Skip navigation

As the countdown toward our first-ever Jive launch ticks forward, I thought I'd share some thoughts on where my head is at, so to speak. We have branded our instance "Pulse", and our production environment will go live at the end of April, with our "url release" to be rolled out to specific audiences over the month of May. I've been in the role of Internal Community Manager for almost 2 years, and the role has grown quite a bit in that time. Rolling over to Pulse will present exciting new changes and opportunities. My only wish is that I could clone myself, or somehow magically find 20 more hours in my week. Perhaps they're hiding in the corner with my winter gear.

 

 

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

- Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

 

 

 

Well, isn't that the truth? Things may change around us all the time, but the only way to be certain that they change in a way that is meaningful to our own experience is to be a part of that change.

 

It is both exciting and scary to be part of change. Mostly exciting, really. Though sometimes I wonder if I am underselling the "scary"-- Should I pay more attention to it ("the scary")? Should I hold more meetings? Create more presentations? Generally do more stuff?? Well, of course the answer is yes, because there is always more stuff to do. But I try to keep my eye on the prize, and remember that at the end of the day I need to focus on the things that matter.

 

Our rollout is scheduled to start in May, with release of our Jive url to specific audiences. Our Advocates will be at the forefront of this, and I am anticipating great activity from them. My goal was to reach 1% of our population (50k), and we are now at 420 advocates. They are well dispersed throughout our geographic footprint, across lines of business, and job levels. I've been engaging them in wiki discussions on topics such as introducing Jive functionality, rewards, barriers to convincing others to use the platform, feedback on 'rules of engagement' for advocates, naming our new platform, and migration of content to the new platform.

 

I'm also spending significant time managing the wiki groups that will be moved over when the time comes. We've got about 245 groups, and they've been prioritized as such:

  • beta groups: there are a small number of these, to be moved over on a tight deadline so that we have seeded content prior to enterprise rollout
  • high-usage groups: groups with 100 pages or more (most have over 300)-- these groups will get special care
  • and "the rest": groups with less than 100 pages and typically low frequency of usage (though not to say they still don't have relevant content)

 


In my conversations with current wiki Admins, it is interesting to hear their questions and thoughts about what the new platform will bring. There will be the usual challenges regarding awareness, education, training, and change management. I am happy to say that I am just one part of an excellent team, who are each working diligently on this project. It makes me feel better to know they're there.

 


Overall, there is some great general excitement from the people I've already socialized the upcoming changes with (advocates, high-usage wiki Admins), and most people I talk to are ready for the new social features Jive offers (new to us, this will be a big change). These new features are expected to shift the way we work and the way we interact with each other. Will it replace face-to-face interactions? Of course not. In-person interactions will always be essential to connecting with others. But, it does have the potential to help us get the information we need more quickly, break down silos, flatten the organization, drive innovation, and engage our associates in new or different ways. And if we let it, it could even reduce the amount of emails we produce.


So, changes are on the way. . .in the post, if you will. How we get there from here is up to us.

One of the amazing business benefits of a social collaboration platform is that it enables the discovery of otherwise unknown subject matter experts deep within your organization.  By making that knowledge and expertise available to the company, you can reduce costs, improve time to market, and streamline processes.

 

Discussing “finding experts” as a social use case it is a fairly vanilla conversation.  A user will type in keywords and the social tool will search content and profiles for matching individuals.  Alternatively, experts may find you by org-chart-image-300x199.jpgresponding to a question or commenting on a document you author.  But this description does not properly illustrate the incredible impact you can make across your company.  Consider this real world example.

 

On a recent social network implementation, there was a bright marketing professional named Julia.  She was about 25 years old and worked in one particular product area of this large company.  Although in the workforce for just a few years, Julia had spent considerable time working on what is known as “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization.  SEO is an important concept in marketing that consists of techniques and strategies to improve your website’s ranking in Google’s search results.  As we know, users rarely scroll beyond the first few results, so it is critical that your website ranks among the first. 

 

Julia was very good at her job, but because she was part of a large company with many layers, she was unknown outside of her group.  The company launched a social collaboration tool and Julia was part of the first group to quickly adopt and leverage the platform.  The company had many professionals who also focused on SEO for their product areas.  Each was an island with little interaction or awareness of each other.  These individuals quickly began to post SEO related questions, form groups and discuss techniques on the social platform.  Julia thrived in this environment.  She answers questions, posted best practices, and established herself as a SEO expert at the company.   Her efforts were not only benefiting the company, but Julia also benefited personally knowing her skills were helping others.


It is hard to say how many products and websites benefited from her expertise and techniques, but it was certainly many of them across the company.   Through her leadership she also was providing free training to others in the company to bring everyone up to the same level of expertise.  Imagine doing that for each functional area of your company!  To top it off, all of this occurred over a two month period.  It is an amazing story that is not unique to this company or this individual.  In a knowledge economy, countless numbers of rock stars exist at your company.  Social collaboration helps raise the profile of your subject matter experts, many of whom are hungry to make a difference by sharing what they know.

 

Andrew Kratz

Social Edge Consulting, LLC

www.socialedgeconsulting.com

 

Image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andrew Kratz

Company Wisdom

Posted by Andrew Kratz Apr 2, 2012

How many people do you know at your company?  100, 500, 750, 1000?  If you were fortunate enough to be employed by a large company for a long period of time maybe you do know 500 people.   Maybe you moved around and held various positions in a number of locations and you know 750.  Let’s say that you are a natural “networker” as well and you know 1,000 people.  Wow!  That would be pretty amazing.  When a challenge confronts you or when you need to bounce around some ideas around you have this incredible internal network to leverage.  Lucky for you.

 

Now how many people are at your company in total?   5,000, 10,000, 50,000, more?  So even though you know about as many people as a person possibly can, you might not have access to 90% of the company.  Their knowledge and wisdom is shut off from you.  This is where social networking can help.

 

By participating in groups focused on business, and posting your status (“what are you doing?”) you will be able to interact with the entire company.  You will be amazed how when you post a simple statement such as “Working on the ABC project, leveraging the XYZ tool” that out of no where people you never met will jump in.  “I worked on something similar to ABC, watch out for….”, or “I used XYZ tool, let me know if you need any help getting up to speed”.

 

You will see only flashes of this early on, because there is a real culture shift that needs to occur.  The staff at large corporations are not comfortable telling everyone about their challenges or even what they are working on.  We are conditioned to keep that “in the department”.  But this transparency can transform 100’s of departmental islands across the company that are trying to “figure it out on their own” into one company that is working together.   Social collaboration can help tap into the skills, talents and resources of a global workforce.

 

 

Access_Company_Wisdom_v2.JPG

 

 

by Andrew Kratz

Founder of Social Edge Consulting, LLC

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: