Visual thinking our way to a social workplace


Today I presented at #intranets2011, on Strategies for Creating a Social Workplace with your Intranet. Rather than focusing on specific technologies or checklist approaches, I wanted to help bring a different perspective to looking at why social technologies were important in a broader context of social business (i.e. creating social workplaces to deal with real business themes). In other words, its not just about switching on comments on your intranet or replacing your intranet with CMS with a wiki because these are the latest ‘must have’ features.

However, after sitting and listening to the presentations and conversations during day 1, I decided to tweak my presentation to include some visual brainstorming activities (see Gamestorming and also Xplane | Dachis Group), including a variation of head, heart and hand. The idea was to help make the concepts I was describing more tangible by getting people to think about:

  • What their CxO or senior management might be thinking about ‘social’ (social workplace, social intranets, social media etc) right now;
  • What changes in their organisational environment they needed to deal with (to link in with the car metaphor I used in the presentation, I drew a twisting road) – this was about understanding unavoidable business drivers for change; and
  • We also captured ‘buzz words’ from my presentation to review at the end (due to time, I just picked a selection for the stack) – I put these on the horizon, at the end of the journey.

Luckily I have a pack of equipment ready to roll for this situation and just needed to borrow some flipchart paper from the hotel to set things up before hand! I think this approach worked, based on the feedback. And it was a lot of fun too!

BTW You can also see my slides here and Michael also captured some of the detail.