Lisa Bonner | ,| By
When Geeks Go Corporate at Work
The Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston brought together thought leaders focused on applying social software strategies to improve business performance. The number of Fortune 500 companies who came to tell “their success stories” surprised me. Wow- it’s not just a bunch of geeks at work and vendors anymore!
The challenge that many large geographically dispersed companies face is that they are “silo’ed”; they contain vast amounts of intellectual capital that is never accessed by the organization. Companies are toppling silos by moving to social business models- where knowledge is ALIVE and flows freely!
Creative Employee Collaboration Goes Social
Lowes changed employee communications from formal messaging to informing, building meaning, not messaging. Moments after their earning results are released, their president posts a blog on what the report means- to shareholders as well as employees. Internal communication and employee collaboration methods such as thee are extremely effective and powerful.
Lease Plan described their supplier community as a “corporate brain.” The goal was to make the organization smarter by getting more information into the organization. Their mantra- we answer each other’s questions, we keep ourselves well informed, we share knowledge. Very powerful- and their bottom line speaks to the effective new model.
One of my favorite panels was on Management 2.0 Hackathon. They crowd sourced ideas, voted on the best and then worked on process and change. Hacks were radical as well as practical.
Gamification was another key theme. I discussed The Hartford’s Badge game that incentivizes call center reps to retain customers and generate cross-selling opportunities. (Shout out to my colleagues Cameron Comstock for his creative design and superior execution, which has shot his team to the top of the leader board!)
SUPERVALU relayed how grocery store managers use Yammer to share photos of displays and ideas. The store revenue of general managers who were active on the social network was significantly higher. Strong testimony!
The Corporate Brain Must Reign
Social collaboration is about improving team-based processes. The Enterprise 2.0 conference highlighted successful ways organizations are exchanging knowledge seamlessly and harnessing the cognitive surplus. For a business to succeed in this new social business connected world, the corporate brain must reign. Still confused about which social platform or analytic to choose? Ask your favorite geek, or better yet, reach out to one of your corporate colleagues.
Lisa Bonner is the Assistant Vice President of Contemporary Work Practices at The Hartford. She is the proud mother of very active 14 year-old twin boys and resides in Suffield, Connecticut. Connect with her on LinkedIn. The opinions expressed are personal and not related to The Hartford.