Starry Blue Brilliance

Masterpiece communications


Leave a comment

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.


2 Comments

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. 🙂


2 Comments

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?


2 Comments

Gather Around the Bonfyre to Ignite Employee Engagement

FireworksPhoto by Elena Hruleva, barnimages.com

When you make a great discovery, you’re excited about sharing it with others.

While supporting and attending the ALI Strategic Internal Branding Conference last month, I discovered the Bonfyre app.

This “new approach to driving engagement and aligning cultures” was a fun, interactive, real-time way for us to capture and share the latest news, photos and videos from our internal branding learning adventure.

But Bonfyre does much more than that. Bonfyre brings it all together for global organizations:

  • Company Meetings & Events
  • Internal Communications
  • Team Building
  • Company Culture
  • Employee Recognition
  • HR Business Intelligence

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Dornfeld, President and Co-Founder, Bonfyre and Jake Bernstein, Manager, Business Development, Bonfyre, during the ALI conference. They told me that the Bonfyre website was recently redesigned, so here’s the scoop on that from Mark Sharp, Director of Marketing & Communications:

Bonfyre_HomeComputer

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What inspired the website redesign?
Mark Sharp:
As our business has rapidly evolved over the past three years from strictly an event app company to an event-to-enterprise social communications platform, we understood that our website needed to reflect this key strategic transformation in our business….and frankly, one that continues to emerge in the marketplace today and in the foreseeable future.

PB: How is the new site different from the previous site?
MS:
The previous web site design catered almost exclusively to prospective customers looking for an event app to use at their upcoming event(s). Yes, events remain a key and foundational component of our business…and always will.

However, the most apparent differentiation between the previous site and new site is the graphic user interface design and refined logo treatment. More importantly, the new site features six key strategic areas of business focus (i.e., Company Meetings & Events, Internal Communications, Team Building, Company Culture, Employee Recognition and HR Business Intelligence) for which Bonfyre can deliver impressive results in the creation and enrichment of employee engagement.

Bonfyre App_How It Works Hub

How Bonfyre Works

PB: What are the key features and benefits of the new site?
MS:
Through subtle use of animation, the “How it Works” section details Bonfyre features and functionalities specific to business use. So, whether you are interested in partnering with Bonfyre as the official event app for your Company Meetings & Events, delivering Internal Communications across a multitude of remote office locations or launching a campaign to change company culture, prospective customers are able to clearly see how Bonfyre can be leveraged to quickly deliver solutions for a host of business hurdles.

PB: What user feedback have you received about the new site?
MS:
The response from current clients, strategic partners and board members has been very complimentary! People grasp very quickly the new strategic vision Bonfyre is pursuing and how our products and services help to fulfill on the promises made.

Although web analytics and performance data for our website are confidential, it is safe to say that we are seeing improved results for visits, unique visits, page views, time spent on site, bounce rates, etc.

PB: How does your site tell the story of your business and the Bonfyre app?
MS:
Partnering with Bonfyre for Company Meetings & Events creates “the spark” that companies need to cultivate palpable, ongoing employee engagement and an enviable culture of personal empowerment…where leadership and employees share and exchange ideas, solutions, best practices, encouragement and team victories!

This is achieved by harnessing the power of Bonfyre for Internal Communication, Team Building, Company Culture and Employee Recognition initiatives. And the best part? Bonfyre is able to deliver real-time HR business intelligence and insights into what is working and what is not when it comes to driving the needle on employee engagement.

PB: How does Bonfyre support employee engagement?
MS:
Bonfyre not only supports employee engagement, but creates employee engagement! As a senior business executive searching for something that will motivate employees across the company to take ownership, build camaraderie, transform culture, build bridges and forge innovation, Bonfyre delivers the desired results!

Beautifully simple in design and intuition, Bonfyre is being downloaded and embraced by 70+% of event guests in 2016. And as past trends indicate, these guests continue to seize the energy and solidarity that Bonfyre creates long after the event has concluded and carry the burning flame of engagement back to their companies…transforming communication, team building, culture and recognition.

Bonfyre Data Analytics

Bonfyre Data Analytics

Thanks to Chris Dornfeld, Jake Bernstein, and Mark Sharp for their time and support in sharing Bonfyre with us. 🙂

If you haven’t tried Bonfyre yet, I encourage you to check it out at www.bonfyreapp.com


Leave a comment

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!


Leave a comment

How to Recognize Your Employees through Storytelling

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_casa_loma

Photo by paul bica

“People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” – Dr. Bob Nelson, best-selling author and motivational speaker

According to Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit (TCEL) session speaker Janet LeBlanc, “Customer-centric companies know how important it is to reward and recognize their employees.” Creating a relevant story with the employee at the center of the recognition goes a long way to unlock higher performance and engagement.

A story that lacks a unique perspective will create the opposite effect as described in “How to Ruin an Employee’s Big Moment” by Jeff Haden.

Great recognition uses great storytelling as its foundation. Learn how to effectively recognize your employees in “Transforming Company Culture through Storytelling” by Darcy Jacobsen.

Join me in Miami next week (April 9-11) for TCEL and hear more about employee recognition from Janet LeBlanc during her session, “Employee Recognition Programs Energize and Strengthen Customer-Centric Organizations.”

To learn more about the event and register, go to http://www.iirusa.com/totalcustomer. Stay connected with TCEL:

  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer

How are you using stories to recognize your employees and strengthen your organizational culture?