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Money makes the world go ‘round … right? Not when it comes to employee culture and recognition. Handing your employee a $100 gift card in appreciation of a job well done might not rock their world in the ways you’d hoped. Companies spend vast amounts of money on rewards and recognition programs, yet one third of employees don’t feel recognized. When 30% of their lives are spent working, you can bet that feeling valued is extremely important to today's knowledge worker.

 

 

For employees, that moment in the spotlight is priceless

Financial rewards, however well-intentioned, can have another shortsighted downside. They focus your culture on revenue and profit, rather than the culture-building benefits of positive feedback. Never underestimate the importance of “the feels” that come with a public pat on the back. That implied pressure to work late every night for a monetary performance reward could backfire, creating serious retention and talent acquisition challenges. Smart leaders know that changing the rewards conversation benefits their organization's employee culture. What does it add up to? Employee engagement and long-term success. What makes employees happy? Receiving recognition from their bosses and from each other. Employees want to feel like their hard work is valued.

 

 

Kick start a recognition program and reap the rewards

  1. Encourage employees to share their wins. Employees have the best view of the great things their colleagues do each day. Sharing builds teamwork, bringing everyone together with a common commitment. When teams are widespread geographically, it can help make everyone feel like they’re in the same office. The attitudes and emotions expressed by employees are the best indicators of how happy they are at work. Sharing is caring.

  2. Make leadership accountable for recognizing outstanding performance. Let’s face it, change comes from the top down. If leaders don’t participate, it’s more likely that employees won’t buy in either. Recognition is most effective when it’s given in the context of a larger goal or business-results-focused activity like reinforcing corporate values, not just for showing up on time. Recognition also changes how you motivate and retain employees and how your company celebrates success.

  3. Use your recognition program to attract prospective employees and to keep the ones you cherish. Every organization wants to attract the best and the brightest. Your recognition program is a competitive advantage. It shows prospects that you value your employees with a people-focused culture. It creates a great impression of your company for those on the outside. When employees share their stories and see all their accomplishments, they are more likely to feel they are making progress in their career, and are more likely to stay.

  4. Keep it public. Designate a special place to record and show off employee accomplishments and corporate wins. Implementing a non-monetary rewards and achievement program such as TemboSocial Recognition into your Intranet transforms recognition into a business asset. It allows your company to celebrate success while reinforcing desired behaviors. Achieve a unique strategic competitive advantage driven by your culture, your people, and their stories. TemboSocial Recognition creates a public record of an employee’s accomplishments and raises their profile. This results in greater day-to-day satisfaction and commitment.

  5. Use your recognition program to help with career development and performance evaluations. Not only is it a great way for employees to keep track of how they’re doing, employee recognition programs are a valuable resource for managers and leaders. They can see how the company really works by tapping into these informal employee networks of productivity and collaboration. An employee’s achievements are an important consideration when doing performance reviews or internal staffing changes, and can provide an honest temperature check for what’s going on professionally and emotionally with employees.

Efficient, reliable internal communications has a huge impact on shaping a company’s corporate culture. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) understands the value of keeping employees well informed and connected. Engaged employees become activists who are engaged in the company and the community.

 

As a long-time supporter of the Canadian Open golf tournament, RBC needed a way to communicate to employees the exciting news about the renewal of their sponsorship commitment to the Canadian Open for another 6 years. That's where TemboSocial came in to help deliver the RBC ‘6 Fore 6’ Contest. What was up for grabs? A chance to win one of 6 golf vacation packages!

 

Today’s Employees Go Beyond Brand Activism

 

RBC employees enjoy engaging in the corporate activities outside of work, making their contributions visible as active advocates, promoting the company, culture and community. Tools like Polls and Surveys are a great way for RBC to access a robust, secure feature-set to engage, educate and drive action.

 

Employees Love Contests… and Polls

 

RBC asked TemboSocial to create a contest in which employees could share their golf dreams - the perfect shot, or the ideal foursome they someday hope to realize.  The ask was to share their "golf someday” in 30 words or less. TemboSocial built an RBC-themed template for the contest and took advantage of the existing integration TemboSocial offers for the Jive and Vignette Intranets so that employees can participate directly from inside the corporate Intranet.

 

The Solution? A Hole in One

 

The 6 Fore 6 Contest is still in progress but has so far been a big win for RBC with thousands of submissions. The ability to syndicate the poll into both of RBC’s Intranets meant that RBC only needed to create the content once - an efficient way to reach all employees without having to create multiple versions of the campaign. The comprehensive reporting and metrics are consolidated into one report making it a seamless solution for contest deployment and post-employee engagement analysis.

 

Whether launching a brand new customer community or strengthening a thriving social Intranet, user input tools such as TemboSocial Surveys, Forms & Polls  are a great value-add for a more user-focused and engaged experience.

Let’s face it, community leaders forever face the challenge of developing meaningful adoption and enhancing community participation. Sometimes fresh tactics and modern tools are required to stimulate audience engagement.

 

In this 3-minute video, see how a deeply integrated Poll, Survey and Form add-on can:

 

  • Develop more meaningful adoption across desktop and mobile devices
  • Increase community participation by consolidating external forms and surveys into your intranet
  • Provide opportunities for deeper engagement with interactive quizzes, polls, learning and development and surveys
  • Provision business partners with a self-serve tool, thereby reducing administrative tasks for SharePoint administrators

 

See how a Jive integrated solution can promote new levels of adoption and participation within your community.


Click here to watch the video.

Like many other Jive Software owners, your online community is a tool that brings collaboration, communication and corporate culture to life. It is a strategic business asset that drives business success.

 

But does your Jive community also leverage employee recognition as a business asset?

 

It should, and we want to show you how. In this 3-minute video, see how a Jive-integrated Employee Recognition program will:

 

  • Create meaningful content that drives platform adoption across all devices
  • Shape company culture by amplifying desired behaviors across activity streams, profiles, banners, tiles and more
  • Enable employees to build their personal legacy inside the Intranet

 

See how a Jive-integrated recognition program can leverage your existing Intranet investments to build a culture of recognition across your organization, and ultimately create another powerful asset that drives business success.

 

Click here to watch the video.

We recently had the pleasure of attending the Toronto stop on Jive’s 2016 “Power of Connection” tour. The luncheon featured speakers Tim Wike, formerly of Thomson Reuters and now Sharper Solutions, John Miller from Scotiabank, and Martin Teasdale from the Royal Bank of Canada. The panel covered topics ranging from Intranet adoption to engagement measurement.

 

The Power of Connection session expanded on Intranet adoption best practices and took a deeper look at employee engagement measurement, insights and tactics.

 

Key Measurement Criteria

 

The speakers agreed that the most common measurement mistake platform owners make is to focus on increases in monthly impressions. All three panelists advocated for measurement criteria that tells a compelling story that can be used to build your business case internally come renewal time.  As Martin Teasdale, Enterprise Community Manager at RBC put it, “it’s about how many people do something as a result of the content.”

 

Key measurement criteria includes:

  • # of searches being performed within the community
  • # of members using tools designed for their specific job functions (e.g. are project managers using agendas, to do lists, calendars, tasks)
  • Focus usage measurement on specific use cases (e.g. reducing # of third party tools)
  • Weighting interactions heavier than views, Likes, Ratings and Comments to get a proper sense of whether users are “digesting” content rather than simply skimming it

 

Evolve Your Content

 

John Miller, Sr. Manager of Enterprise Collaboration at Scotiabank, used the example of short form versus long form communications to highlight how you can promote engagement by adapting your publishing behaviours. His observation was that greater engagement is achieved with shorter posts, such as a quick thought ending in a question mark or even several sentences to spur a conversation or thread. In an example, he described how a CEO could quickly ask a question to the company that results in a healthy dialogue rather than spend hours crafting a multi-paragraph post that results in “crickets”.

 

Shorter communication tactics reduce time and resources for senior leaders, while making it more clear that employees at all levels are being invited to participate in the conversation.

 

Create an Engagement Index

 

Tim Wike, Founder of Sharper Solutions, described creating his own Engagement Index. The Index is an amalgamation of all activities that users can engage in, both on a Content level and a Place level. The Index is an elaborate attempt to determine what content sparks the most engagement. He also spoke to the idea of weighting actions as part of the Index, where actions such as a “like” would not be as heavily weighted as a new “comment” or “post”.

 

Another interesting tactic Tim described was conditioning user behaviour and responses, and understanding how to distinguish between "liking" something (which is more of an acknowledgement) and actually getting value from it and wanting to recommend it. Tim noted that every organization will value types of engagement differently but indicated that the amount of time spent in Places (or with certain content) tells you what content is successful in engaging a community.

 

One final measurement takeaway from the session: It’s critical for organizations to establish goals for engaging its communities because without goals, how can there be an understanding of what you want to measure for community engagement? Technology is truly a means to support what you and your organization want to achieve.

june15-1.jpgOn June 2nd, TemboSocial participated in the Toronto Jive User Group hosted by Blueprint Software Systems at their beautiful office (thank you to Saranya Yogarajah and Luigi Mariani for hosting the meetup) . There were great discussions and lots of learnings about the challenges, opportunities and successes of building an active community.  The best part is, we took lots of notes!

 

One of the presentation topics that resonated strongly was about Jive user adoption and best practices, presented by Xhevair "Jev" Maskuli, Solutions Engineer at Jive. Jev talked about these 3 key Jive adoption success factors:

 

  1.     Senior leaders role-modeling: 87%*
  2.     Integrating Jive into day-to-day activities: 81%*
  3.     Removal of other tools: 63% *

 

*Percent of survey respondents reporting that these factors were “valuable,” “very valuable,” or “extremely valuable,” from Nov 2012 survey of ~400 Jive customers by a top 3 global business consultancy.

 

Based on what we’ve learned from our customers who use TemboSocial’s Jive-integrated solutions, we couldn’t agree more with these success factors. Here’s why:

 

Success Factor 1: Senior Leaders Role-Modeling

 

When launching a new social business strategy, it's not enough to have great tools and a super integration team. You've got to have alignment with business goals and buy-in and participation from senior leadership.

 

According to change management expert John Kotter, 3 out of 4 senior leaders need to be convinced that change is necessary before a major cultural transformation can succeed. So step one is to get your senior leadership team to recognize there’s a problem.

 

The good news is it shouldn’t take too long to come up with a list of pain points related to the way people interact inside your organization. Are people spending endless hours in the meeting room or slogging through email all day? Are your turnover stats too high and your employee engagement numbers too low? These pain points are all signs that a major cultural makeover could improve the way you do business. This can be made possible by bringing integrated tools into your Intranet like Polls and Surveys or Employee Recognition to boost participation throughout your organization.

 

Success Factor 2: Integrating Jive into Day-to-Day Activities

 

Giving employees a reason to log on to the company Intranet to find information and resources that help them do their jobs better will give your social strategy a much needed lift. Spending time inside the Intranet expands employees’ networks, and connects them with people whom they never would have been in touch with otherwise - whether they’re from two floors up or from another office halfway around the world. A wider knowledge base and resource bank helps drive productivity and efficiency.

 

june15-2.jpgAnother key to Intranets is that they are social. So infusing your Intranet with interesting user-generated content, helps drive success of your social strategy. User-generated content is the life blood of the community and what keeps people coming back to participate in the discussion. Introducing engaging tools like polls and surveys is yet another way to boost participation and encourage your employees to spend more time within your Intranet.

 

Success Factor 3: Removal of Other Tools

 

Expanding on the idea of integrating Jive into your employees’ daily activities, is removing redundant  and stand-alone tools that compete with the Intranet. Integrating social programs within your company Intranet helps to leverage your existing investment in technology and drive your ROI.

 

An integrated and socially connected platform is also key to breaking down information silos between groups or departments within your organization, bringing all information into one place for employees. An active, social Intranet, where employees are connected and well-informed about company business is key to driving employee engagement and boosting employee performance within your organization.

 

It’s time to adopt a pro-social way of doing business by leveraging your investment in your Intranet program and discovering the power of integration.

Having trouble building and maintaining an engaged online community? While planning and strategy are essential, it's really about having the right tools to bring your strategy to life.

 

Join TemboSocial's Steven Green and Social Edge Consulting's Megan Murray this Wednesday to learn how tools like TemboSocial Surveys, Forms & Polls helped Macy's, Cleveland Clinic, and the Royal Bank of Canada increase community participation and drive deeper engagement.

 

This is going to be a fantastic webinar with lots of amazing content to share - looking forward to seeing each of you there! Register here.

The pain points tied to the annual awards program are legendary. The most common complaints we hear are that nomination volumes are low year after year and the end-to-end management of the awards process ranges from frustrating, all the way to torturous.

 

The nomination form is often hidden away in a legacy corner of the Intranet that still looks like it’s the last holdout trying to keep the spirit of 1995 alive.  For the Award Committee, the current workflow often includes emails and attachments filling your inbox...and don’t even get me started on the challenges associated with making sure the shortlisters are doing their job! Everyone dreads the process associated with awards season except maybe the award winner - assuming the process results in the most deserving candidate being selected.

 

But here’s the good news - it doesn’t have to be this way. TemboSocial has developed a solution to your problem - a solution that makes the entire process of managing your formal awards and nominations easier, more efficient and more enjoyable for participants, reviewers and administrators

 

The Awards + Nominations module for TemboSocial Recognition is a modern solution for your enterprise awards program. It integrates directly with Jive Interactive Intranet, leveraging your existing IT investment and taking advantage of up-to-date employee data. Awards + Nominations makes the entire process of managing your formal awards and nominations easier and more efficient for participants, reviewers and administrators.

 

  1. Better visibility of your enterprise awards program
    Having a solution directly integrated and widely visible within your Intranet makes it easy for employees to submit nominations to your formal awards program. You will dramatically increase the number of nominations you receive, while reducing your marketing and administration costs. Your employees will love the experience, and there's no limit to the number of submissions you can collect.

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  2. Manage your shortlisting workflow and reporting with ease
    Real-time reporting introduces total transparency to your nomination and shortlisting workflow.  No longer will your Award Committee stakeholders be left wondering if nomination targets are being achieved, or left hoping that the Shortlisters are actively reviewing their submissions.
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  3. Work smarter and more efficiently
    Manage all your Awards and Nominations in one place and make use of the TemboSocial Rule Builder to configure, automate and customize the process for each award in your program. Spend less time and money on administrative tasks and program promotion, and more time shaping your culture and driving employee engagement.
    AN3.png

 

To learn more about Awards + Nominations, our newest module for Recognition, please click here.

What a whirlwind JiveWorld16 was!

 

We’d like to thank the Jive team and everyone we met in Las Vegas! It was interesting learning about the many incredible Jive Interactive Intranet communities that are out there, the challenges Jivers face, and the creative solutions you’ve come up with. We also appreciated the many great conversations we had around TemboSocial’s Jive Add-Ons and how they can help drive adoption and engagement within internal and external communities.

 

And now that we’ve managed to catch up on emails (and sleep!), we wanted to share a few interesting use cases we heard throughout the 3-day conference with regards to solutions TemboSocial can provide inside Jive communities.

 

 

Jiveblog-1.jpgExternal Recognition

One of the more memorable meetings we had was with a large healthcare IT solution provider for hospitals, physician practices, and extended care organizations. The team was interested in Recognition as a means to further enrich their external community of physicians and recognize the contributions and participation of its members. The company has an existing gamification solution within their community and have been considering incorporating a recognition strategy to positively reinforce their community of physicians supporting each other.

 

 

Data-Driven Learning & Development

One of the world’s largest auto manufacturers was interested in exploring how Polls & Surveys could bulk up reporting capabilities and add additional value into their Jive intranet. The company is using Jive as a way to power Learning and Development modules to educate and inform employees on new company products and gauge attitudes and interests across various demographics and regions. The manufacturer would be able to leverage data uncovered by Polls & Surveys to drive its long-term L&D content roadmap. They acknowledged the value of being embedded with Jive’s infrastructure would allow them to maximize the data by mapping responses back to users and profiles. The company as a whole has an ambitious mission to transform into a total data-driven company and views TemboSocial as a way to answer the question, "How could this data be even more valuable to the business?"

 

Jiveblog-2.png

Improving Time-to-Market and Efficiencies

Finally, providers of a large multi-institutional healthcare system also place a large emphasis on internal Learning and Development as a means of operating their business. Specifically, they use L&D to gauge project understanding which in turn informs and influences their marketing and training efforts around what is required for their go-to-market strategies. This company wants to leverage a Polls & Survey solution that integrates directly into their Jive intranet to reduce creative and development time for new offerings from months into just hours by measuring product knowledge gaps in real-time. The company sees TemboSocial as a way to assist in driving new efficiencies and power faster go-to-market strategies.

 

To learn more about TemboSocial's Jive integrations, click here.

Can you believe we’re less than a week away from JiveWorld16? We’ve been busy here at TemboSocial with our final prep for the big week and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of familiar - and many fresh faces - in Vegas next week.

 

TemboSocial is a Silver JiveWorld sponsor and you’ll find us in the Vendor Expo at Booth S6, across from our friends at Social Edge Consulting. In addition to our core product TemboSocial Recognition for Jive we introduced last year, we’re excited to debut our new Polls & Surveys Add-On for Jive Interactive Intranet communities.

 

TemboSocial Polls & Surveys is an all-in-one solution for:

 

  • Surveys for measurement and feedback
  • Polls to gather opinions
  • Quizzes with scoring to test knowledge. Turn on the timer feature to create fun and learning
  • Contests with leaderboards to drive engagement

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 4.46.08 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-02-26 at 4.54.09 PM.png

 

We’d love to give you a tour at our partner booth on March 15th and 16th and we’ve set up a registration page where you can book a private appointment here:  Meet with TemboSocial @ JiveWorld.

 

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch but TemboSocial has got you covered! We'll be hooking you up with a delicious lunch to kick off the conference on March 15th at noon.

lunch lady.gif

 

Then on Wednesday March 16th at 1:10 PM PST, be sure to join us in the Demo Theater for an overview of our Jive Add-Ons by our President and founder Steven Green.

 

And on March 15th at 2:15 PM PST, our very own rockstar developer Butch Marshall will be presenting a session in the Jive Developers Track called Building Jive Add-Ons Your Way.

 

Finally, in honor of JiveWorld, and the (totally not last minute) packing we’ll all be doing this weekend, we’ve created a fun Packing Personality Quiz using our Polls & Surveys Add-On. You can take the quiz here to find out your packing style.

 

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Vegas next week!

TemboSocial Polls & Surveys are now available for Jive Interactive Intranet hosted, Cloud and on-prem customers.

Enjoy a deeply integrated rich feature set including advanced reporting to engage, educate, and drive your audience to deeper content pages inside your Jive Internal Communities and External Communities.
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All-In-One Solution!


All the capabilities our Jive customers have been asking for are now available:

  • Surveys for measurement and feedback
  • Polls to gather opinions
  • Quizzes with scoring to test knowledge. Turn on the timer feature to create competitive fun while learning
  • Contests with leaderboards to drive engagement

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Activity Stream


The deep integration with Jive means that Profile data is captured for reporting and audience participation can be posted to the Activity Stream to leverage the network effect and drive participation.

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If you'd like to schedule a quick online demo, please feel free to connect with me in the Jive Community or email me directly - brennan@tembosocial.com

I'm looking forward to meeting many new and familiar faces at JiveWorld16!

We are proud that TemboSocial is named the first Certified Technology partner!

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Read the full press release

Steven Green and Ofer Ben-David

 

Jive Software, the social collaboration platform that builds bridges between customers, employees and the corporate infrastructure, knows what it takes to bring people together. Maybe that’s why they picked TemboSocial Recognition to fuel the “HighFive” recognition program in their internal community. ““Jive employees have always been great at recognizing their fellow colleagues — whether through our own internal community instance of Jive or through other corporate initiatives.  With the new peer-to-peer recognition capability provided by TemboSocial, we have amplified the way in which employees can celebrate their peers' accomplishments while fostering corporate values,” says Kosheno Moore, the Senior Enterprise Community Manager at Jive.


 

Creating a Culture of Recognition in Jive Communities

 

Kosheno understands the power of the social intranet to build culture inside of an organization. In her blog post about creating a community culture she says “when people display great examples of cultural behavior, we want to recognize it.” Making appreciation and praise highly visible is an area where TemboSocial Recognition really shines. On the Jive platform, recognition goes viral inside the organization through various channels like Spaces, Activity Streams, Actions and the new Profile Page. With TemboSocial Recognition, the act of thanking a fellow employee for a job well-done is memorialized as meaningful content that engages people and keeps them engaged.

 

Lighting a Path for Others to Follow

 

Over time, TemboSocial Recognition builds a public archive of positive and repeatable behaviors, transforming recognition into a real business asset and infusing your intranet with frequent stories of success and achievement. As employees work through fresh challenges and ask themselves “how did we do this before?” or “who knows how to get this sort of thing done?” they can find the answers in the searchable content created using TemboSocial Recognition. “The ability to see the most-practiced values and being able to dissect the data by attributes such as Jivers’ department and region has given our leaders powerful data,” Moore says about the “big data” tools built into TemboSocial Recognition.

 

See How Jive is Giving Employees a HighFive

 

If you want to get a better look at the powerful TemboSocial Recognition Jive integration up-close, why not book a demo today? Or, if you just want a sneak peek inside one of the most exciting social intranet platforms you can find, download our PDF and look it over.

 

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There are a lot of “7 habits” and “5 elements” posts out there. I suspect that we are all trying to channel the success of the late Steven Covey and his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  So consider this post a round-up of some of the best ideas for moving your social business forward.

 

Habit 1 - Align with Business Strategy

Because social business is linked to a transformation of corporate culture it can easily become a distraction unless conversations are directed toward the goals of core business strategies. Strategic alignment is the place to start. Val Afshar, Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Customer Officer of Enterasys, suggests starting with a sense of meaningful purpose.

 

Habit 2 - Measure

In her 7 habits list social media strategist Sara Lingafelter notes that 53% of social media marketers don’t measure their success.Chances are that internal social managers have a worse track record when it comes to analytics.

 

What should you be measuring? Lingafelter provides a good list of metrics for marketers. Internal communicators could focus on conversations started, topics promoted (voted up by readers), most heavily commented stories, number of new participants and number of repeat participation for a given week.

 

Habit 3 - Check-in Daily

Social marketing entrepreneur AJ Kumar encourages social managers to regularly check the pulse of their social profiles. Marketers need to stay on top of Facebook pages, Twitter timelines and LinkedIn landings. Internal communicators also need to keep up with hubs, landing pages and conversations that are trending inside the organization.

 

Habit 4 - Be Inventive

Social media is still relatively new on the communications landscape, social enterprise even more so. This means that there are no established "best practices" and you may find yourself begging, borrowing and stealing from other disciplines. But more than that, in the same way that social media has been revolutionizing entire industries (think food trucks or network news), your social enterprise program can help you make unimagined progress at work - if you consistently apply a dose of inventiveness. Writer Haydn Shaughnessy lists six habits of effective leaders, many of which can be applied to social enterprise.

 

Habit 5 - Call on Your Brain Trust

Eric Savitz of Forbes says that it's time organizations harnessed the brainpower of their staff using social ideation software. Savitz points out how much innovation has been spawned by the Internet, everything from wireless routers to wearable computers owe their existence to the network - not just because the Internet enables their use, but also because of the transparency and collaboration it fosters. If you're out to change the world, you could do worse than to network your best minds.

 

Habit 6 - Be Passionate

You won't find many long resumes with social enterprise skills. Instead look for people who can speak passionately about your brand and recruit them to motivate others. Ilaina Rabbat, co-founder of the Amani Insitute, lists passion and motivation on her rundown of secrets to social business success.

 

Habit 7 - Assume Goodwill

If you're doing this right - combining business goals, competitive spirits and passion - you're likely to get some blunt conversations and maybe some snark and sarcasm. Heated emotions and nuanced statements don't always play well across online forums.

That's why Kevin O'Keefe of Lexblog lists play nice in the (company) sandbox as one his the habits of social business success. It's crucial for your enterprise social portal to have "assume goodwill" deeply embedded in the culture. Assuming that a pointed comment was meant for the best will make it easier for people to receive receive barbs lightly and de-escalate tense discussions. Your conversations don't have to be "all rainbows and cupcakes" but they should be thrash-free and productive.

 

There you have it - a monster list of "successful habit" lists to help your social business thrive.

brafton28Get everyone in the same room and we’ll get better results. Right? Well, maybe not. For one thing, when everyone is all in one room you have to take turns sharing. And while you’re waiting your turn you might decide your idea is stupid, or obvious, or simply not relevant to the course the conversation took while you were waiting.

 

A lot of terrific ideas go out the window this way. In fact it’s a big enough problem that there is a name for it - production blocking. The type of conversations we have during meetings are linear - one idea follows another. But the problem itself exists in a more three dimensional space. A technical innovation might create problems for R&D, distribution, supply chain and marketing. Face-to-face meetings can push many core issues to the side in order to follow one particular train of thought.

 

Get A Bigger Table

 

One way to bust through production blocking is to take your brainstorming sessions online. Dino Veizis, president of Video on Location, compares online brainstorming to a meeting where everyone has time to get things on the table.

“When you have a thought, you throw it into that space, and it’s there for everybody to see,” says Veizis. (This) “has increased our efficiency and productivity quite a bit.”

Online brainstorming doesn't just open up the “suggestion box” to more people, it also gives people the opportunity to make their contributions at the time of day when they do their best thinking. Good ideas can come when you’re in the shower, driving to work or taking a power-walk during lunch. Online brainstorming tools give employees the opportunity to post ideas while they are fresh, any time day or night.

 

If Two Heads Are Better than One, How About 20?

 

What’s the seating capacity of your nearest conference room? Ten? Twenty? It’s not only difficult to schedule this many people for a meeting, it starts becoming difficult to do business when there are too many people in the room. Online conferences don’t have these limitations. You can bring together people from all around the company, even all around the world when you brainstorm online.

 

Not only can you get more mind power, more subject matter experts and more creative thinkers together by going online, you have a built-in transcription of every session, complete with searchable notes. This makes it easy to recollect previous sessions and build upon original ideas.

 

When in Doubt Do Both

Let’s say that you’ve had some success with face-to-face idea generation. You don’t have to give up group processes to take advantage of online brainstorming tools. In fact you can get a lot of power by encouraging employees to post online at the same time that you’re running a face-to-face brainstorming session.

 

Similar to live tweeting a conference this one-two-punch not only opens the ideation process to more people in the company, it helps solve the problem of production blocking by giving your brainstorming team the ability to get ideas out into the open even while the course of conversation has taken a different twist.

 

Your brainstorming sessions are no longer limited to the number of seats in the conference room. They can be as big as your corporate network allows!