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Blogs: Jive Talks

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We're delighted to be shining a spotlight on the lovely Patty McEnaney for the 'How I Work' blog series. It was a pleasure interacting with Patty, and she's one of the biggest cheerleaders I've seen for others within the Jive Community. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

(P.S. - Wondering why this is not coming from the fabulous Libby Taylor? I'm a 'behind the scenes' Jive Community Manager both across social media and in the Jive Community, and I'm happy to be helping Libby with this blog series.)

How I Work - Patty McEnaney.jpgLeigh: Where do you work?

Patty: I work at Envestnet Asset Management, headquartered in Chicago, with offices across the U.S. and one in India. Envestnet is one of the largest providers of wealth management solutions to independent financial advisors. The firm has an entrepreneurial spirit and a can-do attitude, which really appeals to me.

Leigh: How would you describe your current job?

Patty: My title is Director of Knowledge Management & Social Strategy. My job focuses on organizing content, team workflows/documents and processes to build solutions for enterprise social collaboration. Our goal is to improve knowledge transfer, communication and collaboration.

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

Patty: I'm an Explorer/Planner, which I learned was the predominant WorkType among Community Managers attending JW2014. I laughed out loud when I read the descriptors for my WorkType. It's so "me." At the next JiveWorld, I want to be in a room with other Explorers/Planners. We would get a LOT done!

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

Patty: Seeing connections between unrelated ideas, disparate concepts and different "systems" helps me identify ways to organize information and build relationships. This WorkType is key to building new things and creating new connections, which is what I love about my job.

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

Patty: We launched an internal community in August 2014 for knowledge management, collaboration and communication. In December, we launched a Water Cooler site, EnvestnetConnect, to promote greater connectedness across offices and as a way to preserve our culture as we grow.


JW 2014 Badge.jpg

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

Patty: I use a PC at work. At home, I work with an iPad, and a Dell laptop. 

Leigh: Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Patty: iPhone 5S


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

Patty: Focused.

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

Patty: Twitter, NetFlix, iBooks, TED

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

Patty: My iPad holder, which I have connected to the handles of my road bike so I can "ride" on my trainer and watch "Call the Midwife."


Kitchen Photo.jpg

Leigh: How do you stay organized?

Patty: My mother taught me that "order in the house is order in the mind." I've applied that to work and home. One of my biggest compliments is from a friend who told me that it looks as if no one lives in my house! It's peaceful and serene.

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

Patty: I surround myself with Help documents for users, Jive Software announcements, and good articles about transformative change, like this one. Those inspire me to focus on the needs of our users and keeps the collaborative, positive spirit of "Working Out Loud" top of mind. I also have five cube mates (we're in a row of six) who are supporters of HIVE and provide useful feedback and encouragement. Being around them lifts me up.

Leigh: What do you listen to while you work?

Patty: I listen to the thrum of my colleagues on the phone serving our clients. That provides a wonderful backdrop to my thoughts and is inspiring as well.


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

Patty: Using Amazon to send pre-made care packages to my son. He's a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Leigh: How do you balance work and life?

Patty: I'm very organized, both at work and at home. And, I think putting yourself in new places helps open the mind to new thoughts and ideas. My husband and I went on a bike trip in California wine country in October, 2014 and a change of scenery helps to refresh one's perspective.

Leigh: What's your sleep routine like?

Patty: I love sleep and do it as much as I can.

Leigh: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Patty: I am an EXTROVERT, in all caps. JiveWorld14 was a great way for me to connect with so many people, but I imagine it would be difficult to be an introvert at JW!

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

Patty: "Only connect." This comes from one of my favorite books, Howards End, by E.M. Forster and has resonated with me in the world of work and in my personal life. It's one of the reasons I met the delightful Libby Taylor and how I've met so many wonderful Jive employees and community members. I've learned so much from being a part of this community and I am grateful. 


It was such a pleasure learning more about your workstyle, Patty. Thanks so much for sharing your valuable time with us!

There were so many excellent submissions for the 2014 Jive Awards that we wanted to shout from the rooftops, but we decided to do one better and share these customer stories in our community. The first customer we want to highlight is Pearson, who took home the 2014 Work Better Together Jive Award. What follows profiles Pearson's journey through transformation when their new CEO, John Fallon, took over the company's leadership. Shout out to Kim England and Dina Vekaria for submitting this excellent awards submission!


Collaborative Leadership: How the New Workstyle Is Transforming How Leaders Lead


The tried and true top-down leadership model seems to be evolving much like the workstyles of the average employee. No longer can executives write up an email, click send to the company, and expect change to happen. Employees want to feel engaged in company strategy. They want to have a voice and take an active part in the destiny of their company. At the same time, leaders know things move fast and staying on top of the pulse of company morale and employee productivity gets tougher. Executives are also very aware of the increased demand by employees for transparency.


Creating an open dialogue

What typically happens when a new CEO takes over the reins? He or she begins the process of putting his or her leadership in place and the effects slowly trickle down throughout the company. Transformation is often slow, there is little to no transparency, and new initiatives that hold promise can become muddled because not everyone understands the big picture or how they fit in.


When John Fallon, CEO of Pearson, was handed the baton from former CEO, Marjorie Scardino, at the end of 2012, he wanted to create a dialogue with employees to talk about how he could best lead the company into the future. He began by embracing the company’s Jive employee collaboration solution, known as Neo.

Neo 1.png


Fallon’s vision for Pearson included a company-wide transformation called the Global Education Strategy (GES) to strengthen the company’s position as the world's largest education company. The GES represented the most significant restructure the company had undergone in its 150-year history.

It began with a series of Neo blog posts from Fallon and other executives. From this, company leadership gathered feedback, collected bottom-up content and questions in a collaborative manner, and monitored real-time data about how their messages were being received. The GES space launched on May 23, 2013 and generated a huge amount of interest—40,000 sessions in one day—causing a load issue within the community environment.


Demonstrating transparent leadership

Fallon says that using the company’s employee collaboration solution was not only an efficient and effective way to communicate about the company restructuring but that it also demonstrated transparency.

“Our strategy to use Neo to communicate was to change our culture to one where our leadership is open, transparent. Our next steps are to continue working with the executives and to help the next level down take a similar approach.”

Comments from employees about this approach are overwhelmingly positive:

“I feel valued by the amount of inclusion that is taking place with the new strategies. It's important to know how we are affected in our current positions.”
“The GES space on Neo is a great way to find everything that gets lost sometimes in waves of very long emails.”
“GES space on Neo and org charts-- both helped me to see how everything is going to fit together.”

Continuing collaborative leadership

Neo 2.png

Each member of Pearson’s executive team blogs regularly. Some even add selfies and address topics that are not always connected directly to the day-to-day job of leading the organization. They ask questions, create debate and invite opinion. Executives also want their messages to feature in the trending content around Neo. And since the introduction of Impact Metrics with the upgrade to Jive 7, they even engage in some healthy competition over who is having the biggest impact.


What could have been executed in a traditional top-down manner, GES turned into an opportunity for the whole company to collaborate around a major reorganization. Pearson desired to change their culture to one where their leaders are open, transparent and available and they are well on their way to making this so!

We can't wait to see how they take the next step and work with the executives on the next level down to continue this transformation. We know it will be a success and we're proud of how the Pearson team is working better together in Neo.



Jive's Bright Future

Posted by elisa.steele Employee Feb 10, 2015

I’m honored to address this community with my first post as Jive’s CEO! As many of you know I was a customer for many years before I even came to Jive. When I joined just over a year ago, it was because I loved the product. Now I love the company – and all of our customers – like family.


As CEO, I will use my passion for the company and our customers to support you and drive our business forward. Jive is an innovator in our market and we have a clear vision for how to move forward. We have the right team in place to take Jive to the next stage. And as you would all agree, we have the right products – whether for your internal collaboration or external community needs – to do just that.


Thank you for supporting Jive as all of you do. You continue to invigorate, challenge and inspire us every day. Our commitment to you is to continue to change the world with apps and software that help people connect, communicate and collaborate.  I’m more excited than ever about the direction we are taking Jive and I’m thrilled you are on this journey with us!

In my last post Getting started with Jive for Project Managers, I introduced using Jive as a Project Manager's utility for organizing project collateral, a place for collaborative discussions and planning, and a community for telling the story of a project as it unfolds.


Now we're back and getting our hands a little dirtier.  In this post, I'll discuss setting up our Project using Overview Pages and Activity Pages.


Overview Page

The Overview page is a Jive tool that uses objects called Widgets to present content and information.  Widgets typically contain links to content, display raw information, or are interactive with the user.  The types of Widgets to use on your Overview page will vary depending on the specific needs of the task at hand, but there are a few that I find especially useful regardless of what kind of Project I'm running.


Unanswered Questions

This is probably my all-time favorite Widget.  It gives me a quick snapshot of the open issues affecting my project.  Nothing is as helpful to a PM as quickly seeing the issues that are pending and being able to quickly examine and act on them.

Blog Pic 1.png

Recent Activity Widget

Recent Activity gives me a quick snapshot of what's been going on since I last visited my project, and I can interact with the conversations happening directly from the landing page without having to do the extra legwork of loading each of those discussions in a separate tab.

Featured Content

A must-have for any project.  Content that is 'for everybody' like project plans, issues lists, scope trackers, technical documentation, and test plans should be added to the Project's 'Featured Content' and displayed via the Featured Content Widget.


View Doc

This Widget is extremely flexible.  It simply displays the contents of any Jive Doc specified.  I use this mainly for key personnel rosters, but you will find many things to do with this Widget.  The important thing to remember about the View Doc Widget is: Don't over-do it.  Don't point it at a particularly hairy or complex Doc, just keep it simple.


Featured Places

This Widget is great for pointing users at other key Jive Places relevant to your Project.  For example, let's say that you're running a cross-functional project that is the work of 3 separate teams within your organization.  You could use this Widget to display the team Groups on the Project page, or to give your Project some external context.  You could also link to a Group that is a knowledge base containing helpful resources about the work you are doing.


Recent Blogs

Another one of my favorite Widgets.  This one shows me, in most-recent order, links to Blog Posts that have been published in my project.  Since I use the Project Blog to publish status reports, this implicitly becomes a 'Status Report' Widget.  Stakeholders now have one place to look for a quick, comprehensive history of the Project.



If I'm using categories to manage a large volume of content, then it can be helpful to display the categories I'm using so that people have a visual reference and a quick link to the categorized content.


Upcoming Events

For efforts organized around a tight deadline or key events, an Upcoming Events Widget can be helpful for displaying key dates in the Project.  In order for these to appear in the Widget, you must publish Events into the project.  I strongly recommend that you do not create an Event for every single meeting or activity on the project -- only do it for key dates, otherwise you will have a flood of events that could've just been sent out as calendar hits, and you dilute the significance of the really important Events.  Using Events + the Upcoming Events Widget is all about adding emphasis on very important, non-routine dates.


Activity Page

Activity pages are best for smaller teams, simple projects, or projects where you just want to focus on what's happening right now.  Two-thirds of the layout is focused entirely on Recent Activity and the other one-third is left to you to curate.  The advantage of using an Activity page is that you don't have to worry about curating a lot of content for presentation on the main landing page.  Keeping it simple helps you focus on the critical efforts at hand without a lot of extra setup and curation to slow things down.

Whereas the Overview Page uses Widgets to present information, the Activity Page has an similar tool called Tiles.  Tiles can contain both static and dynamic content. Developers can create custom Tiles to display content from other sites and systems.  Below are some of the Tiles that I consider key when running a Project with an Activity page.

Blog Pic 2.jpg

Upcoming Events

There are two flavors to this Tile; an automatically-populated one, and a manually-populated one.  Manual is definitely simpler because it doesn't require that you create Events in the project to display anything in the Tile, you just give the Tile textual information about events and the dates are displayed on the landing page. Automatic is useful if I have more dates to show, or if I want others to have the ability to add Events to this Tile by creating an Event in the Project.

Helpful Links

This Tile is extremely flexible.  By providing it a hyperlink, title, and a link to an image for a link icon, it displays a list of whatever links I define.  I use this Tile to provide quick links to the Project Blog and Unanswered Questions on the Content tab, or to link to external systems that play a role in my project, such as a test environment, or development tools.

Featured Content

Making an encore is the Featured Content Tile.  This Tile displays items that I add to 'Featured' posted within my Project.  I use this to provide quick links to Project Plans, tracker Docs, contracts, and other important collateral.

Key Content and Places

Key Content and Places is a Tile that can present any content or place within my current Jive instance that I specify.  If there are other Groups, Spaces, or Projects critical to my Project, I can link to them here; likewise, if there is content posted elsewhere that plays a role, I'll link to it here as well.

Featured People

Featured People is a quick, visual way to denote who the key players in my project are.  I use this Tile as my personnel roster.

Activity + Pages

For customers running on Jive Cloud, a third option exists in the group setup called 'Activity + Pages.'  A Place Page is a way for a Place owner to have a blank canvas with which to display information using Tiles instead of Widgets.  When you provision your Project, you can add up to 5 Place Pages to organize your Project collateral to your heart's content.

The advantage to this setup over Overview + Widgets is that Tile Pages are fully responsive on mobile web.  Whereas Overview pages and Widgets are incapable of being rendered at a narrow, mobile width, Tiles were designed with this in mind explicitly from the beginning.  The means that anyone, anywhere can interact with your project in a fully responsive page that retains your community's personality and branding, and the total view of your curated Project collateral is preserved.

For more information about Place Pages, checkout: Sneak Peek: Deep Dive for Place Pages (beta)

Thanks for checking out this post!  In my next post, I'll discuss managing a Jive Project once it is up and running.

Let's hear from you in the comments below

  • How do you like setting up your Project pages? 
  • What are you favorite Widgets and Tiles?
  • Do you have any Widget or Tile 'hacks' you're proud of?
  • Have you developed any custom Tiles, and how are you using them?

Read the next in this blog series: Jive for Project Managers III: Running Your Project

Inevitably I’m asked at a party, “so what do you do?” And my answer of “community manager” never fails to confuse people. Sometimes they respond, “you mean, you run a senior citizen community?” or “you're like a property manager or something, right?”


People never seem to get what I do.

Calling all unicorns


Part project manager, sometimes party planner, temporary hand-holder and erstwhile cheerleader, community managers have a wide mix of skills and areas of knowledge where they must have expertise. See How to write a Community Manager job description for the dizzying array of talents required. It’s nearly impossible to find this list of skills in one person, so hiring for a community can be very difficult. On top of that, experienced CMs are few and far between. I would argue that community managers are the unicorn of the 21st century. So to all of the other unicorns out there I say: "UNITE!"


    Join me on the community management rainbow!


I can say without a doubt that each of us is a rarity in our own company. Very few companies have more than one or two community managers on the entire staff. There's typically no job classification for us and we are often entered as Marketing Specialists or Communications Experts or even IT Managers. But we know the truth because we live and breathe community. Call us what you will... we are COMMUNITY MANAGERS.


It might be slightly dramatic to say that it can be a lonely life (I do love a little drama). At the very least, we must look to each other here in the Jive Community to get our tough questions answered and celebrate our wins because there is most likely no one else at your company that knows the trials and tribulations of 'community' better than you do.


Celebrating you and your communities


In the spirit of Community Manager Appreciation Day, we are celebrating you and your communities! Adam Mertz asked you to share your communities with us and you've responded with rich examples!


An amazing example of community came earlier this week from DIRECTV. Their human resources organization created a video you can see here which is authentic and entertaining while perfectly illustrating the power of community.

  CORE, DIRECTVs Jive instance, brought together their community in ways never before possible!


Other fantastic examples of communities were submitted via screen capture.

I'll highlight a few here but won't share them all because I don't want to steal Adam's thunder when he recognizes all of you with your Starbucks rewards!



   The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas | The Clive community




   LANDesk | External Community


Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 3.52.06 PM.png

    RingTo | RingTo support community



And thank you to everyone who submitted screen captures... we love and appreciate you all!


Have you hugged your community manager today?


At the end of the day, managing a community is an exciting yet exhausting undertaking: meeting new people, constantly putting out fires, running around from group to group, fixing problems on the fly, handing out virtual hugs when needed. Community managers are required to be everywhere at once yet are often behind the scenes moving mountains that look like molehills. I know that when I look into the tired eyes of another community manager, I just KNOW what the other person is thinking.


We do this because we love it.


So to all my brothers and sisters in community, Happy "Unicorn" Day!

    I would've bought you this fabulous greeting card for CMAD day but they were all out of stock.

You might remember Mike Muscato from JiveWorld14. He's a Sr. Developer for Knowledge Management Systems & Social Media Support at T-Mobile and had his photo featured on Vote on the best attendee photo of JiveWorld14!  Since the How I Work interviews were a little scarce on developers, I figured we'd give Mike the spotlight! There's some developer specific questions in the mix below (look for the *).

How I Work - Mike Muscato image.jpg

   Mike at his desk... where the magic happens!


Libby: Where do you work?

Mike Muscato:  I work for the Uncarrier, T-Mobile USA, a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services and CNN’s top tech company of 2014 (US).  I live in the high-desert near Albuquerque, NM but work for our headquarters in Bellevue, WA.  We have an office in Albuquerque where I spend about 60-70% of my time, the rest of the time I work from my home in the mountains about 30 miles outside of ABQ.


LT: How would you describe your current job?

Mike:  By title I’m a Senior Web Developer, but in reality I’m a jack-of-all-trades of sorts.  I started working for T-Mobile when the company was still young as a first-tier customer service agent.  As I grew with the company, I got to participate in many facets of the enterprise including customer service, training, IT, business strategy, and analysis.  Our team manages our Jive communities including large customization efforts, and we also run an independent development shop where we create custom applications, APIs, and middleware to make magic happen.  Right now, in addition to all the standard project management, code geekery, and system administration, I’m working on a project to implement some more formal software development practices and standards within our team.


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

Mike:  I am an Energizer.  The description fits me well; when projects get tough or people get discouraged I tend to take on a project manager-like role and help break things down and establish realistic timelines to make sure the work gets done.  The statement, "You are the go-to-person for getting things  D-O-N-E,” is 100% on point!  I’m a very analytical person, and can almost always come up with solutions even when others have said it’s “impossible."


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

Mike:   Over and over again, I’ve used Jive as my project management headquarters!  Depending on the nature of the project, I’ll use Jive groups to brainstorm and capture requirements, publish wireframes or spec documents, gain approvals, and even map timelines and milestones.  Having all the content in one intuitive location has always been beneficial for me and my project stakeholders.


LT: Did your team have a chance to take the WorkType Finder quiz? Have you all talked about your results?

Mike:   We did, right before JiveWorld14.  We all agreed that the WorkTypes matched our styles closely and were similar to other “personality” type assessments such as DiSC profiles.


LT: What was your favorite part of attending JiveWorld this year?

Mike:  The developer’s keynote was the best for me, it seems like every year’s keynote has one or two little things that turn out to be profound ah-ha moments.  The Git presentation along with some of the other developer sessions really reinforced the desire and need for me and my team to clean up our web development processes.


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

Mike:  We have several Jive communities that we use for pretty much the full spectrum of functions.  We have an internal community primarily used as a knowledge base and discussion forum for our customer service teams, but business groups also use the internal community for collaboration, projects, and other ad-hoc communication needs.  We also have a customer facing support community (support.t-mobile.com) where customers can find information and documentation, or have peer-to-peer discussions.  In addition to these two communities, we also have several other read-only communities that support our sales, retail, and partner brands (e.g. support.gosmartmobile.com).  Whether we’re using Jive as full blown collaborative communication platforms, or as read-only knowledge bases, we’ve always found tons of value in Jive’s ability to customize, tweak, and hack them to fit our mold.  I like Jive because it doesn’t make me rage within 10 seconds like some other systems I use.


   Welcome to T-Mobile Support, one of the sites Mike mentions above.


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

Mike:  I’m an iHole, through and through.  I use a Mac Book Pro with an external monitor, and with the new features in OSX Yosemite my iPad Air 2 and iPhone have become third and fourth monitors in a way.  I also have a PC that I typically use via remote desktop, but only for legacy company tools that require IE, or for testing IE compatibility of my code.


LT: Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Mike:  Which one?  Hahah!  For an all-around, do anything anywhere, rock solid dependable device I’ll have to say my iPhone 6.  Once upon a time, I was a total Android geek – custom ROMs, hackery, etc…  But the stability of the iPhone and its integration ability with the mac won me over.  It may not do everything that 'those other phones' do; but what it does, it does really REALLY well.  I think consistency is the key here.


LT: What’s your favorite programming language?*

Mike:  That’s a hard one to answer.  I have to give credit to good ole’ BASIC on the Commodore-64; without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  In the early 2K years, I was hardcore with ASP/VBscript and it’s still probably my most fluent language.  Hopping forward to the modern languages, I’m partial to C-based languages, though, as they all follow similar conventions.  For customizing Jive, Javascript/jQuery rocks!  JS has become such a powerful language in the last few years, and now with JSON APIs, we can do almost anything with the right client/server relationship.  For the server side stuff, I’m loving PHP right now because it handles things like JSON so cleanly and you don’t have to think hard about the syntax when switching between JS and PHP.


LT: Do you have a favorite editing tool?*

Mike:  Komodo Edit.  It handles syntax highlighting and predictive text pretty well, and I like the easily customizable color themes.


LT: Who’s your developer hero?*

Mike:  A good old friend of mine from high school and college, Jared.  When I was struggling in my C++ class, he took the time to break down the more complicated topics into layman’s terms for me, and even gave me code samples that I was able to adapt to finish my projects successfully.


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

Mike:  “Details"


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

Mike:  Coffee, that’s a tool, right? It seems to ‘light up’ the parts of my brain that solve puzzles.  After that, a good SQL database manager; without it we couldn’t make the custom magic happen.  Lastly, Photoshop for everything from mockups, to custom artwork, to t-shirt designs.


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

Mike:  My rock climbing cams.  Small machines that keep me safe hundreds (or thousands) of feet off the deck.

Mike-profile-image-display.png Mike_ Cams.jpg

  Developing a community can feel like climbing a mountain with your bare hands. Except the real thing is clearly much more dangerous!


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

Mike:  For a long time, it was good old paper and pencil – I used a personal adaptation of the Franklin-Covey method to track notes and deliverables.  This year, though, I’ve been experimenting with Apple’s Reminders app.  Having all my to-do lists and their respective notes synced and available on all my devices has proven to be really handy.


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

Mike:  I spend about 60-70% of my time in the office where I have a large cubicle against a wall of windows (see the picture at the top of the interview), the walls of my desk are decorated with photos of family, drawings from my son, awards and recognition, and nostalgia from the ‘old days’ of cellular phones.  I’m a wee bit cluttered, but overall my desk top is in good order, with a stack of graph paper always at hand for any sketching needs.  At home, I have a dedicated room that my wife and I use for our office.  She works from home full time, so I guess you can say I have a great view any time I’m working from home. When I get tired of looking at her, though, here’s the view from our office window…Yes, it snows in New Mexico!

Mike _WindowView.jpg

   Nice view, right?!


LT: What do you listen to while you work?

Mike:  I’m not much of a music-while-working person.  I’m a bit ADD’ish so music tends to derail my thoughts.  I actually appreciate silence quite a bit and will sometimes put in my headphones just to use as ear plugs to block out the droning chatter of the call center reps.  When I do listen to music, though, I like something fast and energetic – heavy metal and hip-hop are my go-to genres, but I like and can appreciate almost any kind of well composed tunes.


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

Mike:  This one’s a bit of a paradox…but I really like to comment the heck out of my code.  Even though it takes longer initially, when I have to go back months or years later to maintain something it saves me tons of time from having to reverse engineer what I had written previously.  “Future proofing!"


LT: How do you balance work and life?

Mike:  Life and family comes first, period!  My wife, son, and I all have a bunch of extra-curricular activities so I have to put “hard stops” on my work days.  I like to live in the moment and I work in order to have amazing adventures in life – I don’t live-to-work.  T-Mobile has a good culture of work/life balance and respects the boundaries we establish.  Most of the time, the work isn’t *that* critical.


LT: What's your sleep routine like?

Mike:  Not the best.  I get up around 5 am to get ready for work and get my son ready for school.  After work, we usually have some sort of athletic thing or school projects to work on, then dinner, etc… and by the time I’m winding down for the night, it’s 11 pm or later.  Weekends are no exception, but substitute climbing, hiking, or other outdoor things for “work."  Six hours or less of sleep is typical, 7 days a week.


LT: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Mike:  I like to call myself a closet introvert.  At work I’ve trained myself to do what needs to be done and with all the connections I’ve made over the years my work life is really just a huge extension of my introvert ‘bubble.’  I would guess that most of my coworkers would not immediately judge me to be an introvert.  On the other hand, put me in a social situation with strangers and I shut right down, becoming the ‘quiet observer.’


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

Mike:  “Live in the NOW!”  My dad always taught me that what’s happening right now is what’s most important.  Try not to dwell on the past, as those are just memories and there’s nothing we can do to change them.  Don’t stress about the future, because you can only plan so much before it becomes anxiety.

Mike Muscato_NOW profile-image-display.png

   Here's a picture of Mike living-in-the-now with his family. Looks like an adventure!

My great thanks to Mike for coming up with such great answers to these questions. I hope you enjoyed the interview!

Why use Jive for project management?

Jive combines web-based documentation accessible from anywhere with powerful collaborative discussions. It provides a fantastic search tool that makes finding content and conversations incredibly simple.  User profiles contain rich information about skills, experiences, and involvement.  All of these powerful tools make Jive a project manager's best friend.  Your team can create, share, collaborate, and take action on the project in a single, unified project hub.Blog Pic 1.png


At my last company, project collateral was posted in network folders, SharePoint sites, bounced back and forth in OneNote, or kept on people's hard drives, and things were emailed so wildly and blindly that you never really knew how current or accurate any of your documentation was.


On Jive, there is no question about what is the true version because there is only one place to look for the source of truth, and you can easily lookup the version history for any document.  Being able to keep all project collateral in a single place where it can quickly and easily be created, modified and referenced, is a huge advantage.  Having all of your project discussions and collateral open and accessible to the team, e-mail lists and 'reply alls' vanish because your team is connected to what's important.


Jive content is lightweight, easy to author and modify with advanced styling as needed, and is easier to digest than 8.5" x 11" formatted Word documents or verbose e-mail 'reply-all' threads.  The content itself becomes collaborative, with the power to comment, reply, like, and mark with a structured outcome, and share.  With the introduction of Responsive Mobile Web in the Jive Fall 2014 Cloud Release, the same rich documentation and discussion content you view on desktop can be seen on our most personal computers: our smartphones.


With all of these factors in play, Jive doesn't just connect people to content from anywhere; it connects them to each other.  The alignment and clarity teams get by using Jive enables them to work better together.


Setting up your project

Checkout this description of Jive Projects from Jive Places Overview:

Projects can have unique page layouts just as Groups and Spaces can, but the similarities stop there. Projects are required to be nested within a Space or a Group, cannot have unique permissions associated with them, and have no management console. They inherit all permissions and visibility from whatever Space or Group they are attached to. These are best used for short, time-based projects, or helping increase focus of certain discussions; e.g. Marketing Ops has a specific Campaign with multiple types of documents and discussions and calendars. This allows a neater level of drill-down than keeping content and discussions at the space level.

Where should I create my project?

The simplest thing to do is to create a Jive Group as the parent Place for your Project.  The Group should have a descriptive name that clearly identifies what the Project(s) within that Group are all about.  The Group has it's own landing page and content separate from the content that will live in the child Project.  I typically layout these Groups as a simple landing page for the various Projects that fall into that program, and I encourage people not to post Project-related content in the parent Group.  The parent Group could serve an over-arching purpose, such as the master container for an entire program of projects, or for a particular team that work together executing projects; It's up to you to determine an information hierarchy that makes the most sense.  Just remember that your project doesn't have it's owner permissions -- it inherits the permissioning of the parent Place.


The more accessible a Project is, the easier it is for me to solicit help cross-functionally, as well as keep my colleagues informed about the day-to-day happenings of the project and share the deliverables and lessons learned with others.  That's why I generally advise to start with an open project, on only make the Project private or secret when it's necessary to do so.


If you're using a Space as the parent container for your Project, choose one that is accessible to all of the users that will need access to the project discussions and content (you may need to work with your Community Manager to determine where the best place to put your Project will be if you are in need of tight, system admin-controlled permissioning).  If the Space you're using has already been provisioned and the layouts for that Space are already serving another specific purpose, consult with your Community Manager or the owner of that Space to determine how best your project could be displayed on that Space landing page.


Activity vs. Overview page

Beginning with the advent of Purposeful Places, Jive offers Place owners the choice of using lighter-weight Activity-driven landing pages for their Place pages, or using more elaborate widgetized Overview pages.


Two factors weigh in on whether I use and Activity page or an Overview page: 1) Team size, and 2) Content complexity.


I prefer to err on the side of Activity pages, since they're lighter and available on Responsive Mobile Web, and I only use an Overview page when I know that my project needs a more curated presentation.  If I'm working with a team of a dozen or less, and I only need to provide some links to a few important docs, events, featured content, or trackers, then I use and Activity page.  If I'm working with a larger team, or if I need to present lots of information on the landing page, Overview is more suited to the task.


Content Types

Along with permissions, Projects also inherit the content types that are configured on the parent Place.  Determining what kind of content types to have available in your Project is all about deciding what 'Work am I going to do within Jive?'  Here's how I use the following content types within my projects:



Jive Docs are the repositories for some of my most important project collateral.  These could be anything you would use a Doc for, from meeting notes to configuration guides or technical walkthroughs to project charters or resource trackers and everything else in between.  They're collaborative, meaning by default anybody within the Project can author and update Docs, comment on Docs, and take Action or apply Structured Outcomes to Docs.



Discussions become the replacement for e-mail lists in team communication.  They're used to discuss open issues, provide updates to the team, and solicit help from others.


By marking a Discussion as a Question, then the conversation transforms and it's purpose becomes finding a resolution.  People who participate in the discussion can indicate when other people's replies are helpful towards achieving and answer, and once that answer has been posted to the discussion, either the Project owner or the person who started the discussion can mark their answer as Correct.  Once marked, the Correct Answer is displayed immediately following the original Question.  This means that somebody else navigating to this thread to learn about the issue doesn't have to dig through a miles-long reply-all jumble of e-mail land alphabet soup to try to piece together the context of what happened and what the answer is-- They can just look at the answer, right there in front of them.



Whether or not your Project has a Blog depends on two things: 1) Are Blogs enabled on the parent Place, and 2) Are Blogs enabled in the Project settings?  Once both of those are true, you get a Blog container that displays all of your Project Blog posts at company.community.com/myprojecturl/blog.


I use Blog posts for regular status reports.  Why use a Blog Post for a status report?  Couldn't I just use a Doc?  Well, yes, I could.  But there is something much more organic about a 'Blog.'  Docs store information, but Blogs tell stories.  While a status report requires important information be passed along to the customer, it's also a chance to remind everybody that there are human beings on the other end of the phone, telling the story of their work.


There are functional advantages to using a Blog, too.  In Jive, it's possible to follow just a Place's Blog without following the entire Place.  This is extremely useful for stakeholders and executives who want to receive regular updates about projects, but don't necessarily need updates on every piece of project collateral.  They can follow just the status report Blog in order to focus only on what matters to them: the story of the project unfolding.



Lots of teams use personal calendars for finding the time to collaborate.  Adding Events in Jive shouldn't be thought of as a replacement for personal calendars, but a way to augment the personal calendar with key events that take on a visible identity within the context of a project.  For example, when running software projects, I don't create an Event for every single meeting the team has, but I do create Events for key activities like a major due date or a production deployment.  Creating the Event in Jive allows people to add it to their personal calendars, as well as participate in the collaborative discussion within the Project, where it is visible to everybody and on the forefront of everybody's minds, which can maintain alignment amongst team members.



Categories are useful in projects that may contain a lot of content.  If you have discussions, open issues, technical documentation, meeting notes, slide decks, contracts, and many other sorts of content in the same Project, then it can be especially helpful for those trying to look up that content later to have an extra tool to look for that content.  Categories, however, require a great deal of discipline.  You cannot just create categories willy-nilly and expect everybody to always use them, or always categorize things correctly.  Categories require ongoing curation by the Project Manager to ensure all of the content in a Project is organized properly.


Thanks for checking out this post!  I'll be following up with a post that dives into using Activity and Overview pages to lay out your project.

Read the next post in this series: Jive for Project Managers II: Setting up the Project landing page

What is the Snuggle Express?

The Oregon Humane Society has a creative fundraising effort where groups that raise $1000 get an hour of puppies and kittens delivered to their locations for supervised cuddling! What's not to love about that idea?


A group of Jivers heard about this effort and got together to bring the Snuggle Express to Jive. We raised over $1000 for the Oregon Humane Society in a matter of hours. Seeing how quickly we were able to raise this amount of money, we felt that we should try and do the same thing one more time.  This time however, the Snuggle Express would make its way to an under represented school in Portland. And did Jivers ever deliver. Special shout out goes to Jiver Josh Leckbee for contributing a significant dollar amount to make this happen. 


Well done, Josh, well done.


The school that was chosen to receive the Snuggle Express was a SUN Community School | Multnomah County  in outer SE Portland called Cherry Park. Never one to turn down a snuggle, Liz Savage went there on Jive's behalf to hang out and see the lucky kids interacting with the same insanely cute kittens and puppies we had here at our Jive office. Judging by the smiles on their faces and the gleams in their eyes - they really appreciated it too.





In case these pictures aren't enough, here's one more shot to bring the holiday puppy spirit to your souls.




Feels good doesn't it?


Happy holidays, everyone!

As we enter the holiday season, my thoughts are focused on spending time with my family. I look forward to watching holiday movies like ELF (you're going to need to watch this clip because it will make you happy). ELF is one of my favorites because of Will Farrell's infectious childlike joy...

Then there's the Holiday Inn where my kids and I enjoy the song-and-dance while seriously discussing the nuances of historical context in some of the questionable scenes. Before we watch White Christmas, we enjoy preparing a sandwich to put on the mantle. What, you don't do this? Those actors look hungry, for reals. And don't even get me started on the Harry Potter marathons. I. Am. So. Excited.

I also have a tradition of baking with my daughter and nieces and letting flour coat the kitchen like a dusting of snow on the mountains. It's a beautiful sight and likely the only snow we'll get in our part of California!


   The baking babies in action: my nieces Hannah and Nina and my daughter Lucy.


At the end of the day, we light a fire, collect candles on the table and shine the light of the holiday spirit on everyone we see and everything we do. <sniff>


Community is the ultimate family

For many of us, our family extends far beyond the people to which we are actually related. We have aunties that are not really aunts, sisters that are best friends and neighbors that we've adopted. Some of us have coworkers that are closer to us that some of our own family members.

It's in that sense of family that community takes its shape. People are bound together by common values, goals and tasks whether it's a family, a church, a tribe or even an online community. (See what I did right there? Yeah, that happened.) That's where you all come in!

I might be going out on a limb (or maybe I drank a little too much of the holiday spirit) but I think that the Jive community is a family. I've never before met an unrelated group of people so bound together by passion for a topic or quest for community goals. I mean, JiveWorld is PROOF.


   Look at this tribe of Jive Community members at JiveWorld14! Holla in the comments if you see yourself here.


I believe that in the heart of each community manager is this burning drive to bring people together -- to make an even bigger and better virtual group hug. It's what makes us special.

Warm feelings for my Jive Community family

I want each and every one of you reading this to know how much I appreciate you being here. I appreciate you writing your posts and commenting on other's posts. I appreciate each question that you answer and every piece of spam that you flag for moderation. I am extremely grateful every time you volunteer to run a group or host a discussion. For being involved and present, you have my unending thanks.

This virtual place that we call the Jive Community is REAL. It is real because behind every avatar there is a person. YOU. You might be sitting at a desk, on a sofa or even at a dining room table. You might be located in Los Angeles, London or maybe even Lisbon. You could be working from a coffee shop, hanging out in the home office or posting from a train travelling 70 miles an hour down the tracks. Regardless of where you are, you are also HERE and we are working better together because of it.

Each and every one of us plays a critical role in this family and I rely on you to make this place alive: to light the fires, to help me bake the cookies, to bring presents for the orphans and to laugh at all the "really funny parts" with me.

I might be getting a little emotional, I've already been accused of it today, and the sappy holiday music I have piped into my headphones isn't making me less sappy.

It's like this at my desk...

Regardless, I'm going to say it and here it is: I need you. Jive needs you. We need all of you here making a difference in the Jive Community.

And in case you are feeling extra generous and would like to do even more in the new year, please let me know. We all want this place to be the best community it can be. To not only be a place to get questions answered but to be the community that reigns over all communities. Because that's who we are together!

We are the leaders, the movers and shakers of community. Believe it and bring it. Together, we are the people running some of the most vibrant and powerful online communities in the World! That's freaking amazing people!

My holiday wishes for you

Please accept my heartfelt wishes for a Happy Holiday however you choose to celebrate. May your days and nights be filled with warmth, giving, togetherness and good memories. Now, give me a group HUG!

I first met Keeley Sorokti when she agreed to be a speaker for Boot Camp at JiveWorld14. I loved her boundless energy and her approachable personality. Get to know Keeley better by reading the interview below!


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Libby: Where do you work?


Keeley: I work at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois for the Masters in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program and am also an alumna of the program. MSLOC is a professional masters program focused on advancing organizations through the power of people. Our students are professionals from a diverse set of industries and job roles with a common motivation: transforming their thinking about organizational change. We prepare graduates to operate effectively in any environment on strategic change, organizational culture, learning and performance. You can live anywhere in the U.S. and be a student in our program so we leverage technology, including Jive, to facilitate building a strong network of students, faculty, alumni and staff who learn together. We study enterprise social networking platforms like Jive in our Creating and Sharing Knowledge class led by my colleague Jeff Merrell -- participate in the open part of the class by following the #msloc430 hashtag on twitter. It kicks off in January and March every year.


We are thrilled that two Jive community members are now students in our program. Nikki Bussard joined us in September and Tracy Maurer will start in March 2015.

Check us out on Twitter: @NU_MSLOC

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Fern Tham, full-time student and MSLOC Community Management Graduate Assistant, was excited to get some JiveWorld swag.

LT: How would you describe your current job?

Keeley: I wear several hats:

  1. I create our constantly evolving learning and community technology strategy. This includes being the Jive community strategist (with my thought partner Jeff Merrell), community manager (with help from graduate assistants Fern Tham and Michelle Campbell) and technical admin. I never know which box to check when Jive asks what my role is.
  2. I advise our faculty (mostly adjuncts who are senior learning and organizational change professionals) on how to leverage technology to create engaging learning experiences and become comfortable with social collaboration tools.
  3. I manage our social media external community strategy by connecting people, content and ideas around topics we study. This includes being the editor of the MSLOC Knowledge Lens and running our various social media accounts. Come learn with us -- #msloc
  4. Other duties as assigned -- I won't bore you with the details.


I just participated in Working Out Loud week after being inspired by the Working Out Loud JiveWorld14 session with Dennis Pearce, John Stepper and Bryce Williams. To see a week in the work life of Keeley check out: Working Out Loud Week - 2014 (with images, tweets) · sorokti · Storify


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

I came out as an Explorer/Planner but I would guess that many people would classify me as a Connector or a Producer. I am usually hard to pin down with these kinds of assessments. When I took the MBTI my only clear preference is J. When I graduated from the MSLOC program my colleagues gave me this Wordle that gives you a sense of who I am (on my good days).


My favorite is Uber-Mom.


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

Keeley: I definitely have to see the forest and the trees since I wear so many hats. The combination of exploring and planning helps me co-create the strategy with the MSLOC leadership team and then execute as well. As a planner, I am often the one who is able to see how making one little design change in our community will have a ripple effect into other areas so I can help to prevent confusion for our users before we roll out a change. My downfall is that I do like to explore and plan but have to remind myself to operate the systems once they are created (or remember to delegate). I tend to want to move onto the next big thing.

LT: Did your team have a chance to take the WorkType Finder quiz? Have you all talked about your results?

Keeley: So I have to admit that I haven't shared WorkType with my team. I work with several PhDs who I know will be a bit skeptical and will wonder what peer-reviewed research the WorkType Finder is based on. See this discussion for more background on this: I don't get it. I plan to share WorkType with my team and our students soon as our community uses many assessments. More to follow from the ivory tower soon.


LT: What was your favorite part of attending JiveWorld this year?

Keeley: Spending a week without packing any lunches for my 1st and 4th grade boys and enjoying a freshly made bed every night was a huge treat. But on a more serious note, my favorite part of JiveWorld was meeting so many interesting and inspiring people. I caught up with fellow Chicagoans Ted Hopton and Christina Zurcher at the party on Thursday night where we toasted to the fact that the Chicago User Group is a holocracy -- maybe being in Vegas with Zappos nearby inspired us.


I set out to find fellow learning, change management and knowledge management enthusiasts this year at JiveWorld and succeeded. I can’t thank Frank Pathyil of Jive enough for asking me to share the MSLOC learning and development use case during JiveWorld14 Social Business Boot Camp. This kicked off many other connections throughout the conference and has led to a rejuvenation of the Learning group within the Jive Community.


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

Keeley: Our internal Jive Cloud social learning community, called The Hive (which I now realize after attending JiveWorld is a very common community name), provides an online space where students, staff, alumni and faculty learn, collaborate and geek out about topics of interest, both inside and outside of class groups. While we still do use the Northwestern learning management system for a few things such as grading, we have mostly moved over to Jive for teaching and learning. There are currently 220 users with plans for adding about 200 more sometime in the next year or two when we bring in all of our alumni. I didn't realize it at the time but we were one of the first cloud customers when we implemented back in 2012.

AERA-The Hive.png


Jive has enabled students, alumni and faculty to connect and learn together no matter where they live. We see many benefits to using technology that our students and faculty may use at work rather than typical higher education tools. We want our students to become social leaders in their own organizations and are providing a safe space for them to improve their digital literacy skills.


Read more about how we use Jive: MSLOC Breaks New Ground with Jive Social Collaboration Technology


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

Keeley: I use a MacBook Air for work but have PCs at home. I admit that I'm a bit biased towards PCs but have grown accustomed to my Mac, especially Shift + command + 4 for screen captures. I just wish that Apple would make their features a bit more transparent (why hide the usb drive under the keyboard?) and not create a new adapter and power cord for every new model they develop.


LT: How about your mobile device?

Keeley: I'm an android gal. I live in Google Drive and Calendar and like the easy integration with Google. Plus T-Mobile gave me an HTC Android for free several years ago so it was an easy choice -- couldn't beat the price. I now use a Samsung S3.


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

Keeley: Juggler


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


  1. Evernote. I wish I had used it when I was going through graduate school for taking notes and storing readings (not sure it existed back in 2009). I wear so many hats both at work and home and Evernote serves as an external hard drive for my brain. I must admit that it looks a bit like my car with a lot of random stuff thrown in there (who has time to make it to the post office to mail that package that has been in my trunk for weeks?). My go-to note in Evernote is called General Work List where I have my list of to-dos. I love that I can access Evernote from all my devices.
  2. Twitter. I connect, learn and share on Twitter. It has done wonders to help me develop a personal learning network. The serendipity that happens there is amazing. Connect with me: @sorokti


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

Keeley: My french press. Nothing better than my morning cup of coffee.


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

Keeley: In addition to Evernote, I depend on Google Calendars for everything. People actually get a little overwhelmed when they see my Google Calendars because I have a calendar (each in a different color) for each of my two boys, our babysitter, my husband has one and several from work.

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They all combine into a color-coded mass of rectangles that make perfect sense to me but others find overwhelming. If it isn't on the Google calendar it doesn't exist in our family.


LT: What you surround yourself with is important, what's your workspace like?

Keeley: I consider my office my laptop which enables me to get into the cloud where I really do my work. In my physical office at Northwestern, I have pictures of my boys and some of their artwork on a bulletin board, thank you notes people have sent me, my framed MSLOC diploma, books from graduate school and others I've picked up along the way, a huge monitor and a white board. I sit next to a big window with a view out to a heavily trafficked walkway on campus where I often see prospective students and parents walking by on their campus tours.

Keeley at work under 2mb.jpg

You won't find fresh cut flowers out very often and I don't always have a place for everything like Jessica de la Torre. It's not that I don't appreciate beautiful, well-organized spaces -- I just don't usually spend my time creating them.


LT: What do you listen to while you work?

Keeley: I don't listen to anything while I'm in my office at Northwestern other than the chatter of the graduate assistants who sit outside my office. When I'm working from home I often listen to Pandora in the background, usually solo piano.


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

Keeley: Print out hard copies of things I need to read (or download them into Evernote or Instapaper) and read at basketball, gymnastics and soccer practices.


LT: How do you balance work and life?

Keeley: This topic is a personal passion of mine (probably because I'm not the best at it). I studied how part-time and full-time working parents manage boundaries between work and home for my masters research. I prefer to frame this as work-family integration, or work-life floating, as my colleague Kimberly Scott wrote about on her blog. I tend to move back and forth between the personal and professional parts of my life in order to be able to attend to both as needed. I work from home on Wednesdays which has helped in so many ways. It reduces two hours of commuting and I can pick up my boys from school which they love. Once I get them settled and doing homework I'm back to my work, then drop off at soccer practice and make dinner. Then I'll do a little more work once they go down to bed. Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week.


Shakespeare Garden Tweet.png

Another thing I do in order to help me stay afloat is to recognize when I need to step away from work to breathe for a few minutes. The perfect place for reflection on campus is the Shakespeare Garden.


LT: What's your sleep routine like?

Keeley: I'm a night owl but am working on changing that because I definitely don't get enough sleep. I treasure my quiet time after the boys go to bed. My natural sleep hours are midnight or 1am to 8 or 9am (if I don't have the alarm set) which I can't follow during the week because I have to get up at 6:15am. I often end up catching up on sleep on Sundays now that my boys are older.


LT: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Keeley: I am an ambivert. When I took the MBTI Myers-Briggs assessment, I landed right in the middle with no clear preference for introversion or extraversion. I often am one of the last ones to stay at a social event, especially if I am involved in a deep conversation about topics of interest. Networking and meeting new people usually energizes me. However, I do need alone time and am very happy by myself for long periods of time (I would prefer to work from home two to three days a week if I could).


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

Keeley: After a particularly difficult team meeting, Beth Black, an MSLOC colleague, helped me learn that 'good enough' is better than perfect (as if there is such a thing). I have (mostly) come to embrace 'good enough' as a philosophy which has helped me temper my inner perfectionist and learn how to iterate and get feedback along the way. In fact, 'good enough' can often lead to excellence because it allows you to move more quickly and not get hung up on all the minutia. One of my favorite teachers and now colleague, Dorie Blesoff, shared with me years ago that she recommends learning how to become an excellentist, which feels more empowering and energizing.


Keeley Sorokti, thank you so much for this amazing interview! It's so great to hear how you work best. It sounds like we have a lot in common!

Please let us know in the comments below what you resonated with or ask any questions you have for Keeley!



Imagine a darkened theater at JiveWorld. Main stage is in front of you and the entire room is empty. You're sitting and waiting for the dress rehearsals to get started when someone walks up and sits next to you and sighs. That's how I met Jessica de la Torre of Bluegreen Vacations. Waiting for the dress rehearsals to start, we talked about how exhausted we were from all of the JiveWorld events and how it would be nice to just sit and relax for a while. We even created out own term for what we ended up doing while waiting: relaxatalking. It was nice. You should try it sometime.


Let's get on with Jessica's interview!


How I Work - Jessica image.jpg


Libby: Where do you work?

Jessica: I work for Bluegreen Vacations. Bluegreen, founded in 1966, is a leader in the vacation ownership industry with over 175,000 owners and more than 60 Bluegreen resorts in over 40 vacation destinations across the U.S. and Caribbean. Our common goal as team of 5,100 associates is to share happiness with our guests, owners, fellow associates and communities. We are headquartered in sunny Boca Raton, FL - you can't beat it!


Libby: How would you describe your current job?

Jessica: Quite happily, I wear two major hats at Bluegreen - Marketing Manager and Internal Community Manager. As the Marketing Manager of Bluegreen's Retail Marketing department, I support the marketing, advertising and point-of-sale materials and elements for the department's 600+ associates in over 91 sales locations across the country. Most everyone in the Jive Customer Community is no stranger to the wildly diverse day-to-day of an Internal Community Manager - I take great pride in my role and feel very fortunate to be a part of something so special within Bluegreen.


Libby: How do you use Jive?

Jessica: We use Jive specifically for our Retail Marketing department of over 600 associates. Since our sales teams are so scattered across the country, pre-Jive they worked in very siloed environments. Moreover, 80% of our sales associates don't have company email addresses so there was really no way to communicate with them in a real-time way. With our Jive community now, we focus on sales enablement, motivating for sales, knowledge support, training and better communication overall. Since launching our community in January 2014, we have seen our adoption rate hang out at around 80% (I won't be fully satisfied until we hit 100%) - it has truly shown us that our department was craving access to each other and information to work better.


Libby: And you won the Jive Engaging Employees Award at JiveWorld14 (see Announcing the 2014 Jive Award Winners!). Congratulations! How does that feel?

Jessica: Beyond proud! As a team, we accomplished an incredible feat this year - creating a space for our sales associates across the country to connect, communicate and collaborate with their colleagues was a significant concept for our department. Together, we have found new and better ways to work and accomplish more - it has been an amazing journey so far, I can't wait to see what happens next!



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

Jessica: Real talk, I nerded out over the WorkTypes - I can never get enough of learning about how myself and others work, behave and think. I am a proud Optimizer/Producer - as someone who is quite the stickler for structure (I weirdly love rules) and efficiency (procrastination is not my jam), I think those WorkTypes suit me perfectly.


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

Jessica: In an internal community of sales associates who are likely mostly Explorers and Energizers, I'm most definitely outnumbered. I like to think that I help balance out our team's overall WorkType. Being given the opportunity to create structure for new department challenges and opportunities and help the sales teams to accomplish impressive goals delights me to no end.


Libby: Did your team have a chance to take the WorkType Finder quiz? Have you all talked about your results?

Jessica: Some results have started trickling in, but I'm determined to brainstorm a strategy for our entire community to learn from the WorkType styles. Being able to understand how we work and how our fellow associates work can only help us to work better together.


Libby: What was your favorite part of attending JiveWorld this year?

Jessica: I can only assume that's like asking me to pick a favorite child - impossible. More than anything, I appreciate the conversations that everyone is able to participate in - whether it be an official breakout session, an off-hand conversation, attending keynotes, regional dinners - these communication opportunities with each other are priceless in terms of knowledge-sharing (and relaxatalking!). Being a part of JiveWorld this year breathed new life into me.


Libby: Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

Jessica: Much to the chagrin of many, I'm a happy PC user (desktop at the office and laptop at home). I've been told by countless die-hard Apple fans that I'm going to Apple hell.

Libby: Haha! I'm told that all the time as well.


Libby: How about your mobile device?

Jessica: My sentencing to Apple hell most always gets upgraded to Apple purgatory once those Apple fans learn that I own an iPhone 5S.

The structure of the folders and apps appeals to me.



Libby: Pick one word that best describes how you work:

Jessica: Organizationally-effective.


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

Jessica: On a daily basis, I use apps that keep me efficient - the Bank of America app that allows me to deposit a check in between meetings, the Starbucks app which allows me to flash my phone to pay rather than hunt for my elusive wallet in my purse and the Calendars5 app which beautifully aggregates my numerous calendars and schedules into one place - these are all apps that I just would not want to be without.


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

Jessica: It's a toss-up between my KitchenAid Mixer and my stove (which is really an appliance, so I guess the mixer wins). I find myself at peace when I'm cooking - preparing meals for my friends and family gives me a lot of joy. On second thought, my electric wine bottle opener trumps the mixer and the stove!


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

Jessica: I write everything down - electronically or in my Moleskine. I have four lists at any given moment - strategy goals, daily projects, delegated projects and Microsoft Outlook tasks. Crossing things off a list makes me smile big time.


Libby: What you surround yourself with is important, what's your workspace like?

Jessica: I am the complete opposite of a hoarder, my desk is spotless as all office supplies, desk accessories, pens, etc have their place in drawers. I do, however, allow myself to indulge in some fun tchotchkes above the desk cabinets! Having a tidy workspace allows me the mental freedom to work smarter.



Libby: What do you listen to while you work?

Jessica: My Pandora stations vary from Billy Joel to Disney to Pitbull, what I jam out to depends on the mood of the day! I also love this great one-man-band from Croatia - his song makes you get up and boogie.


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

Jessica: I may sound crazy, but I turn off all notifications on my phone (except for actual phone calls and text messages). Not seeing those glaring red circles on apps every few seconds permits my brain to focus on work or whatever is at hand. I have truly seen my time free up for more work (or even relaxation!) after turning off app notifications.


Libby: How do you balance work and life?

Jessica: Coincidentally, I just read a fascinating article about work-life balance. Not your typical article about daily balance, but more a law of averages. This is what I try to do myself - work my tush off to get work done (no matter the hours), then truly appreciate the weekend and turn off work.  Prioritization, delegation and allowing yourself kudos for even the small things are a huge part of creating a smart work-life balance. I'm definitely no expert, but I try every day.


Libby: What's your sleep routine like?

Jessica: Sleep and I have a love/hate relationship. We've been seeing our counselor, Melatonin, for quite some time and are starting to come to a peaceful middle ground.


Libby: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Jessica: Ambivert. Introversion and extroversion have to do with how we recharge our brains, so I'm a bit of both. I tend to recharge after long conferences by spending time alone, but sometimes also find myself needing time around people.


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

Jessica: 'Always do your best.' My amazing parents, Leo and Dolores, have always said that to me since I can remember. All they have ever asked of me is to do my best as a person with regard to family, friends, school, business and life in general. I hold those words very near and dear each day.


Libby: Fill in the blank. I'd love to see _______ answer these same questions.

Jessica: Christina Zurcher - I met her at JiveWorld this year and I think she has amazing insights not only on business, but life as well.

My great thanks to Jessica de la Torre for her responses to this interview!


Cross-posting to : WorkType(TM)

Just in case you thought there would be a lack of fun after JiveWorld, I can reassure you that fun is indeed a corporate value at Jive and we plan to keep it coming!


To brighten up your Monday morning, I have a special treat for you.


Jared Smith-Mickelson is a VP in Jive's engineering department. When he's not working to make Jive more amazing, he's sharpening his secret superhero powers as a fabulous poet and up-and-coming rapper.


Jared tells us why he came up with this poem, "The next time I'm at a cocktail party and someone asks me what is Jive?, I'm going to tell them this."


Makes perfect sense to me.


Watch Jared's passionate rendition of his Jive Cocktail Poem:


Living Jive

Posted by elisa.steele Employee Nov 4, 2014

It seems like just yesterday we were together at JiveWorld. It was the high point of my time at Jive to meet so many of you and engage in meaningful discussions about our collective journey to help the world work better together.


When we developed the communications plan for today’s leadership evolution announcement, you our Jive Community were at the top of our priority list. We announced that Tony Zingale is retiring as CEO of Jive and taking on a new role as Executive Chairman. We also announced that I am assuming the role of President at Jive, and am working together with Bill Lanfri, who has served on Jive’s board for over 6 years, in the newly formed Office of the CEO.


I want to share some context on these changes and answer questions you may have. After all, it is because of you and our hard-working Jivers that we enjoy a leadership position in a dynamic and growing market.


Although I joined Jive just under a year ago, I feel like I have worked for Jive for much longer! Many of you know that I was an early customer in 2007 and I was instantly hooked. Years later, I find myself at Jive with great passion and motivation to drive the business forward. I have worked very closely with Tony since I joined and he's been a great mentor and boss. Tony is an incredibly impactful leader whose competitiveness, vision and ability to connect with people have helped Jive become the market-changing company it is today. I am very pleased that I am continuing to work with him in his expanded role as Executive Chairman.


We are on a journey to help the world work better together, and you are an invaluable success factor in that mission. I am confident that the changes at Jive will help us accomplish – and hopefully exceed – our goals. You may be wondering how these changes will impact you. It is important for you to understand that Jive’s vision remains the same – to enable the world to do great work. We are going to continue delivering the same winning experiences as always, growing our ~1,000-strong customer base and 30M user base and moving forward with our intense focus on mutual success. We’ve just announced solid Q3 results and saw a record amount of new business coming from the cloud. Wall Street is expecting us to close $175M+ in revenue this year and we’ve already closed three-quarters of a billion dollars in business since we started Jive. We are on a trajectory and are driving hard to continue enabling the world to connect, communicate and collaborate.


I want to thank you again for your business and participation in the community. I so enjoy connecting with you in the various forums we have throughout the year – here in the Jive Community, in our user groups, at JiveWorld, at our Partner Summit and through our Champions and Executive Advisory Board sessions.


If you have comments or questions, please share them here in the community or contact me directly: elisa.steele@jivesoftware.com


I had the great pleasure of meeting Crystalee Beck for the first time at JiveWorld14 after she won the Jive Workstyle Award! In case you missed the big news, you can check it out here: Announcing the 2014 Jive Award Winners!


Let's get on with the interview!


Libby: Where do you work?

Crystalee: I work at MarketStar, a subsidiary of Omnicom. We do outsourced sales and marketing for some of the world's biggest brands. As a global company with offices in many locations, we are headquartered in the charming mountain town of Ogden, Utah, 40 minutes north of Salt Lake City.


LT: How would you describe your current job?

Crystalee: I'm MarketStar's (first ever!) Social Community Manager and oversee our Jive-powered social intranets, MarketStar Connect and Connect with Create. Like any community manager, I keep several plates spinning at all times. I consult with departments and executives on engagement strategies, drive content for our home page, coordinate our Steering Committee, guide the vision for our product road map, host our monthly Team Champ trainings; basically, managing and supporting all things Connect. Internal communication intrigues me – I love the power of connecting people through strategic, FUN engagement. (Perhaps it’s the student government girl in me coming out?) A wordsmith at heart, I serve as the editor of our internal magazine, and get to be part of some really neat committees.

How I Work - Crystalee Small image.jpg


Libby: And you won the Jive Workstyle Award at JiveWorld14! Congratulations! How does that feel?

Crystalee: Incredible! The highlight of my community management experience thus far, it felt surreal to be on Main Stage at JiveWorld, participate in the "human collaboration machine" and receive the award on behalf of MarketStar. I can't claim the award alone - it belongs to our whole community, and I'm thankful for those who took the time to vote for our video. A special thank you to ultra-creative Paul Siddoway who filmed and painstakingly edited our video entry and my supportive boss, Adam Gunn who encouraged us to enter the Workstyle contest in the first place.

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

Crystalee: Yes, I took the WorkType quiz at JiveWorld the first day, and proudly wore my ENERGIZER tag throughout the conference.

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

Crystalee: As described in the quiz results, Energizers are the "go-to people for achieving the impossible." I think this reflects two areas that matter a lot to me professionally: getting things done and uniting people for a cause. Nothing happens without a catalyst and I like to think I stir the pot for our community.

LT: Did your team have a chance to take the WorkType Finder quiz? Have you all talked about your results?

Crystalee: Those who attended JiveWorld took the quiz, and we had a few Explorers in our midst, which accurately reflects their idea-hashing talents.


LT: What was your favorite part of attending JiveWorld this year?

Crystalee: What wasn't to love about JiveWorld 2014!? Well, I do have one recommendation for the development team: Perhaps the all-knowing JiveWorld app could include a cloning machine? Then I could have attended more sessions simultaneously, spent time with the running and yoga groups at the same time (instead of one day of each), and had the omnipresent ability to meet every single attendee. Also, while I raved on Twitter about the OK GO concert, Syyn Labs' wicked cool video presentations, and soon-to-be-released updates from Jive, the best part of the JiveWorld really is the amazing people. I gain so much from interacting with other community-minded professionals. It's inspiring to see how passionate and creative others are with their communities. It energizes me, and renews my desire to improve our company's communities.


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

Crystalee: Both! We have internal communities (two of them, with almost 3,000 employees between them), and a Connect+ product, which our clients use. For Connect+, we’ve partnered with Jive to create a really compelling way for brands to connect (pun intended) with sales associates through trainings, gamification, and more. Our Connect+ platform also helps partners drive sales. (Readers: Let me know if you’re interested in learning more and I’ll get you in touch with our award-winning Connect+ team.)


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

Crystalee: While I love the sleekness of Apple, I’m quite dedicated to an Android ecosystem. Irony: I'm holding a Mac in my profile picture. It's not mine.


LT: How about your mobile device?

Crystalee: Despite my interest in technology and communication, I’m not an early adopter, and don’t mind user older editions. I use a Samsung Galaxy S3. Works for me!


LT: Pick one word that best describes how you work:

Crystalee: Hummingbird-esque: I find myself flitting between many things.



   Hummingbirds are tiny acrobatic geniuses. Go Crystalee!


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

Crystalee: Like Aimee McCuen in a previous interview, I’m quite dependent on my Outlook email for work. I’m also a bit obsessed with the Snipping Tool, which I use every day to capture/share happenings on MarketStar Connect.


In my personal life, I love and rely on the Mint app. It’s free financial software from Intuit. To me, Mint gamifies saving and spending by keeping track and spitting out personalized spending reports. I make it a game to keep our “total assets” number as high as possible. (My husband laughs at how I’ll get excited if I have dollar bills to spend, because “Mint won’t know” I spent them.)


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

Crystalee: Besides my smartphone? Eh…not really. #NewMom: I’m now living a life of “baby gadgets.”


Crystalee with baby_lores.jpg

   What a cute little Jiver-in-training!


LT: Congrats on your baby! As a new mom, I know it can be challenging, so how do you stay organized? What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Crystalee: I’ll admit it: I’m quite old school when it comes to time management. I’ve tried a few different “task trackers,” but always end up going back to my basics. I write out 10 “Goals of the Week” on Mondays, which include my bigger items to accomplish. Then I have detail-focused lists for each day. I physically write them out, and find more satisfaction in manually crossing things off than deleting them from a document.


LT: What you surround yourself with is important, what's your workspace like?

Crystalee: Ever since being a flight attendant, I’ve kept a large map at my desk. It used to be a United States map, as I would plot out my next state to see. When I made it to all 50 states at age 25, I upgraded to a world map. I’m an adventuring soul, and this way it feels the whole world is (literally) within my reach. I keep books (especially my AP Style Guide) at arm’s length, and hang up company awards and mementos I’m proud of – like the “Grand Opening Day” poster for MarketStar Connect from last summer. Of course, my baby girl has a nice framed picture, and my husband gets a shout out in our heart-studded wedding photo (don't laugh!)


Crystalee Beck_Comm Mgr_edit.jpg

   See Crystalee in action at her desk in MarketStar's WorkStyle video: Workstyle Award Entry: MarketStar


LT: What do you listen to while you work?

Crystalee: I get a kick out of listening to my co-workers chatterings. Right next to me are some of the smartest (and most pop culture savvy) people I’ve met. Whether it’s debating a Star Wars movie, or discussing the importance of Legos, I’m constantly being educated by proximity. My most-oft-visited Pandora station: “Film Score Radio.” I concentrate best with epic instrumental themes, sans the distraction of lyrics.


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

Crystalee: I lead a walkable life, living a mere four blocks from my office. I know not everyone can do that, but I give myself back an hour (or more) every day by skipping a long commute. Trick to share? I could kiss the person who invented the Crock Pot! Set it and forget it, baby, and make enough to have a couple lunches during the work week.


LT: How do you balance work and life?

Crystalee: Isn’t that the constant question? Aren’t we all figuring that one out? I’m a new mom, with a crawling eight-month-old. (Watch out, world!) Since she’s my new priority, I do my best to really leave work at work. Sometimes I leave the office later than planned, but I make an effort to keep my weekends and evening dedicated to family time.


Crystalee for facebook.PNG


LT: What's your sleep routine like?

Crystalee: Well, now that little lady sleeps so consistently through the night (can I get a hallelujah!?), I’m fortunate to get a good 7-8 hours a night. Generally go to bed about 10:30 p.m. and wake up about 6:30 a.m. to workout.


LT: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Crystalee: Extrovert. I was voted “Friendliest” of my high school senior class, and still get a serious kick out of meeting new people. While I love our online community, face-to-face time really can’t be duplicated  – if you’re reading this and going to JiveWorld, say hello!


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

Crystalee: “Enjoy it while it lasts.” I wrote a blog post about how a mentor of mine at MarketStar said this to me, just when I needed to hear it. When I truly live that phrase, and focus on the positives, I’m happy. After all, I’ll never pass by this way again, and want to leave a helpful wake in my path. Thank you for having me, Libby!


Crystalee, it was my pleasure!

My great thanks to Crystalee Beck  for her responses to this interview!

If you were able to attend JiveWorld then you've already heard the big news!


For those of you who haven't heard, we recognized some of our super-star customers for their ability to help employees, partners, and customer connect, communication and collaborate.


We're proud that this year's Jive Awards received the greatest number of submissions in the program's six-year history.


Join me in congratulating the 2014 Jive Award winners!


Workstyle Award

Making its debut this year, this award category asked community managers to submit 90-second videos showcasing inspirational tales stories from their community

  • Winner: MarketStar. A pioneer in outsourced sales and marketing, MarketStar’s 3,500 employees manage more than 80,000 commercial accounts across over 60 countries. MarketStar’s winning video entry showcased how non-believers became believers as they witnessed how office Post-it® notes and inefficiencies vanished and employees embraced one others’ workstyles to work better with colleagues and provide better service to their customers.  The winning video from MarketStar can be viewed here: Workstyle Award Entry: MarketStar


Work Better Together Award

  • Winner: Pearson. Over the last two years, this 150-year-old learning solutions provider underwent significant change – appointing a new CEO and executing a complex organizational transformation that impacted 40,000 employees across 80 countries. Building on its early success with Jive, Pearson leveraged its internal community as the vehicle to help the new executive team conduct effective top-down communications while ensuring transparent peer-to-peer dialogue. As a result, employee engagement jumped to more than 88 percent and the entire company became strategically aligned as employees embraced a more collaborative approach to work better together even during a period of tremendous change.


Engaging Customers Award

In today’s competitive business environment, building customer loyalty and retaining customers is the lifeblood of any business. This award recognizes companies that have built customer service and support communities solutions using Jive to significantly increase customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Co-winner: ADP. Recognized as one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies and a pioneer in human capital management (HCM) and business process outsourcing, ADP serves more than 610,000 clients in 100 countries.  ADP’s JiveX-enabled, peer-based customer support community, The Bridge, has improved ADP’s client member engagement by an impressive 1,622 percent in one year.  ADP’s community members have higher satisfaction scores demonstrating the community’s positive impact on driving client loyalty and retention.

  • Co-winner: FireEye. A leading innovator in cyber intelligence and protection, FireEye uses the JiveX external community platform to deliver mission-critical cyber intelligence updates to customers, while also providing a forum for peer-to-peer customer support and free security resources to the public. This multi-faceted community has deepened FireEye’s relationships with customers, lowered support costs and provided a new way to provide a paid for service – furthering its competitive advantage.


Engaging Employees Award

It’s well known that highly engaged  levels of employees engagement directly correlate to strong business results. This award recognizes customers that have deployed Jive to achieve cross-departmental collaboration, efficiency improvements, problem solving and innovative approaches to driving further internal adoption alignment.

  • Winner: Bluegreen Vacations. The 60-plus resort vacation ownership company aspires to ‘share happiness’ by ensuring quality vacations for its 175,000 owners. To further this mission, Bluegreen unified hundreds of individual sales associates into one cohesive team via a sales community built on the Jive platform. Associates can now connect with one other and share sales best practices in real time, as well as connect with Bluegreen’s corporate team. And as a result, the company achieved a significant 12 percent increase in revenue.


Transforming Business Award

This award honors businesses that have mastered the use of Jive across all key communities constituents -- employee, customer and partner --– building an integrated community to fundamentally improve the way business gets done.

  • Winner: FICO. Market pioneer and analytics software leader FICO deployed Jive’s enterprise communication and collaboration platform across 3,000 employees to help transform its culture from one of proprietary thinking to more open communications. Within four months of its launch of FICO Analytics Cloud, FICO’s Jive deployment reached 97 percent adoption. FICO has also implemented a JiveX external community platform to underpin a new customer support community for their SaaS product FICO Analytic Cloud, and has already tripled engagement in less than two months.

Extend Jive Award

This award recognizes organizations that developed their own solutions by leveraging Jive’s API and integration frameworks to bring new capabilities to the platform that deliver real results by redefining how work gets done.

  • Winner: MarketStar. This innovative commercial-oriented sales organization used the JiveX community platform as the foundation of its unique mobile app for clients’ retail store associates. With its custom app, MarketStar gathered valuable market intelligence for multiple clients, and the solution to engage and train over 120,000 influencers. As a result, the loyalty and training solution have helped MarketStar clients achieve a 20-percent uplift in their sales, while increasing brand engagement and awareness.

    Embedded image permalink

Nominations for the annual Jive Awards program are submitted by customers and Jive Community members. A panel of judges comprised of industry thought leaders, previous award winners and Jive senior leadership selected the award winners and finalists, with the exception of the community choice Workstyle award. For this category, judges selected the top five videos and the entire Jive community voted to select the final winner.


For more information on the awards, please visit https://jiveworld.jivesoftware.com/jive-awards/

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