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Transform the Way You Communicate

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Chicago Buildings” photo by Dasha

Next week, communicators from all over the globe will come together to learn and share ideas about reinventing their organizations’ intranets.

If you are unable to attend next week’s 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit, check out these pre-event stories to help your organization create digital workplaces that drive productivity, innovation and measurable business results.

How is your organization integrating social, mobile and video tools to evolve a traditional intranet?

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Need Help on the Road to a Digital Workplace?

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“Chicago Roads” photo by Dasha

We could all use some help every once in a while, especially when we need to change, but change isn’t easy.

If your organization needs to change the way it works and how it engages with employees, then “Getting from Intranet to Digital Workplace” by Stacy L. Wilson, ABC can help you get started with three simple approaches.

Stacy is president of Eloquor Consulting, Inc. and has more than 27 years of experience in internal communication and organizational development.

She is also the conference chairperson of this month’s 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit. During her session, “Roadmap to a Digital Workplace: Paving the Way to a New Way to Work,” Stacy will show you how to help your organization on its journey to a digital workplace, including:

  • How to identify ROI and business needs
  • Technical assessments that support digital workplace planning
  • Developing governance for the long haul
  • The pros and cons of different launch approaches
  • Planning for adoption, communication and training

How are you helping your organization on its journey to a digital workplace?


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Brilliance@Work and the Stars Who Make it Happen: Stacy L. Wilson, ABC

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar communication professionals and their best practices at work.

Stacy L. Wilson, ABC

Stacy L. Wilson, ABC

Stacy L. Wilson, ABC is president of Eloquor Consulting, Inc., in Lakewood, Colorado. Stacy has more than 27 years of experience and has focused exclusively on internal communication and organizational development since the mid-1990s. Stacy and her company specialize in intranet governance, usability and content, and change communication.

Stacy is also the conference chairperson of the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit, July 29-31 in Chicago, Illinois. This event is designed for communicators and technologists to learn how to reinvent their intranets and move toward a digital workplace that drives productivity, innovation and measurable business results. For information or to register, visit http://www.aliconferences.com/events/intranet-and-digital-workplace-summit-2014#

In the meantime, read on to learn how Stacy helps organizations communicate more effectively with employees and leverage internal communication to deliver results.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What is most important for people to know about you?
Stacy L. Wilson, ABC: When I left not-for-profit for corporate I needed a new cause. Employees became my cause and passion. My work is focused on making work life better and more rewarding for the employees of our client companies, leveraging technology where possible.

PB: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
SW:
The people and process side of technology fascinates me. I believe organizations too often launch new technology without paying attention to how it affects people and processes. This results in low adoption and poor ROI. I’m especially interested in human psychology and resulting workplace behavior. I enjoy teaching about technology governance, how people interact with their digital tools, and how people interact with online content.

PB: What communication projects are you most proud of?
SW: While working for a child welfare agency in Ohio, I managed the communication budget used to attract foster families. I reached out to my counterparts in a half-dozen other agencies and together (I facilitated) we created the Foster Care Cooperative. Working together and pooling budget, the agencies were able to do a lot more outreach in the community and attract far more prospective foster families. That agency is still in operation today, using the same logo we created in the early 1990s.

In the mid-1990s I led the implementation of the first intranet for Sprint PCS. While we saved the company millions of dollars with it, more importantly, we changed the entire mindset within Sprint Corporate about what an intranet should do. I came over to corporate to lead a similar effort for the entire company, where I laid the groundwork for what today is an award-winning intranet, managed by the woman I hired when I was there. It’s a legacy I probably won’t have another opportunity to create.

In January, I completed a project for the Fortune 100 logistics company mentioned below. This was the most comprehensive digital workplace roadmap I’ve ever been involved with. It is a terrific example of how to engage many users in the upfront planning and requirements definition to ensure adoption and big ROI. As a result, they have a big pool of champions from which to draw during implementation.

PB: What makes you stand out in a crowd of professional communicators?
SW: As a communicator, I want to get employees actively involved in communicating, and I want to leverage communication to achieve business goals. As a consultant, I am highly participatory and collaborative. I think of myself as a teacher when I lead conference sessions, not a speaker or presenter. This is true in my consulting work as well; I teach so the client – or conference attendees – can do things on their own.

PB: What are some communication best practices you’ve developed and/or helped to implement?
SW: My internal communication planning methodology was recently developed into a SharePoint add-on called ElevatePoint Plan. I’ve honed this method during my nearly three decades of communication work. Now, anyone can drop it into their SharePoint to manage the communication planning, implementation and reporting process.

I’ve created an entire suite of communication tools based on past work. This includes tools for digital workplace projects, manager communication, change communication, etc. I often give these away when I teach at conferences.

My methodology for helping clients create governance for intranets and digital workplaces is really important. I’ve used it for many Fortune 500 companies, tweaking each time to improve or customize to their needs. Our clients really love the approach.

My methodology for content migration, while always evolving, is proving very useful for organizations with a lot of old content and a new platform. Our approach is flexible, yet diligent enough to deliver sound ROI.

PB: What are your current projects as you continue to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
SW: My projects include:

  • Creating a strategic internal communication function where there previously wasn’t one, at a specific site (Fortune 150 mining company), including strategic planning, skill training, message assistance and consulting on their digital tools.
  • Evolving the home page and resource area of the intranet (global insurance company), including user research and testing, counsel on integration of social, taxonomy and information architecture direction.
  • Implementation support for a new digital workplace (Fortune 100 global logistics company), including content migration, governance, training, taxonomy, adoption and communication for launch (Will be starting on this project soon).

I’m also writing regularly for SharePoint Pro Magazine sharing what we learn in client assignments. On a personal level, I serve on the Patient and Family Advisory Counsel at the nearby hospital that last year saved my husband’s life. I, together with other patients and their family members, provide direction and feedback to hospital projects from the consumer perspective. It’s a very rewarding effort.

PB: As conference chairperson of the Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit in Chicago this month, what would you say makes this event unique?
SW: The smaller, more intimate size is great. Advanced Learning Institute (ALI) conferences include a lot of interaction and dialogue among participants. Everyone gets to know each other and connect in meaningful ways. As chair, my first task is to ensure learning and my second is to help each speaker shine.

PB: What are some of your favorite resources that inspire your work?
SW: Some of my favorite resources are:

  • John Kotter: Probably the single greatest influence on my work
  • Geert Hofstede: Really useful when working with global clients
  • Mike Klein: I may not always agree with Mike, but he’s always got something important to say
  • Groundswell: Really altered my view of what digital tools should do for the business
  • Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn’s book on culture: I use it all the time
  • Liz Guthridge: Very strategic and always looking at the psychology behind things
  • IABC: Even though it’s going through ups and downs right now, I continue to support the organization that has shaped me as a communicator
  • Roger D’Aprix’s communication model: Live by it
  • Malcolm Gladwell: Blink and Tipping Point gave insight into how to run my business and provide sound direction, Outliers helped me rethink parenting, while I took David & Goliath as direction for small business success; all very insightful

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments and ideas?
SW: Stacy L. Wilson, ABC (accredited by IABC) swilson@eloquor.com, 303-522-0411 http://www.linkedin.com/in/stacylwilson, www.eloquor.com/blog, @stacylwilson

What are your ideas for topics or people to be featured in future Brilliance@Work profiles?


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How to Help Your Employees Live the Brand Life

1024px-Chicago_(2550958185)Photo: Chicago evening skyline, Bert Kaufmann, Roermond, Netherlands, http://commons.wikimedia.org

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup

Your employees are the face of your brand. They are building customer relationships and delivering on your brand promise. In your customers’ minds, your employees are your brand.

It makes sense then for organizations to invest substantial time and effort into transforming their employees into brand ambassadors, helping them to “live the brand life.”

Not sure where to begin? “8 Steps to Turn Staffers into Online Brand Ambassadors” by Courtney Howell will help get you started.

In the meantime, register for the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit, July 29-31, to learn more about employee engagement and creating brand ambassadors.

While you’re there, be sure to check out “Using Your Employees’ Voices to Break Down Silos, Nuture Brand Ambassadors and Achieve Your Strategic Objectives through Internal Digital Communications” presented by Hassaan Basit, Director, Communications & Marketing, Conservation Halton. Learn how to leverage your internal digital communication tools to help you:

  • Identify your employee brand using your company’s owned media, including an intranet platform to strike up a conversation with your employees, define your employee brand and increase engagement
  • Identify and promote internal brand champions, people who will sign your pledge and motivate others to do the same
  • Reconcile your differences, unique challenges and diverse skills, with common objectives
  • Create a strategic communications plan for your organization that becomes a living document, embraced by all and aligned with personal, departmental and corporate goals

How are you helping your employees to “live the brand?”


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Create This Critical Intranet Content for Your Organization’s Success

1024px-2003-08-22_Chicago_skyline_from_Olive_Park_BeachPhoto: Chicago skyline viewed from Olive Park Beach, Ildar Sagdejev, http://commons.wikimedia.org

A highly effective intranet makes it easier for employees to do their jobs, which means increased productivity, collaboration, engagement and profitability for your organization.

Use “9 Types of Content Every Intranet Should Have” by Andrew Wright as your checklist to build or improve upon your organization’s intranet.

For a light-hearted

To learn more about transforming your intranet and the way your employees communicate, register for the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit, July 29-31 in Chicago, Illinois.

While you’re there, be sure to check out “Building and Launching a Global Intranet on a Shoestring Budget” presented by JoEllen Saeli-Lane, Director of Internal Communications for Care USA. In this session you will learn how to:

  • Create a platform that is accessible to staff in low-bandwidth areas and on all mobile devices and browsers
  • Determine the critical factors to success on a tight budget
  • Create a global governance structure

What features of your organization’s intranet do your employees find relevant and use the most?


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Use Storytelling to Transform Your Intranet and Your Organization

Pop_transformation_(1444124191)_1024Photo: Feliciano Guimarães from Guimarães, Portugal

Great stories can help you:

  • Create meaningful connections with your employees
  • Transform your intranet into a key collaboration and idea platform
  • Improve your organization’s productivity and profitability

Need some inspiration on why and how to tell great stories? Read “Three Tips to Telling a Persuasive Story” by ePals CEO Katya Andresen.

To learn more about how to increase collaboration and employee engagement to drive business results, register for the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit.

While you’re there, be sure to check out “How to Use Your Digital Workplace to Drive Collaboration, Build Trust and Transform the Way You Communicate” presented by James Warda, Chris Catania and Steve Cohen of the Corporate Communications team at Walgreen Co.

The Walgreen’s story will help you understand how to:

  • Build (and sustain) the business case for an enterprise social network
  • Give employees a place where they can become better informed, connected and engaged
  • Build partnerships across the company, which is vital to the success of any intranet initiative
  • Focus on key metrics to measure the success of your intranet

How does your organization’s intranet incorporate storytelling?


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What Drives Successful Social Intranet Adoption?

1024px-TransformationPhoto: A night shot of The Transformation Artwork in BGC by h.abanil, http://commons.wikimedia.org

A relevant and engaging intranet is just the tip of the iceberg for an organization’s digital workplace. It’s important to realize though that just because you build it, doesn’t mean your employees will use it.

How can you help ensure your employees will use your organization’s intranet as they collaborate and share ideas? Start by reading “Six Variables of Social Intranet Adoption” by Dom Crincoli.

To learn more about transforming your intranet into a key collaboration and idea platform your employees will use, register for the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit.

While you’re there, be sure to check out “Journey to a Social Workforce: How to Drive Culture Change through Enterprise Social Network Adoption and Engagement” presented by Lonya French, Manager, Intranet & Community Management, Pitney Bowes.

How is your organization’s intranet transforming your digital workplace?

 


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Join Me for the 2014 Intranet and Digital Workplace Summit

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Join me July 29-31 in Chicago, Illinois for the 2014 Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit sponsored by the Advanced Learning Institute. As a guest blogger, I will share highlights before, during and after the Summit.

I’m excited about the prospect of attending this event with you and your colleagues. Together we can learn more about reinventing our intranets and creating digital workplaces that drive productivity, innovation and measurable business results, including:

  • Fueling strategic thinking on a global intranet: leveraging our digital environments to drive efficiencies and a one-company culture
  • Bringing digital employee engagement and collaboration to mobile and field-based employees
  • Developing a digital governance network
  • Understanding and demonstrating the business impact of the digital workplace on our organizations
  • Aligning our digital workplaces with our business strategies
  • Understanding the new role of SharePoint and Office 365 in our digital workplaces
  • Driving culture change through enterprise social network adoption and engagement
  • Integrating social, mobile and video tools to evolve our traditional intranets

Please share this information with those who might be interested in attending this event. I will post event highlights daily during this timeframe on Starry Blue Brilliance. Be sure to check it out!

In the meantime, watch for my pre-event posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Starry Blue Brilliance, and please share with your networks. Let’s keep the conversations going!

Thank you very much for your continued support. I’m very excited about this opportunity!