Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar communication professionals and their best practices at work.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-522-0411 http://www.linkedin.com/in/stacylwilson, www.eloquor.com/blog, @stacylwilson
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