Choice, variety and back to basics…

This week we’ve had the pleasure of having a student on work experience join our team, she’s 16 and has just finished her GCSE’s. We had a coffee and a chat and I asked her what three apps she couldn’t live without, she listed Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Tumblr as her top three, this was in direct contrast to my cousin (age 14) who listed Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter a few weeks earlier when I asked her the same question. Snapchat is clearly the favourite of the moment. But where one listed facebook messenger as her most used app, for the other it was a no no with her friends and she favoured Instagram. Interestingly they both agreed Twitter was boring.

Our world is filled with no end of choice and variety, we have a never ending diversity of needs, interests and expectations. However when this plays out in the workplace it makes us unproductive and siloed.

When I first took on the role of Community Manager at Pearson my first challenge was to merge 136 intranets into our new Enterprise Social Network (ESN) fondly named Neo (powered by Jive). Our objective was to break down silos, create one source of truth and have one platform where we were all equal. Five years later Neo is going strong but i’m starting to see more collaboration tools enter the mix, teams and departments are starting to think about using other tools.

Now I’m hardly the digital Luddite, in fact I’m normally an early adopter but I just can’t help having this niggling feeling – introducing more tools is only going to exasperate the challenge and silo information and teams further. How much productivity do we lose just trying to figure all these new tools out? The resources needed to implement, engage and launch new platforms is immense, I should know i’ve been doing it for one platform for the last five years. What seems to be forgotten when we’re all excited about all the shiny whistles and bells the vendor is promising success relies on – PEOPLE. You can throw new technology, more apps, customised systems at a problem; but if you don’t tackle the behavioural change your tools will fail.

There will always be thousands of apps and tools being marketed at us to “simplify” our personal and work lives. How we respond and adapt to these changes will become our most useful skill at work and at home. However at work our goal is to add value to our business, before considering if we need another tool or another way of doing things, we should invest a little more time talking to our people and fully explore the tools we already have. Are we using them to their full advantage?

I’ve personally spent the last two months speaking to colleagues, learning about use cases, hosting focus groups and surveying our community. It has been enlightening i’ve realised 2015 is the year we strip Neo back to basics and revisit engaging our community with all that it has to offer, especially since we’re upgrading to the cloud this summer!

We have quite the task list and as I work my through our Neo Improvement Project I will happily share the experience here…

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Driving Community Engagement with Kim England – CommunityGeek

In February 2015 I had the pleasure of attending my first FeverBee Sprint Europe event I blogged about my experience here, Share and Share alike. I met so many super awesome community managers and i’ve continued to learn from the vast network of people I met at the event.

Caty Kobe from FeverBee followed up with me in April and recorded our session for CommunityGeek, I hope I am able to share a little bit of my experience with you check out the podcast here: https://communitygeek.com/content/driving-community-engagement-kim-england

How social collaboration technology helped Pearson refocus and realign its business

I was so proud to have Neo be the topic of this case study written by Angela Ashenden from MWD Advisors about Pearson’s journey.

The report examines the implementation of an enterprise-wide social collaboration platform at Pearson, a global education and technology company, that allowed the organisation to connect its various businesses across 80 countries as part of an initiative to improve the sharing of news, information and best practices, and to encourage collaborative working across the different regions. The solution – branded as “Neo” – is based on technology from Jive Software. How social collaboration technology helped Pearson refocus and realign its business

If you’d like to find out more about Making Social Collaboration Work you can join us:

Location: Wallace Space Clerkenwell Green

Date: 15th October 2015

Agenda: http://www.socialcollaborationevent.com/agenda/

SociusCommunity

Socius means companion, you can’t have a community without other people so it makes sense to put these two words together to describe what it is I do. Since I was a child i’ve built communities, I ran sports days for my neighbours kids when I was 10 on my front garden. I was involved in everything and anything that involved people throughout school and university.

Building communities makes me happy and I believe communities make a difference. My life revolves around multiple communities in person, online, at work, in my personal life all across the globe. For some time i’ve wanted to write about communities and i’ve finally taken the first step. I’ve set this blog up so I can share my ideas, passion and experience, I hope I can inspire others to create communities too.

I’m a working mummy, I work at Pearson as Global Community Director and i’m mummy to a 20month old little boy, William.

connecta
Mummy and Bilbo using our Connecta solarweave.

Find out more about me:

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/kimengland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/miss_england_19

Instagram: https://instagram.com/kimberlykat81/