Global & Local, x-Early Perspectives

Tipping point for the global intranet team

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in June 2006 ……

There comes a moment in global intranet initiatives when the intranet team has to let go of the “baby” and learn to be a facilitator.

After months sometimes years of pushing, evangelizing, persuading people and departments one by one to join the global intranet, there is what some might call the tipping point. 

It can be triggered by Senior Management suddenly realizing they need the intranet. Or by a large country or business division previously with their own intranet agreeing to migrate to the global system.

At this time, when the critical mass is reached, or the critical degree of coordinated energy is achieved, it is emotionally hard for intranet teams to let go. After so much often unappreciated work, they suddenly are no longer the center of the action.

Everyone is suddenly jumping on the bandwagon and – of course – have lots of ideas about how to improve the intranet. In their enthusiasm – as newly converted “intraneters” – they forget to acknowledge the hard work of the past.

The acid test

This is the acid test for intranet teams. It should be a moment of celebration because it means you have won. It can be experienced as a moment of disappointment, a let down, because there are suddenly many people who want to take ownership of different pieces of the cake.

You’ve finally reached the point when the intranet is about to become a utility in the organization.

Now the next job is governance. This is a tricky one. It requires much facilitation and negotiation to lead a participatory process through to a concrete, realistic governance system.

And, the intranet team should take leadership in this, but be able to step back from previous nearly total “ownership” of everything, and begin to integrate the intranet into the way of working of the enterprise.

This is an essential (sometimes painful) step in making the intranet the way of working.