Not written much here for a while, the odd link and video but this has been because I’ve been on holiday and also busy with a series of projects and activities at work that are just taking more and more time.

Miles of files drpritch
"Miles of files" drpritch

But I’m not neglecting my blogging entirely, in fact I’ve been blogging more internally as that is where, right now I need to focus.

I get a bit bored and confused when companies and especially Internal Comms folk start saying that they are using social media for Internal Communications.  To me it sounds like they have got the CEO to “write” a blog or get some “safe” employees to write. That misses the point. Sometimes though it means they have a “Facebook-like” system, which if they are really lucky turns out to be employee profiles, often several versions, none of which can be connected to any other applications running in the enterprise, hence making them nothing more than a time-sink.

I would hope Internal Comms is help employees to use social media to work better with each other.. not just utilise it as another “channel” which is fast rising on my list of Top ten twenty thirty most hated words or phrases – along with stakeholder.

How many have email clients, profiles, blogs, forums and micro-blogging integrated into an enterprise-wide platform for social media and a policy that encourages and enables employees to get stuck in (even if we do still have a fair few lagards)?

Even then it’s not the end of the story. Tools and policy are one thing (two I suppose) but a culture that is open, honest and trusting is needed to take advantage of those opportunities, not to mention motivated and questioning employees, part of which is grown out of the trust  that is displayed in behaviour by management (no one is perfect but things are relative) that means people take their responsibility as brand ambassadors seriously.  Quick note on brand ambassadors, your employees are whether you like it or not, for good or bad.. just try to make it good, eh? Get ’em to make videos like KFC not Dominoes.

So back to what I was orginaly waffling on about which was a number of projects that I have been involved in. Working with a variety of people with different expectations and practices can get a bit perplexing at times, especially when you are sent 6mb after 6mb file. I’m by no means anti-email like some but I can see better ways of using it rather than being the default for all chat at work.

So I’ve been encouraging some people to get it on with Files on Lotus Connections (we have 2.5 deployed internally). This is made much easier by showing them the time and effort it saves, using other projects as examples.

I’m lucky enough to work with a bunch of people that are mostly pretty good at using things the right way (that is my way) instead of one tool for all jobs. Explaining how a file we were updating on an employee engagement package was being updated and handled between a bunch of us – then showing how Files kept the previous versions (so you don’t have to – as the advert says) went down a treat. Not only that but we could assign each person with certain level of access, and keep changing that level when we jolly well felt like it.

I could then bore you with the amount of time, (sending emails) money (sending emails to people with large attachments that never open them but leave them in their mail file, just in case) and more money (those attachments keep building up with each wave of emails) and confusion (because you all know which file is the right file – the one in Files) you save, but I won’t.

Don’t knock at the door, I’m out

What I have noticed more and more these days is how much time I spend in Lotus Connections rather than my email and how while I was away for a few days recently my status updates came in useful for people. I now not only leave an “out of office” message in Notes but in all my status points. This firstly cut down on un-required email as more people knew I was away before they sent me the damn thing. Secondly the updates that I had been posting related to things that I was working on, intranet pages, files, video etc.. links where people could find what they were looking for.. this useless track of information I had left behind which also included how wet I got on the way to work while cycling actually came in useful for some of the very people that say they don’t have time for such things.

To quote someone more sensible than me, “With social media, forget about the media and concentrate on the social.”

I’m afraid if I get the energy I’ll more rants coming your way too.. must be something to do with the clocks going back or something or my recent discovery and move to Ubuntu Linux. So I might also change my name to Karmic Karl in future.