More insights from the basement – ISM Forum part 2

After a great day with lots of input – some of which I blogged about here – I was back in the basement for more insights. A little more preoccupied with the fact that I had to do my own presentation (which went well if you ask me) but the day also provided more great insights.

One of the first presentations was from BT. I have seen this presented several times, but I have to say that they are doing a great job and there’s always good ideas to find here. The interesting thing this time around was that BT has encouraged ’non-business’ social stuff in order to get the social side going – a really good approach, but also one which requires very good support from management.

If I compare to my own company I am sure that there will be a substantial divide between those who think it’s a good idea and those who don’t. Who is the bigger group is hard to say, but regardless I think everybody should keep Richards wise words in mind: ”People don’t come in thin slices – they come in 3D”. What he meant was that companies focus on a very small portion of a person. That portion consist of the expertise needed to fill the job role. Everything else is best left at home. Personally, I would like to see more ’3D people’ in the workplace. Wouldn’t you?

The ROMEC case featured a very entertaining music video which was a very welcome break, but the main takeaway for me was their use fo offline initiatives to drive traffic to the intranet. Nigel told how they used postcards sent directly to the employee’s homes to encourage use of the intranet. Simple and reasonably easy. In my opinion this is something that many, including ourselves, should do a lot more of. As a company you still want to engage with them, but in order to achieve this, you must look in the bag of old marketing tricks. Comms and marketing may be a bit like cats and dogs, but here’s an area where we can benefit from working together.

The final presentation of the day was the one I was particularly interested in. Attending a course in strategic management, I have recently turned in a paper on internal networking and in the process of writing this I have been thinking a lot about the future workplace and how loose ties become more and more important in diverse organisations. Luis shared very interesting insights in how IBM has become a very ’disconnected’ company and yet the social technologies help them stay connected allowing the IBMers to work when ever and wherever. He mentioned that people did not share their own work under their own name on the 16,000 blogs as much as they contribute to the internal IBM wiki which has more than 1 million page views per day. Very interesting that the internal sharing is driven by more altruistic motives, and not fuelled by the ‘Ego factors’ mentioned on Day 1…

Luis’ closing remark: ”Work happens wherever you are. You are work. Work is you.” was a very appropriate end to another day with lots of good input. After all, it was Friday afternoon close to 6 pm, and in a way this sould be classified as work, but a most inspiring kind.

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A brief epilogue: Thank you to all delegates for two days of excellent networking and last, but not least, a thank you to the ForwardNetworking team, Jozefa, Martin, and Luuk, for two excellent days.

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