Starry Blue Brilliance

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Successfully Transforming Your Organization Depends on How Well You Do This

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“For when ideas flutter in haze, we collaborate without notice and collect them as butterflies only to set them free into the world.” – Shawn Lukas, goodreads.com

How well does your organization promote an environment of collaboration?

How important is sustainable business success to your organization?

When considering the answers to these questions, you’ll soon realize that collaboration matters more than you realize.

In “Transforming Internal Collaboration for the Digital Economy” by Phase 2 Technologywe learn that “Forrester Research highlights the need to harness big data, transform customer experience, leverage cloud-based innovation, and embrace the mobile mind-shift. Unfortunately, many organizations that have successfully adopted Forrester’s principles still fail to follow through on an indispensable aspect of digital transformation: internal reorganization paired with technology modernization.”

So, how does an organization successfully achieve this “indispensable aspect of digital transformation?” Through collaboration.

But this can only happen when an organization has a culture that promotes respect, trust and care. I talk more about this in “How Thought Leaders Can Thoughtfully Lead Collaborative Company Cultures.”

Organizations with collaborative cultures are also more receptive to innovation and transformation, which are necessary for sustainable business success.

Now, aren’t you glad I asked?

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What’s Missing from Your Marketing Technology Blueprint?

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You can build the most elaborate marketing technology blueprint, but it won’t serve you well without one key ingredient: collaboration.

But before we tackle that challenge, what is a marketing technology blueprint, and why is it important to your organization’s innovation success?

In “How to Create a Marketing Technology Blueprint,” Scott Vaughan, CMO of Integrate, describes it as “a simple visual diagram – captured from a white board photo, organized in PowerPoint or a good old-fashion schematic – that outlines current tech, systems, processes and data flows utilized or needed by marketing. By documenting and visualizing systems and processes, marketers can quickly capture the current state of their marketing technology, identify gaps, overlaps, and chokepoints, and, most importantly, have a single view of their technology investments.”

The most successful marketing technology blueprint is one in which the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) collaborate together to create it.

In “Getting the CMO and the CIO to Work Together as Partners,” Matt Ariker, Martin Harrysson and Jesko Perrey point out that “the CIO is becoming a strategic partner who is crucial to developing and executing marketing strategy. To do this successfully, “CIOs, obliged to turn new technology into revenue, need the CMOs to help them with better functional and technical requirements for big data initiatives.”

I’ve worked in marketing AND IT roles, so I understand the needs of both of these valued departments in an organization. If you want to improve communication and collaboration in YOUR organization, please contact me at peggy@starrybluebrilliance.com. Together we’ll collaborate to design your continued business success.

 


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Leaders: Your Future Success Depends on This

People in a canoe on a riverPhoto: Kaboompics

Collaboration is one of those “sink or swim” things when it comes to organizational success.

Leaders who encourage collaboration within their organizations succeed. Those who don’t…won’t.

According to Heidi K. Gardner in “When Senior Managers Won’t Collaborate,” “leaders who want to build a culture of collaboration should begin with themselves, modeling the right behavior by contributing to others’ client work and sharing credit with those who participate in their own.”

In “Smart Leaders Know When Their Culture Sucks,” Jan Johnston Osburn says that “leaders who fail to ask if their organization has the right culture is failing in keeping their organizations fresh and innovative.”

Are you a champion for collaboration in your organization? Check out “8 Tips for Collaborative Leadership” by Carol Kinsey Gorman to find out how to foster this “essential ingredient for organizational survival and success.”

After all, YOUR success depends on it.


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How Thought Leaders Can Thoughtfully Lead Collaborative Company Cultures

Hot Air BalloonsPhoto: Findaphoto

I’m honored to be on IC Kollectif’s “Top IC Thought Leaders” list. But with great honor comes great responsibility.

As communication thought leaders, we need to lead the charge to build collaborative company cultures that promote respect, trust and care.

Internal Communication (IC) is the foundation of a collaborative company culture. Once you build a flourishing employee culture, then your employees will carry forward that care to your customers and clients.

Here’s some inspiration and direction for your quest to build successful, sustainable, collaborative company cultures:

I’d like to thank and recognize these communication experts (also on the “Top IC Thought Leaders” list) for supporting my quest for collaboration and continuous learning:

How are you helping to build a collaborative company culture? Send your stories to peggy@starrybluebrilliance.com to share in the ongoing Collaboration@Work series. 🙂


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Collaboration Ensures Our Future Success

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What’s the one skill we can all learn to master that applies to any job in any industry?

It’s collaboration.

This sobering fact really hits home in “5 Essential Skills You Need to Keep Your Job in the Next 10 Years.” After Trend Spotting, Collaboration is the #2 essential skill you’ll need to keep your job in the future. Be sure to read about all of the “five skills to start building now to maintain your marketability over the next decade.”

Here are some other compelling articles to help support your efforts to master collaboration to ensure your future success in any organization in any industry:

How do you promote collaboration in your organization? Send me your stories to feature in my ongoing Collaboration@Work series. 🙂


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Why Collaboration is Good for Your IT Career

light-bulbs-918581_1280Photo: Pixabay

Actually, collaboration is good for everyone’s career, but in this post, I’m highlighting how collaboration can support a stellar IT career.

In yesterday’s post, “This Collaboration Idea Will Move You and IT to Greater Business Success,” I shared ideas on how collaboration helps everyone succeed, especially when incorporating IT into the strategic business conversation.

The #1 tip for IT professionals (or anyone) to advance their career as described in “3 Ways to Advance Your IT Career,” is to Be A Team Player. Eric Grevstad explains that “you’re part of a bigger team – the whole company – and you’re judged on how much you contribute to the business’s bottom line.

The driving force behind “being a team player” is collaboration. Here are some fabulous real-life examples of how collaboration supports everyone’s success:

Is your organization looking for ways to improve communication and collaboration? Contact me at peggy@starrybluebrilliance.com to discuss how we can work together to create masterpiece communications.


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This Collaboration Idea Will Move You and IT to Greater Business Success

moving roadPhoto: Findaphoto

This collaboration idea will literally move you to greater business success and will ensure IT (Information Technology) is a part of the strategic business conversation.

In “The Easiest Way to Get Your Team to Collaborate” Sam Shank, CEO and Co-Founder, HotelTonight, shared the successes of a “desk swap day, where people traded desks with colleagues on a different team.”

Overall, this idea was well-received by most HotelTonight employees. When reading the comments posted on this story, I noticed many people asked how this idea could effectively work for an IT team.

The best way to implement this idea for IT is to already have IT employees co-located with other business teams. This leads to positive relationships between IT and other areas of the business and improved collaboration, which leads to greater business success.

For example, in “How CIOs Build Bridges with Other C-Level Execs,” Leslie Jones, Senior Vice President and CIO at Motorola Solutions, talked about the success of “embedding IT staff in business functions, or instituting functional rotations to familiarize staff with other parts of the company. Now they are part of their business operations teams, determining strategies and plans for new customer services along with the other leaders in those groups. And then those teams turn to IT to help execute those plans.”

Here are some other resources to help focus IT on greater business success:

Need help creating and managing high-performing integrated communications and learning systems for your IT professionals? Contact me at peggy@starrybluebrilliance.com to discuss how we can collaborate to create masterpiece communications for your organization.


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Bonfyre Inspires Collaboration@Work

Fireworks over city skylinePhoto: Bossfight.co

When’s the last time you experienced great collaboration at work?

When I heard about Bonfyre’s Lunch and Learn program, I just had to find out more about this fabulous example of collaboration so I could share it and inspire others to be more collaborative at work.

Chris Dornfeld is President and Co-founder of Bonfyre, a mobile, social engagement platform used by people, brands and companies around the globe. When I met Chris during the ALI’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, he had exciting news to share about Bonfyre’s new website.

This month, Chris shared with me how Bonfyre’s Lunch and Learn program increases collaboration among his employees so they learn from each other, learn about each other, and continue to be inspired to help their clients create increased collaboration in their organizations.

Bonfyre employees collaborate on white-boarding and visual communication during their monthly Lunch and Learn program

Bonfyre employees collaborate on white-boarding and visual communication during their monthly Lunch and Learn program

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How does your Lunch and Learn series support your business goals?
Chris Dornfeld: The Bonfyre Lunch and Learn program accomplishes three objectives for our team:
(1) Exposing people to new ideas and knowledge.
(2) Getting to know one another. Employees present on a broad range of topics. Most are in some way interactive.
(3) Reinforce our culture of collaboration and learning.

These outcomes help us build a more engaged, innovative and collaborative team of people.

PB: How does your Lunch and Learn series promote collaboration and a positive company culture?
CD:  Occasionally, we bring in an outside expert, but most of our Lunch and Learns are organized and presented by employees. Some of the topics are directly related to our business and some are just things people find interesting and they want to share. People take them pretty seriously and do an excellent job making them interesting and engaging.

Recently, one of our graphic designers did a Lunch and Learn on white-boarding and good visual communication in meetings. After the first 20 minutes, we divided into pairs and created visual stories for one another. Not only did we learn about visual communication, but we learned a great deal about people in other parts of the company.

PB: Tell us more about your Lunch and Learn series program.
CD: We try to conduct a program once a month. The topics vary widely from how stock options work, to travel slide shows of exotic places, from client events, to hacking Bonfyre design ideas. We have also hosted authors, motivational speakers and experts in their fields.

PB: What is some of the feedback you’ve received so far on this series?
CD: Incredibly positive! It’s always nice to get a free lunch with your co-workers, but learning more about things you are interested in is even better. The topics are pretty diverse, and attendance is voluntary. Everyone participating is engaged.

PB: What are some other collaboration activities or initiatives you’ve launched?
CD: We build technology to help employees around the globe love their job, so we are constantly thinking and testing new technologies, ideas and programs to improve the work experience.

Bonfyre employees team-build during a human foosball game.

Bonfyre employees team-build during a human foosball game.

We have company team building events like human foosball and escape rooms. We encourage cross-department brainstorming/hackathons to help solve problems. We have project tables for Lego and “maker” builds. And of course, we have Bonfyre communities for everything from project teams to “foodies,” so we can stay connecting and collaborating, no matter our location.

Bonfyre’s collaboration techniques inspired me to create a new series called Collaboration@Work, where I’ll share more examples of fabulous collaboration at work. Stay tuned!

What are some examples of fabulous collaboration you’ve experienced at your organization?


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The Key to Your Digital Transformation Success

"Fairy Kingdom", a cave inside the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes in Germany by Ansgar Koreng / CC BY 3.0 (DE)Photo: “Fairy Kingdom,” a cave inside the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes in Germany by Ansgar Koreng / CC BY 3.0 (DE)

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker, U.S. management consultant and author

Starting a business and staying in business takes courage. It also takes engaged employees.

According to phase2technology.com in “Transforming Internal Collaboration for the Digital Economy,” “the secret ingredient is culture and best practices.”

And what ties culture and best practices together? CollaborationIt’s the key to your organization’s digital transformation success.

Join me Dec. 9-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada for Advanced Learning Institute’s “Intranets, Content, & Collaboration” Conference. Together we’ll learn about reinventing our intranets and creating digital workplaces that drive productivity, engagement, innovation and measurable business results.

To help direct your digital transformation success, be sure to attend these pre-conference workshops:

  • “How to Successfully Build and Manage Digital Platforms that will Engage Employees, Transform Company Productivity, and Rebuild Culture,” presented by Heath Applebaum, Owner & Principal Consultant, Echo Communications
  • “Strategic Priorities for a Digital Transformation within Your Organization,” presented by Shannon Ryan, CEO, Nonlinear

As a conference supporter, I can offer you special pricing to attend this event. Use Priority/VIP Code SBB when registering to receive a $200 discount on Regular pricing.

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_Intranets.

In the meantime, watch for my conference posts on LinkedInTwitter, Google+ and Starry Blue Brilliance.

And be sure to stop by the Starry Blue Brilliance exhibit table during the conference to discuss collaboration opportunities!


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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!