During the last weeks, I have had the privilege to read reports on ready-made intranet solutions:
The above three resources give you a very good overview of what is available today. They also update these overviews regularly, so keep your eyes open for new versions.
When I browse the descriptions of such intranet solutions, many vendors sound the same. Yes, they all sell the same products, but still, something is missing. I wish more of them came from an organizational psychology / change management / sound workplace angle. And that they show they really know how to code SharePoint, as in jaw-droppingly cool.
Many of them still tell us what we can read from Microsoft’s site: There are search and libraries, it can be online, you can integrate with other services, and so on.
It would be awesome if some vendors took this to the next level, such as:
- Since we know SharePoint search so well, we have tweaked it via the search engine and web parts to make your daily life easier. Our search experts make sure no one will complain about the search again.
- Since we know SharePoint, but don’t know you, we always start all projects having coffee and listening to your stories. Once we know you, we present the technical solution.
- Since we know the hybrid environments so well, we have of course already integrated Delve in your on-prem solution, and can integrate it in your Win 10 installations for a smooth experience.
- Since we know the current discussions about digital workplaces, that is the start of our talks. We are not here to sell you a platform. We are here to help you work more effectively, lessen your stress, and help you save money no matter where you are.
- Since we like you, we invite you to meet us and other clients over a coffee or a beer regularly, to socialize and network.
It will be interesting to see if any vendors take such steps. My guess is that, if they remain talking just about the technology, they could be outmaneuvered by others.
This is the sixth post on my journey towards working with a humane digital workplace. It started with “Building a humane digital workplace” (listing the 5 Cs) and was followed up with “Connect“, “Communicate“, “Collaborate“ and “Coach“.
The fifth and final C is Create, and the 30.000 feet overview of our intent with Create is that we:
- Are responsive, adaptive and open to new ideas
- Dare to do things differently
- Challenge the traditional ways of working
- Come up with continuous improvements
Over the years, all companies change and create new ways of working. The idea here, is to being in charge of these changes, instead of only letting the outside world demand them from you. And these new, creative ways of working don’t always need to be revolutionary. For example, upgrading to a very well functioning intranet can make paper forms and administrative tasks a distant memory. Virtual teams distributed in time and space can work together, complementing traditional structures. And by introducing tools such as Yammer, we can replace some of the dark silos created by e-mail.
As a customer oriented company, we also constantly see if there are new ways to innovate. Also here, it is not always about revolutionizing everything at once. Rather, we constantly make sure our processes, tools, and skills evolve. Here, I also come back to the people that inspire me to do more and better:
- Use Working Out Loud by John Stepper to bring ideas in to the open, and see where they take us.
- Be inspired by other ways than e-mail to collaborate thanks to Luis Suárez, and others.
- Use the current methods for communicating internally and externally thanks to experts like Rachel Miller and Gloria Lombardi.
- Don’t journey alone. Let the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) and their friends guide you in modern ways of working.
- With a new world comes a new way of learning. Let Harold Jarche and others guide you on this journey.
- Collaboration is at the center of everything we do, as Oscar Berg and others clearly emphasize.
Now, the next step is to make sure we truly bridge the 5 Cs with the ideas from the digital workplace domain. The goal remains: Creating a humane digital workplace, based on our values and culture.
A few weeks ago,, I published “Building a humane digital workplace“. It included a video from my employer Haldex, where we introduce you to the 5 Cs. These are 5 Cs that all employees should embrace and express in our work.
The first of these is Connect. Now I have started relating what we mean with Connect, to some items others have created regarding the digital workplace. Let’s start with the 30.000 feet overview of the meaning of Connect:
- One Haldex approach
- Connect the dots and understand the bigger picture
- Connecting with each other to become a team
My first attempt at relating this to the digital workplace ended up in ideas like these:
- Help all employees understand how we do business, so we move in the same direction.
- We serve the users with news from the industry we act in.
- Ensure people have full access to all necessary systems no matter where they are.
- Ensure it is very simple to contact anyone directly, preferably from your mobile.
- The Management Team should vocally support the Humane Digital Workplace.
- The governance plan must include all aspects of the Humane Digital Workplace, and not only the intranet.
- We must connect services to our mail, to draw the structural capital from individual mailboxes into open forums where we can discuss them.
- Apply techniques like Working Out Loud (WOL) and Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) to let knowledge into the open and build a networking sharing habit.
Am I going in the right direction? Is something vital missing? This is hard but fun work, and all input is welcome.