions with Elisa Steele of Jive, Dr. Jim Doty of Stanford University School of Medicine and Sebastian Siemiatkowski of a Swedish start-up called Klarna. See how the industry is changing, what kind of leaders foster the best employees and why you should celebrate the freedom of being yourself in the workplace.

co-authored by Darshita Maniar


Live webinar, March 23: "Analytics Best Practices with Jive Insights Advanced."  Click here to register.




For those who have read Why the Digital Workplace Needs Jive, you know analytics is one of our six key pillars of innovation.  Each of these pillars represents a focal point that shapes product and service innovation at Jive.


We are eyeing the ever-expanding role that workplace and customer analytics plays in our customers' organizations, especially when it comes to helping you make more informed, data-driven decisions.  And of course we recognize that leveraging data and analytics to measure the impact of your investment in Jive is critical to the success of your community program.


With this in mind we are excited to announce the launch of an expanded and refocused offering around our sentiment analysis module - formerly known as Resonata and formerly only available for Jive-x - and updating the name to Jive Insights Advanced.  Jive Insights Advanced delivers detailed qualitative and contextually intelligent insights into employee and customer engagement, perception and attitudes at scale.


Please join us March 23rd for our next Jive Best Practices webinar featuring Shaun Slattery, Principal Strategy Consultant, Dane Slutzky, Professional Services Data Engineer, and Darshita Maniar, Sr. Product Marketing Manager.  During this live event you'll learn more about Jive Insights Advanced and best practices for deepening your measurement strategy and leveraging its capabilities to build insights into employee or customer engagement.


Topics and scenarios covered will include:

  • Gathering detailed insights into engagement with and response to critical communications and initiatives
  • Identifying and developing influencers, hidden advocates, detractors and subject matter experts
  • Early warning and heat mapping to identify trending topics and themes within your employee or customer population 
  • Going beyond aggregate usage statistics and gaining expanded visibility into the interactions and mindset of your users to drive higher or more targeted and effective engagement


This session will focus primarily on Jive-n employee engagement and corporate communications uses, but will also include customer engagement / Jive-x examples and many best practices can be cross-applied.


Find out more and register at Analytics Best Practices with Jive Insights Advanced | Jive Software.  (As with all our Best Practices series webinars, it will also be recorded and posted to JiveWorks.)


Have questions?  There will be Q&A at the webinar event, or feel free to ask them here or in Advanced Customer Measurement.


We hope you'll join us and encourage you to share this with your colleagues who may be interested.


cc Alex Larralde Pele Ahloo Claire Flanagan

The latest installment of the How I Work Blog Series is here! Our special guest for the month of March is none other than the witty, clever and always helpful Dennis Pearce from Lexmark! Dennis is not only an integral part of our community in JiveWorks but an advocate for community managers everywhere. One of the many things I look forward to in JiveWorks is reading Dennis's posts because they are either helpful and insightful or completely off topic but funny. Ever want to know what makes Dennis tick? Everything you ever wanted to know and more is in this blog, including a panoramic shot of his library desk and the fact that he is from Mars.  Really.



Where do you work?

I work for Lexmark International, Inc. (a printer company) at our headquarters in Lexington, KY, home of bourbon, basketball, and beautiful horse farms!


3570956257_b32e7b4983_b.jpgfarm-fence-desktop-wallpaper-50434-52125-hd-wallpapers.jpg KentuckyBourbon002.jpg


I actually have more years with Lexmark than the company has been in existence, because it was originally IBM’s printer division when I joined in 1983 and my service time carried over when it was spun off as an independent company in 1991.


How would you describe your current job?

Since 2012, I have been the community manager for our internal Jive instance, supporting about 12,000 employees worldwide.  Since 2008, my job has also included developing strategies for collaboration and content management within the company.  Jive is my primary focus right now, but I sometimes get involved with other tools, especially if they intersect with Jive in some way.


How do you use Jive at work and what use cases does it serve for your company?

We use Jive for our internal community, open to all employees and any contractors who have a Lexmark email address.  Use cases include:

    • As a social intranet for functional areas (HR, IT, Facilities, etc.)
    • As a collaboration tool for teams and communities of practice
    • Support sites for internal tools and processes
    • Strategic communications platform for executives
    • A place for social activities (employee sports and hobbies, diversity groups, etc.)


What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

I can think of some great examples of how our executives used it strategically to manage change, and also specific groups such as the very active one for Field Service Engineers scattered across the globe who share problems and tips with each other.  But overall, I think about the fact that we named it “Innovate,” which sounds a little strange at first when you hear that word being used as a noun.  But after 5 years, it’s very common to hear anyone from the lowest levels up to the CEO saying “that’s on Innovate,” and leaving it at that as if everyone should automatically know what that means.  This is an indication to me that our Jive instance has burrowed so deep into our culture that it is taken for granted.


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

I had an Apple many years ago (see my comments in Community Manager Appreciation Day: plus JiveWorld17 Special Offer ) but then I went to work for IBM.    I’ve had PCs ever since just to maintain compatibility between work and home.


Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

iPhone 6


Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Well, I'll pick two words: “thoughtful procrastination.”  I tend to let things go to the last minute, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about them (consciously or unconsciously) up until then.  The ideas I have under time pressure are often some of my best.


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

I can’t really think of any.  When I was a kid, I had microscopes, telescopes, model rockets, chemistry sets, electronics kits.  I’ve been surrounded by technology my whole life.  Yet I think back to how nice it was in those days to just have a single phone in the house attached to the wall with no answering machine.  If someone called and you didn’t answer they didn’t freak out, they just tried again later.  And if someone called and you couldn’t get to the phone in time, you didn’t freak out either – you just assumed that if it was important they’d call back.  I guess books were considered high-tech once upon a time.  Give me one of those and a comfy chair and I’ll be happy.


Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

We have a Slingbox and a Chromecast, as well as a smart TV.  It’s interesting how technology is headed toward allowing us to watch whatever we want, wherever we want, on whatever device we want.  I also have a Livescribe pen, which really has changed the way I take notes.  It’s especially great at conferences like JiveWorld.


What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

Full of books.     I have about 150 at work (mostly on KM, collaboration, social business, etc.) and another 500 or so at home on a variety of other topics.  Lexmark is full of big cube farms.  Here's a panoramic shot of my desk:



I work most days in my cube but occasionally work from home, where I get to sit in my sun room or back patio and look out onto a couple of lakes:

Picture1.jpg Picture2.jpg

I keep a few things around my desk to remind me of ideas to keep in mind while I work:

Picture5.jpg Picture4.jpg

The puppet reminds me that no matter how successful you think you might be, it can all come crashing down quickly.  The phrenology map sculpture reminds me that just because something has a scientific veneer doesn't mean it's real science.  And the replica Rosetta Stone reminds me that seemingly intractable problems can be solved with a little luck by coming at them from different angles.


What do you listen to while you work?

I’m a prog rock fan from way back, going to see groups like Yes, ELP, Genesis, and King Crimson when I was in high school and college, probably because I played a lot of classical music in band and orchestra (I played trombone in high school and college, then learned steel drums and played in a steel drum band for a few years after school).  I still gravitate toward long, undanceable songs with complex arrangements and weird time signatures.  Some of my current favorites are bands like Riverside, Unitopia, and Porcupine Tree.


What's your best time-saving trick?

Don't look at the clock. 


How do you balance work and life?

By not treating them separately.  Work IS life, just like every other part of it.  I do a lot of volunteer work with groups trying to improve education in Kentucky.  So whether it’s working for Lexmark, volunteering, reading at home, raising kids (now no longer an activity), training my dog, whatever – I try not to have too many artificial boundaries that might keep me from applying something I learned in one part of my life to another part of it.


I have some quirky interests, I think because I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania called Mars.  Having to deal with the laughter and embarrassment every time someone asks where you're from shapes your personality in strange ways.  For example, here's a bumper sticker you can buy from the town souvenir shop (and yeah, we have a flying saucer in the middle of town):


The fact that the designer felt the need to add the words "THAT IS!" in all caps, exclamation point and quotation marks just shows how deranged living there can make you.


For fun I collect things, not one big collection but several small ones.  I mentioned somewhere else on JiveWorks that I collect books from the 19th and early 20th centuries that have either out-of-date science or theories that were crackpot from the beginning.  I also have little collections of weird book topics like books on numbers:


Because I spent the first 10 years of my adult life as a plastics engineer, I also like to collect plastic toys that make you think "why did someone think making this was a good idea"?  I try to imagine having a job designing and manufacturing things like those below.  And of course I also have my collection of fine beverage containers.

Picture7.jpg Picture6.jpg

And for pure mindless entertainment, when I finished my PhD dissertation at the end of 2014 which exhausted my brain, I decided that since I had never seen Doctor Who I would watch it all in order from the very beginning (1963).  Over two years and a hundred Netflix DVDs later, I'm almost caught up -- now on the last season!


What's your sleep routine like?

Earlier and earlier as I get older.  Go to bed around 11:00, get up between 6:00 and 7:00, walk the dog and maybe exercise.


Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?

An introvert in the sense that Susan Cain describes.  I’m not shy – I don’t have a problem speaking in front of people and I don’t mind socializing.  But given the choice, I would rather find a nice quiet place and read.


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

Three pieces of advice that tie together.  One is a famous quote from Samuel Johnson: “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” There is so much information today and so much of it is constantly being updated.  I think it has become at least as important if not more so to have the kind of knowledge that can tell you where good sources of information are vs. trying to remember that information yourself.


Another is a quote from physicist John Archibald Wheeler: “We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” The more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know.  But that’s actually a good and useful thing, because the more topics we know we are ignorant of, the more places we have to go explore when we’re trying to solve a problem.


Finally, the solution to Wheeler’s dilemma for me was some advice I got from the professor of my first chemical engineering class when I was a college sophomore: “Take an introductory class in everything so that you learn the jargon.  Then you can get the rest from the library.”  Really great innovations happen in the intersection between disciplines.  If you know just enough about everything such that you can learn more about any given topic if you need to, you become aware of the size of your ignorance and keep building that mental library of the knowledge of where to find things.



Thank you Dennis for taking the time to share your life with us in the JiveWorks community! You are always full of surprises and I truly admire your passion and commitment to everything you care about. Not to mention you have a hunger for knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge which is AWESOME. Rock on!

2017.3.8 Women's International Day.jpg"Let today be the day you open a new door for a working woman in your world," says Elisa Steele, Jive CEO, in her post today on LinkedIn. Today is International Women's Day, where we celebrate women and their accomplishments. We have accomplished so much, and yet still have so far to go. You can focus on the fact that the pay gap still remains at 20 percent or you can celebrate that there are more female CEOs in the Fortune 500 than ever before. I prefer to focus on the latter, while remembering that the fight isn't over. Let's remember this day so that we don't become complacent! In her post, Elisa has words of encouragement for everyone, that "each of us, in all different meaningful ways, have the power to make a difference for the women in our lives."


Elisa calls out some Jive customers who have made differences in the lives of women including Pink Petro, the GoDaddy CEO and the HeForShe movement. Read the LinkedIn post for inspiring words and encouragement -- from a woman who overcame obstacles and became a CEO herself. Elisa continues to be an inspiring leader and empowering role model for all of us at Jive, and I hope you find encouragement in her words and actions.


So please take a moment today and remember what you have done to help women, or think about what you can do to open doors for women in your life.


Please share your story to inspire us in the JiveWorks community to keep moving forward together!

Elisa_steele_Jive_CEO.pngAt Jive we are proud of the direction our company is headed because we have an incredible leader and visionary at the helm. Our CEO, Elisa Steele, makes it a priority to be transparent about who Jive is and where we are going in a fragmented landscape that's crowded with other collaboration tools that only add to the problem.


In a new Forbes article, "Elisa Steele Positions Jive For Enterprise Collaboration And Communications Platform Future," Elisa makes it clear that our mission is to solve fragmentation in the age where everyone has their favorite apps that have a narrow focus. It's great that we found the tools we love, but how do we use them without creating silos? Jive let's you use the tools you want, whenever and where you want by integrating "with all of these other applications and systems that are causing difficulty in managing your work environment in the enterprise."


Starting as a Jive customer in 2006, Elisa Steele saw Jive's potential firsthand. After working at a variety of jobs in high school that were "oriented towards working with customers, getting to know people, and about being excited to make someone's day great," Elisa found a way to channel her passion through Jive. This, coupled with her confidence in Jive, made her an ideal candidate for CEO.  Elisa's experience in customer service, sales and marketing with companies like Yahoo!, Skype and Microsoft have made Elisa Steele a driven and powerful leader for Jive.


Read the full article to learn more about Elisa's vision for Jive and how her past has brought her to where she is now. We want you to be as confident about Jive's road map as we are, so let us introduce you to the driver at the wheel!


Share with us! Tell us what you think about this vision for Jive.


2017.2.27_work_out_loud.jpgAt Jive's core is the idea of "working out loud." In other words, creating work, having conversations and making decisions all in a transparent and open manner. Before working at Jive, I had never "worked out loud" before. I'm a meticulous person who likes to plan and make schedules. Once I had done the research and preparation on my own, then I would collaborate.


When I first started working with Jive, I always worked in hidden documents and worked mostly on my own. No one forced me to be open about my work, but I started noticing how seamlessly my coworkers worked together cross-functionally and the ease with which they pulled in assistance without slowing down their workflow. It was exactly what I love - an easy way to get where I want to go even faster and with less obstacles. Just like how the best authors have their editors, we all need support from our coworkers!


Now I work completely in open docs and thrive in a team of coworkers across various departments such as Professional Services, Sales, Support, Marketing and more. It has never been easier to reach out and find a subject matter expert, which means I save time having to Google the subject. I used to hesitate to ask questions because I was afraid of bothering people but the truth is, most people like to be asked for help in their field - that's what they passionate about!


I wasn't the only one who discovered the benefits of working transparently - so did Yahoo. In Jive's interview with Yahoo's Carolyn Clark, Director of Communications, and Michael De Loia, Senior Manager of Collaboration Products, they talked about how working transparently is incredibly healthy not only for the company, but for work relationships. "Many Yahoos have become more open about what they’re working on and about inviting others into projects, which creates a more unified Yahoo culture and a stronger sense of all being on the same team."


Yahoo found that Jive also helped create searchable content which was a much better alternative than keeping information locked into hidden documents or email threads. This is also feeds into the importance cross-functional collaboration. While departments have their own functions, they can't operate completely independently from each other (or at least shouldn't). Carolyn found that "Jive has made it easier for [her] internal communications team to stay in lockstep with [their] PR team."  With each department working toward the same goal, there is bound to be overlap which Jive helps make transparent and easy to work cross-functionally.


Read the full interview with Yahoo to find out...

  • The top benefits they have seen using Jive
  • Who uses their internal community and how
  • How Jive has impacted the way they work


Hearing about what other people are doing in their own community, can help inspire you with new ideas on how to make your community even better. It isn't cheating - I promise!


What about you? How has Jive changed the way you work?

2017+2.23+Collaboration.jpgDefinitions are important. While misunderstandings don't always cause harm – for instance, when I ask my British friend for my purse and he hands me my wallet or the confusion between "first floor" and "ground floor" (or "lift" and "elevator" for that matter) – they can have serious repercussions in the workplace. A lack of clear definitions in organizations can negatively impact productivity, time and resources. It often leads to unproductive meetings and discussions, results in hurt feelings and can even affect employee engagement. Besides, how do you even measure the success of something that isn't clearly defined?


"Collaboration" is one of those words that can have various interpretations in the workplace. It's often used as a catchall to talk about not only how we communicate and work together, but as a buzzword to describe the apps, solutions and gadgets we use as well. IT may use the term "collaboration" when referring to workplace productivity tools, while a community manager might have a broader definition that encompasses the way teams interact with those tools and each other to spur innovation. No wonder people are confused!  The more global enterprises become, the more we need to work with people we've never met and with tools we've never used. Just as "purse" can have different meanings in different parts of the world, collaboration risks even more misinterpretation due to factors such as geographical location and the cultural differences between employees.


So how do we define collaboration? Nicole Fuselier, Viavi Solutions' Director of Digital Strategy, dives into this issue in her new article for ITProPortal, "Defining successful enterprise collaboration and communication." Nicole talks about how IT departments generally measures collaboration success as the implementation of tools that employees can collaborate with, rather than the solutions they actually do use to work together. She also discusses the fact that measuring success is key – no matter how you define collaboration. "While definitions of terms like collaboration, reach and productivity may vary," she says, "what everyone ultimately cares about is improved business outcomes."


We can squabble about definitions all we want, but in the end successful collaboration boils down to a combination of implementation, adoption and social interactions.


What do you think? See what your JiveWorks community peers are doing and leave a comment below about how you define and measure collaboration!

Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work blog series! This month we are excited to present Helen Chen, a community manager from Carbon Black. She is an active member of JiveWorks and is always willing to help her fellow Jive users. She's a pro community manager not only in number of years, but number of communities she has managed at the same time! Her record is running 7 major product communities at once. That's a lot of juggling! Read on to learn more about Helen Chen and her beautiful work campus (with bees & a turkey mascot)!


Where do you work?

I work for Carbon Black, a provider of endpoint security software. I am so blessed to work with Matt Petrosky and David DeWald - both masters of Community and Jive technology!


Our corporate headquarters are located in Waltham, MA.  Here are some pictures from our campus which overlooks the Cambridge Reservoir.




Sunrise overlooking the patio and bocce court.



Daytime view of the reservoir.


Water fountain and fall foliage.



Rocky ledge on the front driveway. In the winter, the water freezes and makes spectacular ice formations.


Campus beehives generate local honey.


Tom, a campus mascot can be an obstacle if he happens to be standing between you and your car.


How would you describe your current job?

I am the Enterprise Community Manager, responsible for our internal community called Beehive.  I help our teams understand how to communicate and share information effectively using our Beehive community.  In this role, I teach community members about Jive technology. Together we explore ways to represent their messages and content so that their targeted audiences can find and the utilize information.


Sometimes their places are for reference information, sometimes for collaboration and sometimes about discussion. Each team creates a unique place for their audience to join together, to learn and grow. It is a fun journey understanding their individual needs and helping them to build a vibrant home for their teams and audiences.



What about your community/communities are you most proud of?

I am so proud of how our company has adopted Jive to meet communication and collaboration needs.  We are approaching our 1 year anniversary from launching our Beehive.  Looking over the past year, we struggled in the beginning to figure out how teams could use Jive, and especially how to balance use of other technologies. Now, a majority of the teams are on-board.


Examples of things that make me smile:


  • Our Executive Team does a great job coming to the community to make announcements in their own blogging space. They often jump in on open conversations and tag other company leaders on threads to make sure that the right teams are participating.
  • Our Human Resources team has a wide range of different use models, which pulls in participation at all levels of the organization.
  • Recently I was doing a presentation at our New Employee Orientation. Several people piped up how helpful and easy to use they found our community. One attendee said that if he had just looked in Beehive for startup questions, he could have cut back on 90% of the questions that he bothered coworkers about!  (That was such a proud momma moment!)
  • Teams know to reach out when they are ready for the next steps with their places or their team's processes.  One team recently invited me to present to their team. Since they do a lot of presentations, I made a point of demoing Jive for Office to simplify their sharing and collaboration. They were so happy for that tip!



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

I use Windows laptops at both home and work. From time to time I get confused as my home machine has a touch screen, but my work machine doesn't. I find myself poking at the screen of my work laptop and wondering why nothing is happening!



Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Most of my activity is Apple - iphone 6 and an oldish iPad. I have recently added an Android tablet to the mix just to keep life interesting. (It's mostly used for Jive Daily questions and checking recipes in the kitchen while cooking. )



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

I've recently started learning how to use Camtasia for training videos, but have found it to be quite useful making videos for my family and for editing videos for my husband's bluegrass band.



Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

I have to share my two favorites right now.  

  • I have been a Fitbit fan for about a year and a half. My primary devide is a Fitbit Surge, but I also have a Zip for those times I don't feel like wearing a watch.
  • I recently acquired an Instant Pot, electric pressure cooker. In addition to the usual stews and roasts, I also make Greek yogurt every weekend with my beloved cooker!


When thinking about this question, what struck me is that an important part of my use model for both of these products is community. It is always so much more fun learning with others and sharing favorite tips rather than struggling to figure things out on my own!



What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

Honestly, it's messy.  I seem to like hardcopy more than most people in this day and age. That probably a hangover from my days as an editor.  Scribbling on a print-out helps me figure things out when I get stuck. 


Other things you will find around here are a candy bowl for visitors who come to visit and a Buddha collection. My workstation when I work from home is surrounded by cat toys and a dragon collection. :-)



My At-Home Work-Out-Loud buddy!



What do you listen to while you work?

Of course it varies by what I am doing. You can guess from my comment about my husband's band earlier that I listen to a great deal of Bluegrass music.

Moonshine Alley2.JPG

My husband's Band - Moonshine Alley


Last week, Eric Clapton's album I Still Do was on endless loop. Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz are favorites while cooking.


When I need a change of pace, I turn on IHeartRadio's Country Channel. Actually, Country music is very motivating when doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn or shoveling snow!




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

how you handle it..jpg

My mom used to say something like this when I was small and would come home from school complaining. It holds true for every phase of life, but is especially appropriate for any community manager almost every day of the week!


Thank you Helen for sharing how you work with the JiveWorks community! It was a joy chatting with you and learning more about you and what you love! Keep up the great work!

2017.1.31 human analytics for HR.jpgI grew up in a different world from my grandparents. For them, job-hopping was seen as being fickle and noncommittal. Now job-hopping is seen as an opportunity to gain valuable experience. This 180 degree shift in mentality has forced companies to deal with a new kind of problem - how can they keep employees from slipping through their fingers at an alarming rate and at an estimated cost of $75 to $100 million dollars a year due to rehiring and training costs? It's not an easy task trying to demonstrate to employees that your company is THE place where they can find fulfillment and growth in their career - especially when they've already made up their minds to leave.


According to the article How People Analytics Can Turn HR on Its Head on CMSWire, the trick is to be available to and conscientious of your employees from Day 1 and utilizing people analytics is a sure way to succeed. People analytics use science to build relationships and understand your employees needs before they start to look elsewhere. Amy Dobler, Jive Software's Senior Manager of Employee Success, talks about how people analytics is changing the game for HR whether it's through finding the weak points in training and onboarding, identifying workers best suited to a role or pinning down what triggers employees to start the hunt for a new job.


Amy Dobler's article on covers the benefits of human analytics in HR, such as...

  • Better hiring
  • Improved onboarding and training
  • Flexible staffing
  • Identifying and addressing flight risks
  • Increasing retension


What do you think?

How does your company currently keep your employees engaged and feeling a sense of fulfillment?

2017.2.2_journey_growth_blocks_webinar.jpgI hit my nine-year anniversary at Jive this past September. When I started in 2007, we were updating for Jive version 1.6 (called Clearspace at the time, to be exact), and Jive had just undergone a massive undertaking to combine two formerly separate tools (Jive Forums and Jive Knowledge base) into the industry's first centralized business collaboration network. It was exciting for a lot of reasons, but especially for the end users since they would finally have a more integrated enterprise search, and agnostic groups for seeing every piece of relevant content.


But as the years passed, the customer journey expanded. It took on a new importance that was more than just about getting help and quickly leaving – It was about engaging at all levels. From Prospect to Purchase to Education to Feedback to Support to Advocate; and then ideally connecting those advocates appropriately with prospects or others along their own journey. By driving these new ways to collaborate or channels to create, organizations were also able to encourage users to spend more time on the site and, in turn, get more help from their peers. Something as simple as an "ideation" area (alone holding its own value to a vendor) could easily help deflect many more support questions because of all the additional – often positive – user interactions.


With all of this engagement though, we still saw fragmentation. Even with a centralized network, there are still other processes that need to happen and often times peer-to-peer engagement can't solve all issues. That's where a company's CRM systems come into play. This is also where the user might have to leave their branded network to jump into a completely different interface and portal to log their cases/tickets. These systems are wonderful for internal tracking but can sometimes create difficult UX/flows for end users, depending on the audience. With this in mind, and as avid CRM users ourselves, we decided that there was an opportunity to also help centralize this level of interaction. While not changing anything for the internal support rep, we aimed to bring that CRM right to the user inside of the customer community. Show them what they needed to see, allow them to create their case, interact directly with an agent, and solve the issue while staying in one place. Could this also potentially further increase the amount of community adoption overall, along with exposing them to new knowledge base articles or other user generated content? That's still to be seen, but we believe it will.


On February 21, I'll be co-hosting a live webinar to discuss these very issues. My colleague Sterling Bailey and I will dive into the concept of centralized, network driven customer support, especially as it relates to the larger customer journey and modern day engagement methods. Then we'll demonstrate Jive's newest Salesforce Case Management Connector to show how we're continuing on our journey to be the true customer hub and offer an unparalleled UX while doing it.


Join Sterling and I to see Jive’s Salesforce Case Management Connector features including:

      Custom Salesforce case dashboard tile

      Ability for users to file, track and receive updates on cases from within the community

      Ability for support reps to directly communicate with customers within your community from their native workflow in Salesforce

      Custom case fields

      Case deflection search to help push customers into existing documents or discussions from the community before creating a new case

      Mobile responsiveness for all of the above


Webinar: Unified Customer Experience with Jive-x Salesforce Integrations | Jive Software

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill


As part of the Jive Mentors Program, every month we'll celebrate a mentor who went above and beyond the call of duty in the spirit of learning and leadership.

The January Mentor of the Month is... Peter Broadley!



Name: Peter Broadley

Title: Manager, Community Development and Engagement

Company: CSA Group

Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada

Years with Jive & Social Business: 3 years with Jive

Comments from Peter's menteeErinn Hughes: "Peter was fantastic! He made himself available to me, was friendly, had a great game plan and we stuck to it.  We set up goals and accomplished all of them.  Our 15 minute calls usually ended up becoming 30-45 minute calls as we discussed the ins and outs of this crazy community business. I learned a lot from Peter and truly appreciate his time."


Peter, first things first. Tell us how you got involved in this mess we call socbiz?

I’d been working in the web marketing group at CSA for 5 years and was involved in email marketing, web development, e-commerce, social media, video, graphics editing…. Basically, you name it, I worked on it. Our then-new Jive community needed someone that had content/social/coding skills to help bring it to the next level and I was offered the role. It was (and is) a perfect fit for me.


Aside from all that good juju, why did you decide to become a mentor?

When I started managing our Jive community I had a lot of questions. I know it can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re taking over an established community. I had a great internal team that I could consult but it would have been better to get on a call with someone who’d been though it before. I felt like I was now in the position to be that person for someone else and wanted to be more involved in the Jive community.


Tell us about the mentorship - what topic did you focus on, how often did you meet, how did you connect, etc.?

I signed up to become a mentor and was introduced to Erinn shortly after, via email. We messaged back and forth on how much we love Toronto/Austin and coordinated our first call the following week. It was just going to be a short conversation, but turned into 45min discussion on our experiences managing external communities. Erinn had recently taken over a community that hadn’t been moderated in very long time, so there was a big opportunity to turn around user sentiment. That was the main focus. I took a lot of notes and ended up putting together a plan of attack that we discussed on our second call the following week. All our mentor/mentee discussion was done over the phone and we spoke twice in two weeks.


What did you personally gain from participating in the Mentors Program?

Besides the satisfaction of aiding a fellow community professional, being a mentor gave me new ideas on how to approach my community. For example, Erinn’s process for identifying community ambassadors made me take another look at the structure of my program. I also have someone new to bounce ideas off.


What one piece of advice would you share with other mentors?

Listen to the whole story and identify the key issues. In our case, there were several opportunities for improvement but one or two stood out from the rest that would deliver the most benefit. Prioritize your action plan.


What about with mentees?

Look at the action plan carefully and tackle any quick win items first. Some items may require more time and follow up – especially when you’re dealing with changing user behavior. Oh, and be patient.


Last but not least, any pets or hobbies we need to know about?

Running used to be just a hobby, but it’s turned into more of an addiction and occupies most of whatever free time I have. I’ve completed a few 50k races and will be running my first 50-mile ultramarathon this spring. Not sure why, but I’ve met a lot of community folk that are really dedicated runners. Must be the constant obsession over planning/scheduling. As for pets, I have a 7-year-old black lab/German Shepherd/forever puppy named Baxter who I take out on shorter training runs. Yes, he’s named after Ron Burgundy’s dog.




Interested in joining the Mentors Program? Learn more about it here: Jive Mentors Program!

For Mentors: quickly find a mentee to work with here: Open Mentoring Opportunities

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