In 2008, I made a pitch to a steering committee about replacing our SharePoint intranet with some kind of early social network technology. We had interviewed stakeholders around the world about how they wanted to interact with each other and the company. They wanted more than we had, which was pretty lame and expensive.
The presentation was 8 slides and consisted of pictures of colleagues at a golf tournament after party, dancing; and a couple of stick figure cartoons with slogans on them. “Enjoy your life!”
Perhaps not my best work, maybe just ahead of its time. The jury’s still out.
The basic premise of the presentation was this:
“It [work] is about the company; it’s about us, and it’s about me.”
There was a work shift under way 10 years ago, almost imperceptible, to move teams and the individual more centrally in the workplace narrative. I felt it, and I wanted to deliver it.
The steering committee, bless them, said,
“No. We are not ready for this.”
But I was. Not born ready, maybe, but now ready, for shizzle.
This post is not about that, however. It is about the now now. And about tomorrow.
It so happens I just hit my 10 year anniversary at work, so I have been reflecting quite some. This post is not about that, either. It is about the now now. And about tomorrow.
We ended up rolling out an enterprise social network – Yammer – in 2011. Retrospectively, after I was invited down to San Francisco to meet’n’greet with Yammies and various other progressive customers, we made the claim to be the world’s first use case of yammer-as-intranet. Who knew?
It was the first cloud deployment the company made; the first time working with a start-up partner versus an industry behemoth (that henceforward swallowed the start-up in a billion dollar bite). I dined out on our story of digital transformation at industry and Microsoft customer events for years.
Six plus years later, this transformation has been normalised internally. No biggie. Yet I still meet people and organizations who are slack jawed with surprise about what we did, how we did it, and the cultural outcomes we have been able to implement.
I could further eulogize on how we community manage our network with clear purpose and almost zero FTE overhead; and with absolutely zero issues of trust and misuse.
Also, about how the network drives our social and web storytelling agenda with grace and almost effortless ease.
Moreover, I would love to share how the talent in the team lightly and brilliantly guide content and conversations across our internal and external stakeholder groups; to best reflect, and then deepen, our brand values.
Wait ‘til you hear about our insane social media metrics with off-the-charts engagement rates that 99% of brands would die for!
And I have yet to even scratch the surface on our video production capability and process – churning out h.u.n.d.r.e.d.s. of eye-poppingly beautifully crafted vignettes about our rich culture and the amazing people who build and maintain it. It is a sight to behold – amuse bouche yourself stupid here .
But I can’t do any of that here. Because this post is not about that. It is about the now now. And about tomorrow.
However, I really want to tell you about the team, who make it happen. In no particular order of importance, but grateful for every last personality facet they possess, they are:
- Light of touch and heart
- Stout and resolute in their development and protection of the brand
- Careful and serious in their commitment to excellence
- Funny and kind
- “Yes! And…” with everything
- Tight fisted; with careful husbandry of time and money
- Eager to change the world and lead version 2.0
- Unafraid to experiment and to fail
- Proud to improve
- Learners; unlearners; relearners
- Seekers; and executors too
Focus, Anthony! This post is not about that.
Oh, and I almost forgot! We deployed Officevibe pulse checks a year or more ago – in another world-first way, transparently sharing all engagement data with all colleagues so as to establish a co-created mechanism for driving engagement outcomes. Engagement cannot be ‘done’ to people. But, you already know, this post is not about that.
That team of abovementioned pioneers, by the way, has engagement scores that rank in the 100th percentile of all the thousands of companies that use Officevibe. One hundredth. It is Happy Birthday! every day, round here.
And yeah, this post is not about that. It probably has gone on too long, though, beating around the bush. I got way too excited in my reflection. So, let’s get to the rub. Just what is this post about?
“It’s about the company. It’s about us. And it’s about you.”
I hire really well. Really well. My team…too many adjectives. Just, ah, YEAH! Every one of them was handpicked, often in advance, in a “I have my eye on you” (but totally non-creepy) way. Because they are talented, I expect any and all of them to be gobbled up with bigger and better opportunities along the way.
To those opportunities I will but help them on their way, saluting crisply and wishing “Bon voyage!” – well expecting them to never glance backwards as they conquer new lands.
Consequently, it is likely I will need to hire someone, some day. Not now now. I am writing this today because I have been thinking about my team and their collective genius today. But I like to be prepared. I am ready for tomorrow. So I am writing today, about tomorrow.
- Might it be you, or someone you admire and wish the best / more for?
- Are you/they in Vancouver (it just makes sense to be where we are)?
- Are you/they wanting more, in need of an intellectual and skills stretch?
- Do you/they want to develop and deepen their craft?
If so, please reach out, and let’s covfefe.
If and when I need to hire again, I want my eye on you/them.
Recruitment notwithstanding, I want to learn about and from the most talented people in my community about social, video, digital tech and transformation, storytelling, metrics and big data, brand strategy and amplification, culture codification and community management. Maybe, I can add value too.
How can I help?
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