Events and Trade Shows

Lightning talks for lightbulb thinking – Intranet Now conference

Photo credit: Antonio Salgado, Capturise via the Intranet Now conference

Like a lean manufacturing line, the morning’s ‘Lightning talks’ (5 – 15 minutes each) kept true to its word as the multiple lightning talks flowed seamlessly with each presenter getting their points across in the time allotted. I was amazed at how much wisdom was imparted in such a short time!

Here’s a roundup of just a few of the lightning talks.

Kevin Cody, SmallWorlders – Bridging the intranet adoption chasm

Kevin reminded us that some intranets fail and others succeed. Why? If you want to get people to engage, you must give them a reason to log on. Mapping adoption to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Kevin demonstrated that you need to give employees a reason!

  • For the conservatives (those hesitant to use intranets) – give them a reason to log on, ensure it is easy, exclusive and essential
  • For the pragmatists – give them a reason to return
  • For the visionaries – give them a reason to lead the way forward. This gives the communicators a reason to create a communication strategy that includes advocates who will help your intranet to be successful

Áine Murphy, Macmillan Cancer Support – Overcoming organizational barriers to ensure intranet redesign success

Áine shared good practical advice. She learned that the best way to achieve their goal was to build an intranet that employees trusted and was easier to use than before. To achieve this, they listened to their staff and initiated early conversations on the process to ensure both the business and the employee’s benefitted by working together towards a common goal and creating a successful intranet.

Jennifer Hayward-Haines, Telefonica – Using an ESN to beat global communications challenges

Telefonica’s employees are spread across 20 countries and the communications team are faced with linguistic, geographical, and time challenges. They are currently rolling out an intranet system to help communicate across their large functional silos.

Jennifer gave great nuggets of information, telling communicators not to expect that an intranet will solve all of our problems. Initially it will triple one’s amount of work. You will have to get management on board to help seed information to help keep the content refreshed. In time the communicator then goes from the controller to the curator of information, Telefonica now have 60,000 employees using the system, communicating and engaging invaluable information across the organization.

Tom Gillman, Crafted – Making it personal: practical UX applications for intranets 

Tom emphasized the importance of being clear on why you need an intranet. In the design – you must make it personal for employees and ensure the UX is practical. Don’t assume you know all the problems or think employees will automatically come to the intranet. Use technology to give you the data and tools to give you the insight that will make an intranet work for you.

Speaking of tools. Tom shared lots of tools he likes to use use during the design and build phase of an intranet: Google Analytics, Typeform, Optimal Sort tool, slickplan, InVision app and User Testing. Once your intranet is up and running, Tom encourages communicators to be bold, patient and persistent. Find internal advocates to promote it and don’t be afraid to use offline channels to push its use.

Kristian Norling, Intranätverk, – Five tips for intranet search

Kristian’s entertaining five tips highlighted that an intranet is not just a project but a lifelong commitment.  He gave five essential tips for a useful intranet search function:

  1. Commitment – Search is not a project, it is a lifelong commitment.
  2. Deleters – Delete, Archive or Keep information.
  3. Information (content) – Be aware of information ROT, Redundant, Outdated & Trivial.
  4. Metadata – Dates are the most important, this helps you carry out item number 2 (Deleters).
  5. Feedback – This is essential for a successful intranet.

Martin Pope, Barclays – Connecting learners to learning in a large financial services organization

 Technology has changed the world, but most organizations are slow to provide such technology in a work environment. This means people often feel disconnected and disadvantaged in the job. Martin have us great takeaways to help alter this habit in our own organizations:

  1. Put the users at the center of the design activity – strong UX principle.
  2. Be agile in the design and development process.
  3. Be creative, innovative and courageous in design.
  4. Push the boundaries of systems – don’t be constrained by them.
  5. Just-in-time (JIT) and bite size content is good.
  6. Reuse content wherever possible.
  7. Have a compelling look and feel.
  8. Ensure it is accessible to all.

P.S. Congratulations to our customer Barclays for winning the Intranet Innovation Award – presented to them at the conference.

Susan Quain, Care UK – Digital workplace project – Bringing your organization with you 

Susan spoke about the loss of 4,000 employees and her task to implement an intranet that worked. She said it is ideal when you can take a disenfranchised employee and make them connected. Susan advised us of what she did to make it work:

  1. Make it count – Look at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to get middle management on board.
  2. Rebuild a steering group – They will  help you.
  3. Maintain momentum
    • Devise a project plan
      • Make the scope of the project clear.
      • Recruit business champions.
      • Create informal networks.
      • Revisit and revise communications plan.
    • Use a Project team.
    • Rebuild your engagement strategy.
  4. Monitor and Measure.

Her framework is based on: Discovery  – Design – Implement Action – Rollout –  Evaluation – Closedown

Her outcomes ranged from a mobile intranet with improved access,  a new content management system, new policy database, new employee directory, new powerful search, and metadata, an engaging homepage and overall it is an engaging space for IC.  Susan turned typical management technologies on their head and got support – I think her method might be one to follow!

Their presentations are available on the Intranet Now website. Congratulations to Sam Marshall on winning the Intranet Now Diamond Award, for his contribution to the intranet community. Here is an ondemand webinar that we previously did with Sam on “The Future of SharePoint”.


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