Year: 2007

Going global – an unnatural journey for an intranet

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in May 2007 ……

When talking about intranets, we tend to use the word “global” to mean “international” or “multi country”. However many global intranet challenges take place in a single country.

Global challenges can occur (and often do) in very limited geographical areas.

I learned this firsthand when I met an intranet manager (from a fairly small country) many years ago in a conference in London. He told me that the points I had presented in my talk about global intranets were identical to what he had experienced when the two major newspapers in his country merged and his challenge was to merge the intranets. It was tough going for several years. (more…)

Talking or listening ?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in March 2007 ……

What does your intranet reveal about your organization’s leadership style?

Guy Kawasaki wrote a post in his blog referring to an interview of  Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google by iinovate (in March 2007).  Guy’s favorite quote was “You don’t learn very much when you yourself are talking“.

I was struck by how this comment applies to intranets that are too top-down (which is the case of most).

Intranets are the ideal tool for management to listen to employees, which of course means bringing a strong bottom-up dimension to the intranet.

Unfortunately, most intranets do not know how to listen.

A few suggestions…

  • Have feedback buttons on all pages, where employees can respond to the authors of the pages
  • Run frequent short polls on the home page, and share the results with employees
  • Don’t be afraid to ask real questions, such as: “does the intranet help you save time?”
  • Then publish the results, with no editing!
  • Initiate a blog from someone in management and  leave comments open
  • Let people rate content pages, noting them “very useful”, “helpful”, “nice to know”
  • Start an enterprise-wide encyclopedia like the Wikipedia, and let people define the organization’s vocabulary and acronyms

More ideas…?

Humanising the enterprise – by blogging

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in March 2007 ……

Today I gave a one-day seminar on blogs and enterprises. I dealt with internal blogs, how to integrate them into the intranet, what purposes they serve, etc. I presented the IBM blogging guidelines, as I have done in other presentations and seminars.

Once again, there was a significant pause in the room when I finished going through the 11 points, translating them into French. Then someone said, “This really humanizes the enterprise.” She was right. The guidelines are simple, strong, obvious once you’ve read them, and obviously written by bloggers.  (more…)