Skip navigation

Change is a constant feature in our lives. In both the professional and private sphere, it’s important to be able to adapt, welcome new things, make mistakes, and learn from them. I always ask myself the question: Why is change so important for us and why do we need change? I can’t and wouldn’t want to attempt to answer this question in its entirety, as there are so many facets that one could write entire volumes of books on the subject. Instead, I will focus solely on the topic of business culture.

Let’s begin by saying that cultural development in general – and a business’s cultural development in particular – is never complete. Anyone who entertains the idea that the process of change can be complete and thus believes it to be so is setting themselves up for failure. Change is a living process that never ends. It’s like music – music is never simply “done;” it continues to evolve, as it should, in various directions. It’s important to keep one eye on the future as we carry out our daily work in order to anticipate risks, develop measures to counter these risks, and introduce these measures as early as possible. This may sound like an impossible task – and I admit it’s a very difficult one – but it nevertheless applies, to a greater or lesser extent, to each and every one of us.

So let’s return to the initial question. I want to try to answer this question by introducing you to the hugely inspiring book “Who moved my cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. This allegorical tale focuses on four characters and their different ways of dealing with change. Sniff and Scurry are two mice who set off to hunt for cheese together after discovering that Cheese Station C has run out. They were prepared for this task as they had already noticed the dwindling supplies and knew that they would inevitably have to find more cheese one day. The other two characters are Hem and Haw – two little people who are very surprised when they find Cheese Station C empty. Initially, Hem and Haw are both angry and annoyed. Even in this desperate situation, Hem stubbornly dismisses Haw’s suggestion to go in search of new cheese. He is too firmly stuck in his routine and is scared of the unknown. Meanwhile, Haw decides to take his chances and enters the maze to find new cheese. Is he successful? What happens to Hem?! You can find out by reading the book or watching the film: Who moved my Cheese The Movie by Dr Spencer Johnson.


The story of your company features far more than four characters – and each one of them is likely to respond to change in a different way. There are people like Haw, who are afraid of change initially but are likely to come around once they’ve had time to think and understand why it’s necessary. But you will also have characters like Hem, who are not willing to change at all. These people require even more time and attention. Thankfully, there will also be people like Sniff and Scurry, who are always ready and willing to change. Now it’s up to you: Do you understand the need for change? Do you know your organization and all its various stakeholders? Are you aware that the change management process can take months, years or even decades? And most importantly: Do you and the people in your organization accept the fact that change is necessary for personal development? If so, you’re on the right track – keep it up!


About the author

Patrick graduated with a master’s degree in business informatics at the beginning of 2013 and then spent a half-year-long stint working as a social business consultant at a large digital solutions agency in the UK. He has returned to Berlin to strengthen the Pokeshot///SMZ team as a Junior Consultant for Social Business Strategy.


Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

Have you already read Christian Müllers article The Learning JEDI vs. the “Bogan”?

We think working in the L&D sector often feels exactly like you are fighting against windmills. Müller is describing that working in the L&D market focused on workplace integrated digital learning, he sometimes feels like a JEDI. He needs all his power to avoid companies to have their employees and partners be torn to the “dark side of the force”, or as it is called “Bogan” in Wookieepedia.

He also writes: “The dark side of the force in L&D is for instance represented by the “let us do training and teach employees like it was done in school”. The addiction and hanging on to traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS) with the focus on “managing training and resources” is another way I feel the dark force negatively influences the performance. It is top-down and enforced most of the time and plans to “clone” employees to match job profile, just like the Galactic Empire cloning warriors. Talking about clones: Most of standard eLearnings are built to be done by clones and their effect on real individual humans is close to zero and the “likes” are often below zero.”

Read the whole article here.


Christian Müller then initiated a group on LinkedIn and Xing which is called “The Learning J.E.D.I.” where everyoe is invited to “Just Engaging Development Ideas” to help each other benefit from the “light side of the force”.

I his group description he writes “As learning in the workplace continuously changes, strongly depends on learning from each other and learning by doing. “The Learning J.E.D.I.” believe in fun, interactive, impactful and also, where needed, disruptive ideas and performance driving methods to make the daily work more effective and less stressful.”


So, join the Learning Rebels and fight “the dark side of the force” in the “Galaxy of Learning Stagnation” and exchange “rebellish” ideas!

Join the LinkedIn Group   VISIT GROUP



Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

For any organization-wide initiative that requires the integration of new technologies we all know that in order to secure budgetary approval there is at the very least a requirement to estimate the return on investment (ROI). When it comes to social business solutions, aka enterprise social networks (ESN), ROI calculations can be challenging. According to Laurence Lock Lee: “The business rhetoric around ‘show me the ROI’ on collaboration is problematic. Few of us work in jobs that have a direct and measurable cost/benefit result.”

What then can IT and business leaders look to when evaluating the dollars and sense associated with technology initiatives, especially those that have the potential to significantly transform how organizations work? In this posting we will suggest several approaches that can be used to assess progress toward the so-called digital workplace. As you review them we ask that you consider the following guidance from The Community Roundtable, the leading community management organization, when referring to their ROI calculator that is described below: “[L]ike any ROI model, it is best used as a piece of strategy development and discussion, not just as an output.”


6 Stages of Digital Workplace Maturity
“To me, a successful digital workplace is one that helps us get jobs done.” So begins Mr. Lee’s May, 2017 article “The 6 Stages of Digital Workplace Maturity.” Recognizing of course that as-is this outcome is hard to measure, Lee goes on to summarize several stages in the evolution of a digital workplace and the suggested criteria/data points that can be used to evaluate progress.


StageMeasure AMeasure B
Social MediaRate of Adoption (Active users)Content created & consumed
Social NetworkingNetwork ConnectionsPublic vs Private communication
Job FulfillmentProblem solving (answered questions)Innovation (ideation)


Success Measures
Jive Software, a leading provider of ESN solutions, suggests a success model that also uses three categories. While there is clearly some alignment with Lee’s approach, Jive has already built in the analytics / reporting functions to give community managers and other stakeholders easy access to the specific measures noted below. (Further insights are of course possible via integrations with third-party CRM, BPM, BI, etc. solutions.)


StageMeasure AMeasure B
VitalityAdoption (active/participating/contributing users)Quantity of content (by type)
Perceived ValueContent (average daily views/likes/responses/revisions/creates)Questions (with responses/with helpful answers/with correct answers)
Business ImpactKPIs from operational functions (direct use of social business tools for customer service, sales/marketing, product development, etc.)


ROI Calculator
The Community Roundtable (TheCR), an essential resource for any social business-related initiative, approaches ROI from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Similar to what Mr. Lee and Jive outline in their progressive, stage-based methods, The Community Roundtable has developed a comprehensive series of research-based models and frameworks. For example, their Community Maturity Model shown below, takes a holistic view of the successful evolution of an ESN.


In addition, they have developed a ROI Calculator that focuses on two specific data points – metrics that both Jive and Lee also include – in order to evaluate success. According to their website:

“The premise of TheCR’s ROI Calculator is that almost all communities rely on dialog and the asking and answering of questions. As such, if you can determine the value of those answers, you can capture the lion’s share of community value – and calculate ROI.”


Regardless of the size or scope of your organization’s social business initiative, it is clear from these three approaches that success is not accidental. Creating an enterprise social network is an evolutionary process that involves accounting for the incremental steps forward towards the larger goal of a digital workplace, an environment where the tools that are invested in meet the needs of those getting work done.

What success measures will you use / are you using in your organization?


About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

I guess the one advantage of having no WiFi on the long train journey from Dresden to Berlin (thank you, Deutsche Bahn) is that it gives you plenty of time to think.

I first explained this model in a blog entry that I wrote some two years ago on the way back from Learntec. At that time, it was virtually an unknown concept. Fortunately, however, attitudes towards learning in the workplace have changed. I have recently been hearing more and more of this model being brought into the learning environment, and the first customers have already asked us for assistance. So I think it’s time to delve a little deeper into the topic: What is the 70:20:10 model and how can SmarterPath help me to implement it?




Creating an intelligent learning path in SmarterPath is simple, and allows you to incorporate all possible types of learning content: documents, videos, quizzes, SCORMS, etc. Linked together, this content forms a “smarter path” that can be used for in-house training purposes in areas such as quality assurance, compliance, or fire safety. You can also integrate blended learning elements such as live trainings (ILTs).

So what sets it apart from other applications? SmarterPath isn’t the sort of app that floats around outside the employees’ familiar working environment. It is fully integrated into popular enterprise social networks such as Microsoft Office 365 and Jive, so that users searching for information find a pre-prepared collection (keyword: content upcycling) of information and knowledge compiled into a compact smarter path. It is precisely this integration that sets SmarterPath apart and allows it to support both the 20% and the 70% of the learning model.



To be able to learn from others, employees must first know that these people exist. This involves establishing a network of experts. To help achieve this, SmarterPath also allows intelligent pathways to be assigned to people and places: “This is your trainer,” “This is a place you can exchange ideas with your team,” “This is your supervisor,” “This is the expert on topic X,” etc.

  • SmarterPath enables discussions and collaborations on content and topics that employees can continue and develop further even after the training session itself has ended. The opportunity to share ideas about the pathways enables employees to gain new input from other perspectives.

Have you thought about user-generated content (UGC)? My colleague Linda Werner recently wrote a very interesting blog article on this topic. She explains that the creation of UGC is not confined to specific departments. Thanks to the simple usability of SmarterPath (select the content, create an intelligent pathway), every employee can, in principle, create content. Each and every member of staff is capable of building smarter paths and sharing these paths with their colleagues. Learning through others – it’s as simple as that!



SmarterPath provides everyone in the community with the opportunity to learn from first-hand experience. Its intelligent learning pathways can be integrated wherever there is a need for information – links can be inserted into documents, blog entries, and group discussions, and discussions can be created on each individual pathway. The paths can also feature various calls-to action (CTAs), ranging from live training sessions to “Complete this” or “Do that” tasks. Embedded in the community itself, SmarterPath accompanies the learner from the initial information through to the independent implementation of training activities. Most people find the distinction between the 70%, 20%, and 10% a fluid one, as in principle learning from others also involves personal experience.


SmarterPath is particularly good when it comes to presenting new employees with training scenarios (onboarding) – whether they are new to a particular tool (e.g. Microsoft Office 365) or have just joined the company and would require a great deal of time and resources to be trained up if it weren’t for SmarterPath. With these first intelligent learning pathways, you acquire all the knowledge you need, find the right contact partner, exchange ideas, and gain your first experiences – this is the SmarterPath solution!



But don’t forget that SmarterPath alone is not enough! A use case such as this should be well thought through. An independent onboarding community can help in this regard, as can involving training instructors as moderators of this group. Otherwise, the only advice I can give you is: give it a go! Your employees’ knowledge is right there in their minds. Create your own intelligent pathways or take the content created by your employees and compile this into smarter paths (content upcycling). Learning has no limits, and neither does SmarterPath.


About the author:

Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and has served for more than two years as Chief Product Officer for all products.


Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

Pokeshot CPO Sandra Brückner talks to Reinhard Heggemann von „Das Wissensmanagement“ about how to extract and make visible the knowledge that is stored in the minds of employees, about the role of corporate communications, and about implementing the “Learner as Creator” concept. This interview ties in with Sandra’s previous article on the four steps of content upcycling.


Sandra Brückner:

I saw on your website that you talk about the six steps to successful knowledge management. Could you briefly summarize these steps and what they involve?

Reinhard Heggemann:

The first step for those who want to introduce or initiate knowledge management within a company is to continuously ask yourself the fundamental question: What am I aiming for and what knowledge do I need to get there? This applies both at the company level and at a personal level. Everyone should always ask themselves: What am I aiming for, what are my goals, and what do I need to know in order to achieve them? Otherwise, the knowledge transfer and knowledge management processes won’t have a clear target. That is the first step.

The second step is to ask yourself: What knowledge already exists within the company and its employees? What knowledge do I, myself, possess? As Heinrich von Pierer of Siemens once said: “If Siemens only knew just how much Siemens knows, it would have a bigger bottom line.”

The third step consists of structuring this knowledge. At this point I want to distinguish between two important categories: knowledge that can be described, and that which is less easy to describe. There is a huge amount of knowledge held by employees that is hard to relate to others. Try explaining to someone the process of riding a bike, for example. It’s really difficult. It is important to realize from the outset that most people won’t even try to share the kind of knowledge that they find difficult to describe.

That brings us already to the fourth step, which is sharing and passing on knowledge, and the fifth step, which is growing and developing new company knowledge. This new knowledge can sometimes come from the company or the employees themselves by addressing the question: What do I want to know, or what do we need to know? This is the biggest challenge: generating knowledge and retaining that knowledge. But, generally speaking, I can use co-creation and other methods to produce new knowledge within my team.

The sixth step is knowledge maintenance. It is important to continuously reflect on which knowledge is still relevant, on what you still need, and on how you can integrate accumulated knowledge into competence development. So this means constantly introducing learning tidbits – little bite-sized learning modules – in a separate sphere to the classic staff development activities like seminars and workshops. They certainly have their place, but it is equally important to enable the knowledge that has originated within the company itself to flow back into company processes. That is the only way to achieve a truly holistic approach to knowledge management. And these are also the conditions that I believe constitute successful knowledge management.


Reinhard Heggemann: Six steps to successful knowledge management





Sandra Brückner: We developed a similar model at Pokeshot that we call  Content Upcycling. This involves processing the knowledge that exists in the minds of employees into intelligent learning pathways. You talk about “making knowledge visible” – what do you take that to mean?

Reinhard Heggemann: Here, again, I see two levels. One is the level of company knowledge: Who in the company knows what? Who are the knowledge carriers and what knowledge do they have? Then there is the personal level: What knowledge do I have? And employees have to be brought in on this. Every employee needs to ask themselves: What knowledge does my day-to-day work require and what do I use? If employees go through their entire working day, they will realize that there is a huge amount of knowledge involved in their day-to-day tasks that they weren’t even aware of before. This is the hidden and valuable knowledge contained within the minds of a company’s employees.


Sandra Brückner: “The content upcycling process”


Sandra Brückner: What can companies do? Are there methods they can employ to make this knowledge visible?

Reinhard Heggemann: Yes. First of all, as I already mentioned, they can look at the company from top to bottom and ask themselves: Who knows what? This question can also be geared toward business processes: What knowledge is contained within each business process? In sales and marketing, for example, you will usually find the process “identifying customer needs.” So here I first need to find out what knowledge exists within my sales team: How do they figure out what the customer wants? What methods do they use? And so on. I can use this approach to analyze every process within the company and combine these analyses to form a knowledge map.

When it comes to individual knowledge, I already mentioned one method: Employees have to ask themselves what they already know. They need to examine their working processes and go over these steps – perhaps with other colleagues.

The next point relates to structure. Is this knowledge actually relevant? Here I can start with each individual and expand it to the whole company. Then the company should ask itself: Has this knowledge already been documented? Can it in fact be documented and formalized or not? If not, it should still be noted down and shared. This is how I can make employee knowledge and, thus, the knowledge of the entire company visible. It’s a challenge, but it works.


Sandra Brückner: Speaking of challenges, what are the greatest challenges involved in getting knowledge out of employees’ heads and making it visible?

Reinhard Heggemann: The company or management team can’t just say, “We’re now doing knowledge management,” and get everyone to enter their knowledge into some kind of system. That’s not how it works. It’s been tried many times in the past and it has always failed. I frequently notice in kick-off workshops that people need time and space when it comes to knowledge management. This means that I, as a company, have to give people this time in order for knowledge to be transferred. That is an investment, but it pays off.

The second point is transparency, which is becoming an increasingly important topic for employees. They want to know: What actually happens to the knowledge that I give to others? What are other people sharing? What do I get out of it, and what do others get out of it? And this transparency is also expected from management – employees want to see the management team employ an equally open approach to knowledge sharing. There has to be a general culture of openness.

Thirdly, I recognize time and again that there is a need for tolerance toward mistakes. Mistakes must be accepted and openly acknowledged. Mistakes are a positive thing. Everyone should be allowed to make mistakes and not only have them excused, but in fact be appreciated. Many employees shy away from sharing their knowledge with others for fear of making mistakes. Appreciative corporate communications are extremely important, therefore, when it comes to encouraging employees to pass on their own knowledge to others. It’s a psychological issue: “I’m not going to share anything if I don’t feel appreciated.”

So these are some of the challenges that I frequently encounter in kick-off workshops in terms of what employees want. I also often notice that, even if these approaches exist in theory in the company rulebook, it is not necessarily the experience of the employees – both on a small and larger scale. So this needs to start actually being felt, otherwise no one is going to have the motivation to share their knowledge.


Sandra Brückner: Okay. In terms of the progress of companies and perhaps even industries, how far along are they when it comes to making knowledge visible? Also with regard to supporting the learners, as you were just saying, through trust, transparency, and creating structures. What progress has been made in this respect? Particularly here in Germany.

Reinhard Heggemann: There’s an entire spectrum that ranges from very far along to not even at the starting line – by which I mean the company culture has zero interest in sharing knowledge or even make it visible in the first place. So it’s very, very varied.


Sandra Brückner: Are these differences attributable to company size or particular industries? Or are you saying that it is completely open?

Reinhard Heggemann: It’s completely open. There are some mid-sized companies with a corporate culture that is very strongly committed to the concept, and without which they would never have got to where they are today. Even if they are perhaps organized in a very patriarchal way. If the boss’s door is always open to employees, a great deal can be achieved. With large companies, you will find more knowledge management systems already in place. Although I just recently spoke with an employee at a large corporation who said, “We’re doing absolutely nothing on that front.” Quite the opposite. So you really can’t attribute the differences to specific sectors. It’s very varied.


Sandra Brückner: One last question: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Learner as Creator”?

Reinhard Heggemann: I think that’s the really exciting part. For me, that is the essence of the whole thing. Because this is the element that closes the circle within a learning organization – by which I mean the process of discovering knowledge within a company and then passing it on to others in the form of little knowledge bites. These could be in the form of short learning modules, perhaps a simple PowerPoint, or a micro article written up after a meeting. These are all ways that a company can close the circle of knowledge growth and pass the knowledge extracted from certain employees on to others. If I have knowledge I want to pass on, it has to first be created, it has to be given a form. That also means not simply distributing documents, but to pass on the very essence of these documents and also to reflect on it personally. That is an important aspect of knowledge transfer. It’s not about what I happen to think is really interesting right now, but what do others need and what could others really use in their work. What would benefit them. And it’s about using this perspective to create new knowledge within the company.


Sandra Brückner: Thank you very much, Reinhard, for taking the time to talk to us about this topic.

Reinhard Heggemann: My pleasure, thank you for asking me. It is always great to be able to pass on my knowledge.




Reinhard Heggemann has worked as a business consultant and concept developer for knowledge management and e-learning for 13 years. He develops solutions that make the know-how and process knowledge behind a company’s day-to-day work visible, structured, and available to all employees. His methods can be used to expand and maintain company knowledge through strategic competence development.


Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and has served for more than two years as Chief Product Officer for all products.


Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

In a recent webinar delivered by Brandon Hall – The Impact of Digital Learning on Strategy – one of the talking points had to do with the evolving role of the learning professional in today’s tech-enabled workplace. Rather than replacing trainers and facilitators, the online tools that enable things like real-time communication, global collaboration or blended learning actually provide an opportunity for expanding learning and development’s (L&D) role. For example, in addition to instructional design, system administration, coaching, etc., functions such as community managementand content curation are the kinds of things learning and development (L&D) could be involved in when an organization integrates Office 365 or Jive.

This, in combination with the fact that implementations of SmarterPath do not always originate with the L&D team, got me thinking about my own experience where the strategic value of human resources was a frequent topic at professional conferences, in publications and in those all-important “shop talk” sessions with team members. Described using the “seat at the table” phrase, it was this seemingly achievable goal we had to either earn or be given the opportunity by our organization’s leadership to align learning outcomes with business strategy.

If your experience is anything like mine your business acumen has evolved along with your pursuit of this so-called “seat at the table.” For example, you probably track learning hours by modality, by program, by employee, etc. This activity-/utilization-based data is then used to determine the cost of learning on a per unit basis. We analyze these data points because the more we have a handle on the numbers the more likely we are to at least be part of the conversation.

A “seat at the table” also seemed to imply that the organization believed that so many core operational functions rely on robust and relevant learning. Ask any salesperson and he’ll tell you product knowledge is at the top of the list when it comes to what’s needed for success. Ask any new employee and she’ll tell you knowing what to do and who/what’s available to help you get the job done are key to demonstrating value quickly. Ask any product development leader and she’ll tell you innovation comes from an elusive combination of in-house wisdom and real-world insights.

My point with these examples is how clearly they show that learning couldn’t be any closer to performance. Learning enables performance. Learning is the catalyst for getting work done and achieving outcomes. Learning done is performance. It is this clear connection between learning and work that provides L&D with the opportunity to reshape its role. How do we do that? One way is by implementing social technologies. By capitalizing on L&D’s central position within the organization, we can advocate for social and blended learning. It’s a universal, enterprise-wide use case that transcends all departments and for me it was:

  • the catalyst for implementing Jive at a $1B education services provider,
  • a driver behind a 50-plus percent increase in net new users in less than a year, and
  • an integral part of increasing and sustained adoption of the new technology.

Social learning? Training? Human Resources? I get it. These are probably not the first things that come to mind when you think about implementing new technologies, ensuring adoption or generating ROI. That’s the point. While it’s easily overlooked, employee know-how matters to all levels of any organization, no matter what industry it’s in. In the knowledge economy, when it comes to leadership development or compliance training or on-boarding – and everything in between – there’s a direct connection between learning and performance. Because of these far-reaching impacts, L&D can provide both the initial and on-going justification for investing in collaborative technologies.

Pull out that chair and take a seat at the table. It’s time.

Note: previous blog posts related to this topic include Community with a Capital C and Four Steps of Content Up-cycling.


About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

Our in-house example of user-generated learning content has attracted great interest at recent events and discussions on change and knowledge management. Therefore I’d like to share with you the story of how we implemented the Learner as Creator concept at Pokeshot. The following example ties in with our last blog article about possible change measures that can lead to a successful implementation of the concept.




Pokeshot is a small company with 27 full-time employees. Because of our size we have no one who is specifically in charge of staff development, nor do we have the financial means to hire an outside company to produce sophisticated training programs for our products and processes. In addition, our core business is in constant change and demands that we acquire knowledge and facilitate learning in a highly dynamic and flexible way. By the time this current knowledge is gathered together by various experts in the company, prepared by a third-party and then made available to all our employees in the form of a professional training, it is already outdated.


Transforming workshop results into a Learning Path

A few months ago, two of our colleagues conducted a workshop with an external consultant. The workshop’s aim was to define key industries and messages for our product SmarterPath. It was extremely important for all employees to be made aware of the results that came out of this workshop, so as to ensure that consistent language is used when communicating with existing and future clients – across all channels. The two workshop participants therefore decided to approach one of our social learning consultants, who helped them compile all the important results from the workshop into a compact learning path in SmarterPath.

Workshops such as these cost money – because of both the external resources and the time they require. Our CEO was therefore also eager for the results to be made available to whole team and utilized in as profitable a way as possible. To ensure beneficial output, he asked all employees to take 30 minutes of their time over the following two weeks to complete the specially created “Smarter Path”. Friendly reminders were given over the course of those two weeks via various in-house channels.

The Smarter Path began with a task that unexpectedly prompted a very interesting discussion among our in-house community (Jive). In retrospect, the insights gained from this discussion is extremely important, as the product was discussed from many different perspectives – including that of developers, consultants, and other positions.




The last challenge on the path was an optional exercise: “Partner up with another colleague to create a video pitch using the key messages that have been identified.” The employees were given six weeks to complete the challenge and were even offered extra incentive in the form of a €50 voucher of their choice per team for all those who participated. You can watch some of the video pitches here. And the winning video is featured below:





What our team is saying

Stephan, CEO:

“I am really amazed by the useful output we gained from participants. The time they invested in this project has definitely already paid off.”

Sandra, CPO:

“I personally believe that the long-term sharing of knowledge is extremely worthwhile. I was really happy to see how the others engaged with the workshop results and what they learned from it.”

Julia, CMO:

“In the future I can compile learning pathways on interesting and current topics myself, even though I am not an instructional designer. This exercise, together with other internally created paths, provide the perfect blueprint.”

I wanted to use this example to demonstrate how SmarterPath projects can cover all aspects of the 70:20:10 model. The workshop participants, video creators, and path participants all learned through their own experiences (70%). Access to the workshop results and the opportunity for lively discussion also resulted in participants learning from others (20%). With this best practice, we therefore closely linked the 70% and 20% with the 10% of structured learning (the specially created path). If you now imagine how this approach could be used to reach hundreds of employees across an entire organization, with optimal speed and minimal effort, the impact is substantially greater.


About the author

Linda joined Pokeshot GmbH in March 2016 as a consultant for social collaboration and learning management. Her primary responsibility is the product management of our award-winning social learning solution SmarterPath.






Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!


The Enterprise Business Collaboration conference (EBC for short) took place this year September 18-19 at Stadtbad Oderberger in Berlin- that’s right- attendees sat directly above a swimming pool. (Stadtbad means Public Swimming Hall in German) The swimming hall originally opened in 1902 and has since been renovated to include a retractable floor above the pool, so conferences and other events can take place in the grand hall. The location suited the theme of changing technology in age old businesses.



Attendees from mid-size to enterprise corporations gathered to discuss social collaboration. Day One kicked off with conference chair Dr. Michal Tsur, Co-Founder, President & CMO at Kaltura Inc., who shared some insightful comparisons between previous years and this year’s EBC.

  •    Titles have changed from including technology and tools used, to ones reflecting values- a strong sign that organisations are updating their views on those working with social collaboration tools.
  •    In the past the conference focused on the why’s of social collaboration, but now so many companies have started their digitisation journeys that they can share their how’s with experiences and best practices.

All of the conference attendees agree that social collaboration and the tools that enable it are of great value, but how do you convince major decision makers in your company? Christian Heraty, Senior Consultant, Infocentric / Switzerland advised avoiding what he calls “the ROI trap,” ROI is sometimes falsely focused on cash, but it is actually about value.  One way to help decision makers see this is to ask, “Would your employees miss the intranet if it was turned off?” Would you miss your desk if you came to work and it wasn’t there?  Though the intranet isn’t physical, you probably wouldn’t be able to work without it. And of course one should always remember what the decision makers are interested in, after all they have a lot of the same problems as everybody else. So, keep your deck to 6 slides or less because everyone values their time.


Employees are continuously bombarded with tools like Sharepoint, Yammer, etc- which application do they use first, and how do they use it?Federico Casalegno Ph.D. Founder & Director at MIT Design Lab set the future scene in which services will live in an ecosystem of connectivity from day 1.  Take for example a Tesla car: the owner has an app on their smartphone which they can use to turn on the car, and ask it to pull out of the garage. Of course the garage door needs to be opened first, so the owner can purchase an add-on for the app that communicates with the garage. What does this have to do with social collaboration?  In a modern working environment tools should work harmoniously like the Tesla and the garage door.  The real ins and outs of several softwares working together simultaneously should be cleaned up and offered in a simple and clear interface. If we dream a little harder, employees would only need to sign on once, the oh so enviable SSO.Volker Mueller-Lausus, Vice President Workplace Services Telekom IT, Deutsche Telekom AG is working towards this dream for a multi-global company. Volker enables productivity by supporting digitization through a modern and mobile service portfolio. Though Telekom is streamlining their services, and using more functionalities from Office 365, Volker takes aBest of Breed approach on Telekom’s vendor strategy.  He looks for vendors that offer high quality of service, integrate with other services, and allow SSO (single sign-on) authentication.


Once an intranet or social collaboration tool like ((Jive or Sharepoint/link both))  is established, you’ll have to work even harder to achieve a high adoption rate. At the “How to Handle Adoption and Embedding of New Collaboration Tooling” Round Table lead by Paul Leemans, Global head of Collaboration, ASML Netherlands BV / The Netherlands we found that most companies at the conference were experiencing similar pains while rolling out social collaboration tools. Challenges discussed included:

  • Drop off after 15- 20% use
  • Sharepoint being used as a shared drive
  • Early adopters should support other users, but they don’t want to
  • Many employees don’t see why they need new tools when they are used to using the old ones
  • Employees are slow to adopt social learning
  • Learning tools aren’t embedded in the social collaboration tools or intranet

Richard Bloomfield, Transformation Communication Leader, GE Corporate helped his company transform from a vertical company to a horizontal one, and they went through enormous change all at once. He offered his experiences to the convention, and shared GE’s roadmap to transformation. In order to define their journey they set up 30/60/90 day “Pulse Surveys” to work with management to see the results of their efforts, and found that there are 4 elements crucial to creating collaboration:

  • Creating Watering Holes– your community will need resources where they can replenish and share knowledge
    • they use Yammer and (their intranet)
    • make sure to fill the watering hole with lots of content, and help
  • Find and Celebrate Role Models
  • Establish a Shared Operating Rhythm
  • Transparent Metrics
    • there should be a single source of truth where these can be found
    • give teams scores on their adoption

DOWNLOAD PDF for more results or check the Enterprise Business Collaboration website.


In a way, many of the conference goers were comforted that they weren’t the only ones struggling to roll out social collaboration tools. Through many great presentations and shared experiences some conclusions were reached on the best practices:

  • Find and use tools that integrate, so your employees can find everything in one place
  • Take care to onboard and train properly
  • Identify and reward early adopters, they’ll become your champions
  • Make sure resources and support are easily accessible
  • Define metrics that incentivise and prioritise using Social Collaboration


About the autor:
Marisa joined Pokeshot in September 2017 to support the sales team. Her main activities include: expanding Pokeshot’s footprint in the Jive community, promoting SmarterPath in the German market and creating demand with new customers in Europe. Before Marisa joined Pokeshot, she completed her studies at UC San Diego focusing on Visual Arts and Management Science. Outside of the office, you can find Marisa performing weekly in improvisational theatre groups and occasionally as a stand-up comedian.

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

Once a year, the company Pokeshot brings together all its employees together for their team event. After we went to Nuremberg last year, we wanted to go out into the nature this year and went to Storkow (Mark) Kummersorf in Brandenburg.

On Friday after breakfast, a 4-hour workshop was on the agenda, which was very productive.



A special highlight was the award ceremony of the SmarterPath video contest, which should complete the workshop. Background: All employees of Pokeshot were called before the team event to get together in double-teams to create their own short video about Pokeshot´s Social Learning Solution SmarterPath. There were no limits to the creativity and the winner team should receive a prize! At the end, a team of two colleagues from the marketing and development team won! Congratulations!





On Saturday, a very special experience was waiting for the staff: a boat trip (kayak and canoe) on the Storkower Canal directly adjacent to the apartment! Especially with this large group of 30 people or more, with some people having no experience in kayaking, this form of team building was a very special challenge! After initial difficulties with the control and coordination in the boats and some unwanted excursions into the reeds, however, we all arrived safely at our destination.


Three eventful days came to an end. Three days, in which we as a team got bit closer and got to strengthen the team spirit. Pokeshot rocks!

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

What happens if you let your employees create their own videos to explain the values of your companies solution “SmarterPath“?
Exactly – A whole bunch of funny ideas and great stories! Take a closer look at the videos of our contestants and
give us a thumbs up on YouTube if you like them!



Rafal & Christopher explaining SmarterPath for Dummies




Sandra & Julia and the difference between Cycling up and upcycling




Sayoda & Stan with Loads of “Context + Content”




Marcus & Emanuel Taking SmarterPath on a whole other level


How do you train your employees when it comes to company-specific and interdisciplinary topics? How do you ensure that current knowledge is transformed into valuable learning content swiftly? We discussed these questions at the
Knowledge Camp session in Potsdam. The following blog post gives reasons for implementing the concept of “Learner as Creator.” We discuss the first ideas for organizational actions and changes necessary in companies in order to succeed.


The topics that companies must deal with nowadays are becoming more and more complex and hardly any particular expertise can be attributed. Collaboration across disciplines increases and routine work decreases. This leads to difficulties in standardized distribution of knowledge. The process for specific knowledge to be passed from one or even several experts to a third party can take months. The third party has to pack it, prepare it, collect feedback and then make it available online or offline. In the worst case, the training that has been created is already out of date at the time of completion. In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises often do not have the financial resources for costly professional training.


The knowledge of the processes, products and services of your core business is in the minds of your employees and thus in the company. Nowadays almost all knowledge workers have a smartphone or a laptop. So why not go directly to the source and enable employees to transform and share knowledge independently into valuable and sustainable learning content? Make learners become trainers and achieve better results in the language of the consumers. Like all new approaches, it also needs to be accompanied by appropriate change management.


It is essential for knowledge management and personnel development to work closely together. The challenges of knowledge management, like avoidance of knowledge silos and use of existing information must also be actively picked up by personnel developers. In the same way, knowledge management has to support the quick and easy preparation of high-level and dynamic knowledge. There should not be a strict separation, rather a fusion of both areas. Interdisciplinary problems need interdisciplinary solutions.


In order to enable knowledge workers to create high-quality learning content they must acquire a new skillset. This includes, among other things, the correct use of the software and preparation of knowledge into clear and memorable content. Existing training designers will turn into consultants for knowledge workers. Their task is to provide consistent and valuable trainings on the basis of best practices. Smaller companies that do not have internal training experts can identify multipliers, who act as contact people and supporters for the administration and preparation of learning content. A small policy or guide that is developed by a project group with different stakeholders can also help.


You may also hear from employees: “Another task? I don’t have time for that!”. This intelligible argument must be countered at a higher level. As for many organizational changes, company culture as well as values in terms of learning and knowledge play a decisive role. How does knowledge sharing get evaluated in your company, in your team? Is it seen as a waste of time or as added value? What do team members get appreciation for? Does anyone take the time to actually evaluate shared content and reuse it? In our blogpost about “Is Digitalization really digital” you can read further how other companies have adopted this change.
The cultural change that is needed for the concept “Learner as Creator” does not take place today or tomorrow or even by itself. Rather, a conscious decision must be taken actively and then controlled in a desired direction. The following framework conditions and measures can support change:


  • All stakeholders should be included and engaged to participate in the discussion early, where they can best see the benefits for themselves.
  • Time for the preparation and consumption of knowledge during working hours should be granted, e.g. 1h per week for each employee
  • Intrinsic incentives for sharing knowledge strengthened, e.g. through appreciation, recognition and praise for contributions
  • Additional extrinsic incentive systems for sharing knowledge are created, e.g. as a component of goal agreements or gamification approaches
  • Spaces and tools for exchanging current topics are provided, e.g. online and offline communities as well as learning software, that are at best integrated into the workplace and existing toolsets
  • Assistance in the implementation by experienced knowledge workers, e.g. by helping to create a video or blog post


In the open discussion on “Learner as Creator” at the Knowledge Camp in Potsdam, the fear of loss of quality was highly discussed. Of course it is more authentic if Joe Employee shoots a selfie video of himself assembling a machine, but if it is poorly directed no one will learn anything about the topic. It should be emphasized that the inclusion of employees in the preparation of learning materials in small steps is possible and meaningful. Not every employee has to design complete training courses but they should support those regarding their respective field of expertise: what needs to be learned, what is important to co-workers, what questions are frequently asked, where are the problems? Training developers can take this content and (if it is good) integrate it directly or upcycle it. In our blogpost about upcycling you can learn what you have to consider.


"Overview Learner as Creator", Pokeshot 2017


These are only a few suggestions from our side, on how the 70% practical experience as well as the 20% knowledge that we acquire in the professional environment can be transformed into 10% structured learning. Get familiar with the 70-20-10 method in our blogpost! SmarterPathsupports the concept of “Learner as Creator” by embedding it into the familiar work environment (Jive or O365), simple user guidance without complex software training and the possibility of re-using existing knowledge. In a following blog post you will get to know how we tested the concept at Pokeshot internally on a specific example using SmarterPath.


If you have any questions or need help with your internal change management, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
We are sure you have more ideas, please share them in the comments!


Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

Sandra Brueckner about up-cycling content, why companies need to think about it and how Pokeshot  and SmarterPath - Social Learning Add-On can help.


We do live in a wonderful world. Most of the companies I know have a lot of tools to help their employees do their work.

Especially where knowledge is the basis of their business, modern ESN (Enterprise Social Networks) offer the opportunity to share everything employees needs to share.


I see the risk, especially in knowledge-centric industries, that employees face a flood of information. Just information, not valuable content.

The bigger a community is and the longer it exists, the harder it is to get all of the pieces together to get an overall view of a topic.

There is information in groups, Teamsites and OneDrive documents, in E-Mails and even in messages and streams. And of course in the heads of all employees.


Employees, as well as the management, need a way to extract and make this information more valuable through an up-cycling process. The goal is to create smarter paths through this forest of information and emphasize the parts which are necessary and helpful to other employees. In my eyes, only valuable content creates benefit.


What is “valuable content” and why do companies need to think about it?

I would like to use some terms from the field of content marketing:

“[The word] ‘Value’ will inevitably mean something different depending on where your intended audience is on their journey, but relevant, consistent, engaging, trustworthy, useful, and authentic still matter the same.” (Source Überflip)

I like this definition from Überflip because the author thought about the meaning of value as something which doesn’t mean the same thing to different people. Furthermore he asks:

  • “Relevant” — Is it right for your audience?
  • “Consistent” — Does it align with your audience’s expectations?
  • “Engaging” — Is it an enjoyable experience overall?
  • “Trustworthy” — Is it believable”?
  • “Useful” — Does it benefit your audience right now?*
  • “Authentic” — Does it prove you are human?”


I’m not naive. I know that employees often don’t have the time to think about these requirements when they create information in their daily business. But in my eyes, the company has the responsibility to create more value out of this information if they want people to learn from each other and acquire the knowledge they need at the time they want it. Organisations should provide their employees and partners with easy to build and follow SmarterPathes through the flood of information.


Four steps of content up-cycling
Companies should think about these four steps to get more valuable, better content:

  • Extract Content: Before I talk about up-cycling content, Companies should ask themselves: “Do we really have and published all the knowledge we need?” Although people have the possibility to share information they sometimes don’t do it. They don’t want to, they can’t or they just forget. Barriers are widespread. Especially when employees leave the company they are mostly not willing to share something anymore. Companies face the same situation with employees going into retirement.
  • Conserve Content: The spoken word often has sometimes a short half-life, in the case of news streams and messaging it is a bit longer, but not much. Companies have to find a way to conserve relevant information in such a way that it will survive a little longer.
  • Up-Cycle Content: Over the lifecycle of a community more and more content will be created in different formats. It should be the claim of every company to take this content and bring value to it. This means to make it relevant, consistent, engaging, trustworthy, useful and authentic for most of their employees.
  • Publish Content: It is necessary for valuable content to reach the right target audience. Companies should think about which content will be relevant to whom and invest in things like proper search optimization functionality.

The content up-cycling process (by Pokeshot 2017)

What does content up-cycling mean exactly?
The question how companies can extract and conserve knowledge from their employees is difficult and will not be answered within such a short blog article. Furthermore, I want to show how companies can use and make Information from varoius chats, streams, documents and teamsites more valuable. Once the content has been conserved in various channels, it can have different characteristics:

  • The content already has a lot of value to a lot of people.
  • The content only has value to a few people.
  • The content is valuable but not all people can reach it (e.g. language barrier).
  • The content itself has low value but together with other information is gets more valuable.
  • The content is valuable but is in an undesirable format or is hard to access
  • The content has no value to anybody

The “content up-cycler” should think about the following:

  • Can I take this content as it is or do I have to restructure/rewrite/summarize it (e.g. in a blog post)?
  • Do I have to change the format of the content so that more people understand it? (e.g. create a video)
  • Are there other content formats which would help to better communicate the topic (e.g. profiles, external sites, quizzes)?
  • How can I structure this content into a smarter path so that people understand it easily and have all the information they need?
  • Which content can I leave out because it has no value?


What I want to add at this point: not all content has to be recreated through the company. With SmarterPath - Social Learning Add-On it is possible to use existing information from your Jive Platform Community and share it in smarter paths with every employee. Additionally, not all the time HR has the responsibility to spread knowledge within the company. Every employee should be able to prepare and share knowledge.



I believe that once the content has been up-cycled and published, companies are able to reduce the flood of information employees have to face day by day and the time people have to spend searching for the right information. Also, I think that through valuable content people do learn faster and more efficiently. Valuable content that is easy to find and is enriched trough personal experiences can and will help people to understand a topic better, learn faster and put new skills into action as soon as possible. This is not only more effective, but – in the long run – a lot more sustainable!


About the author:

Sandra Brueckner who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and works since more than two years as Chief Procust Officer for all products.

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!


Read the whole article here:

As you may know SmarterPath has changed and improved in recent years. New functionalities have been implemented in order to meet the needs of even more use cases. For example, usability in a new redesign.

In order to be able to offer even more benefits of SmarterPath, at the end of 2016 Pokeshot decided to develop SmarterPath also for other platforms. In spring 2017 we started with the implementation for Microsoft Office365, which will be completed by Q4/2017. Another platform after the Microsoft Office365 implementation is already planned.


What is SmarterPath’s multi-platform strategy?

SmarterPath, as well as for Jive, is offered as a SaaS product and will be developed continuously for all platforms in parallel. That means the following benefits for our existing customers:

  • Freedom of choice with respect to the collaboration tool
  • Continuous development of SmarterPath for Jive, O365, …)
  • New features are Implemented for all platforms
  • Expanding international partner network will allow us to offer specific services at additional locations


Read the full article here!


If you have any questions about SmarterPath’s multi-platform strategy or other products / services, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Sandra Brueckner
CPO Pokeshot

Browse through our latest #customersuccess stories on YouTube and learn more about how we are able to answer the customers needs:


People struggle to manage all kind of information in the modern days of information overload because of the constant increase of non-routine work which makes some workers spent much more time than needed to search for important content and manage their own workplace learning to keep up with constant changes. Todays digital workplace needs a revised digital 70:20:10 method.

Find attached SmarterPath as a solution including success stories of Pokeshots customers.

The presentation „SmarterPath for Digital Workplaces“ was compiled especially to support JIVE and JIVE resellers to position SmarterPath effectively, without a large sales overhead.

Feel free to share the presentation with leads and your teams. In our HelpDesk you will find more great collateral about SmarterPath. E.g.: