If there is one theme which came out of the Congres Intranet & Digital Workplace 2019 in Utrecht, organised by Entopic, it’s this. People are central to a Digital Workplace. James Robertson, StepTwo (Australia) and Sam Marshall, Clearbox Consulting (UK) both focused their keynotes on the topic of (Digital) Employee Experience and Engagement. It was a theme which seemed to appear throughout the event.
A former colleague recently asked me about online communities at work, their value in supporting strategic activities and how to make the most of them. Kirsten Wagenaar and I discussed this and I decided to write a blog as a summary of that discussion.
On the 26th and 27th of February 2019 the digital workplace group presented DW24, a 24 hour webinar which looks at key topics and themes relating to digital workplaces. This provides a fascinating insight for digital workplace practitioners. Allowing them to take a behind the scenes look at what their peers in other organisations are doing with their digital workplace programmes.
Here are some of my observations I’ve noticed this year, reflecting back on previous years and events.
The community of practice (CoP) is perhaps the most common type of (online) community. In a CoP colleagues come together to share best practices with each other. Medieval guilds, professional associations and in some instances, school classes are examples of communities of practice.
I recently joined Bind as a Community Management Consultant, but what does that mean? What is Community Management?
If communities are people who share a common focus, then Community Management is the proactive design, development, activation and ongoing cultivation of the community. It’s a professional approach, backed up by relevant data, to connect people around a common goal. It’s about building bridges and creating value.
During any kind of organizational change there will be a temptation to tackle the process with new procedures and technology. Which makes sense, since these are concrete and quantifiable elements. Attempts at sustainable change of this sort will however always fail. This is because people are the defining factor. And to win over people’s heads and hearts, these people will have to be your starting point.
No two communities are the same, but there are still a number of standard ingredients which are essential for any type of community to become a success. One of these is for instance the presence of a community manager. This article will tell you which other elements are needed.
Unfortunately, too many existing online communities fail to integrate in the organization facilitating them. It will come as no surprise that these networks lead a rather dormant existence. To allow a community to reach its full potential it is essential that it is thoroughly embedded in the organization. Only then will there be anything at stake for both the community participants and the employees of the organization. But what is the best way of doing this?
When we visit a client, we always hope that management will fully embrace online networks. Making a success of a social intranet or online community is so much easier when a director is fully on board and acts as a digital leader who leads by example and does not throw in the towel at the first sign of resistance. But what exactly is a digital leader, and what is it that they do?
This month I started at Bind, experts in the field of community building. Having worked as a community manager at Tele2 for several years, I will now be setting up and managing communities for a variety of clients. Where before I was managing a single community, I will now be guiding and advising different organizations. A big step, but one that I’m very excited about.