• All Posts
  • Application Development
  • Customer Success
  • Enterprise 2.0
  • News & Events
  • Product Updates
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Move Over Intranets: The Blue Man Group’s Collaborative Workspace is the Shiznet

    As a growing number of companies can attest, traditional intranets have become irrelevant. Some employees have started using external social channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to set up workspace groups to share information, have group chats in real-time and ultimately get their work done in one location. They also turn to channels, such as YouTube to get information and expert guidance that is simple to find and even easier to consume.

    Intranets may have had their day, but too many become information graveyards containing out-of-date, poorly organized documents and other resources. Traditional portals are also not segmented by user, forcing employees to sort through materials that aren’t relevant to their jobs. And typical intranets may not allow for conversation strings, which forces timely exchanges to take place on other external channels. The final nail in the coffin is intranets that are not mobile-ready.

    Today’s social workspace should mirror the functionality, collaborative nature and ease-of-use of popular social media sites—organized, configurable to users’ needs and accessible 24/7 through any digital device. More importantly, collaborative hubs encourage greater employee engagement and strengthen your organization’s business goals and strategies.

    Discover how collaborative workspaces are superior to traditional intranets.One great example of a truly powerful collaborative workspace is BlueMan Group’s Shiznet social intranet. The Blue Man Group theatrical show has skyrocketed into a vibrant global brand with productions in 11 worldwide locations and experienced by more than 17 million people.  However, they knew there was a problem of collaborating with over 500 employees and 50 blue men. They had an outdated intranet and knew it was time to replace it with a social collaborative platform for four compelling reasons:

    1. Accelerate real-time innovation and knowledge sharing: Social collaboration platforms provide knowledge sharing capabilities so employees can obtain needed job skills and immediately adapt them to their everyday work. Leveraging collective knowledge also fosters innovation and bolsters employee engagement by unleashing the intelligence and creativity of internal teams. Blue Man Group’s Shiznet is the Creative Cauldron, a workspace that was developed specifically for “Blue Men” to collaborate on new show ideas and brainstorm on bringing ideas to life. The Creative Cauldron has served as a launch pad for new show ideas, stunts and creative content.
    2. Encourage informal learning: An effective social intranet allows employees to easily access informal learning tools in their moment of need. The Shiznet also acts as a central repository for the hundreds of videos, audio and digital assets that are regularly used and created by the Blue Man Group. From the latest production stills to commercials, anyone within the organization can easily locate, tag, access and share content within The Shiznet. This allows the company to centralize its creative assets into a single repository, streamlining the ability to save and distribute informal media assets.
    3. Digital Connection In today’s world, no technology is complete if it is not mobile-friendly – the same is true for a social Intranet. Organizations need to ensure that their enterprise collaboration workspace is accessible on devices, such as smartphones, tablets and other digital devices. Through these technologies, employees can communicate and share resources 24/7, remaining connected and strengthening internal collaborative communities.
    4. Showcase and utilize your internal experts: While it is a good thing that employees are doing their own research, it can also be unfortunate when they learn tactics, skills and habits that run counter to organizational culture and strategy. Having a powerful enterprise social collaboration platform provides easy access to internal experts, who will put the right skills and knowledge at employees’ fingertips.

    If your company is looking to gain a competitive advantage, an updated social workspace is key. It leverages internal knowledge, ensures resources are in alignment with company culture and strategy, and keeps your employees engaged and loyal to your organization.

    New Years Resolution: Achieve Social Digital Workspace Greatness

    resolutions-catThe beginning of a new year is usually a time for reflection, as well as a time to think about creating positive change in ourselves and our professional careers. With a high sense of optimism we set our goals, determined we will meet them successfully. This is good – because we are enhancing ourselves – understanding that we can be better, we can do better and more importantly that we look to be challenged and to grow by learning to overcome obstacles and fears. It may be hard work, but in the end it’s extremely rewarding.

    Some of my 2014 goals are to lay-off chocolate (OK, that may be an unattainable goal, good thing I have a few), to work better with my team, provide more value in what I do and to learn  from knowledge experts both inside and outside of my organization on topics that are of interest to me, so that I can both be challenged and enriched in many different areas of my life.

    One thing my company understands is mobility and I mean that in the most decentralized manner. Many of us work remotely but we all have easy access to each other if it’s by phone, email or online  meetings, we are always connected. However, maybe the most important place we connect is in our digital work-space.

    The reason our digital work-space is the most preferred place for me to connect is that I am able to find personalized information and content that is directed to my team space. I can communicate in real-time with co-workers that I need to communicate with. I can find those outside of my team space that may have valuable information to share and not only can I locate the information easily, I can have it in different forms. This allows me to get my work done quicker and more accurately, which in turn helps the team to reach our goals more efficiently.

    So how can your organization achieve digital work-space greatness? Well, for starters you need to consider the following:

    • What information employees are going to access
    • How are they going to access information
    • Where they need to find content
    • Who they need to communicate with
    • What they are going to do with the information once they locate it

    Key Components of a Great Social Digital Workspace

    Be sure to think mobile Today’s employees are working and communicating using a multitude of digital devices. They should be able to use the corporate intranet across any one of their devices no matter if it’s a Smartphone, tablet or laptop. You need to enable your employees to have access to information; contacts, project status changes and the ability make updates from anywhere, at any time from any device.

    Offer social features Employees spend time in social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and by offering a social intranet you’re giving employees with tools they are already comfortable with and like to use. A collaborative work-space can enrich your employees’ experience. Co-workers can develop areas of interest, foster innovation and exchange knowledge. Plus, social tools allow for teams to follow and share team members without bombarding their email -less noise, who doesn’t like that!

    It’s about ME: So personalize it — don’t contribute to information overload.  Give employees the right information, at the time they need, it in the space they work in. Building profiles allows the platform to better understand what is relevant to the employee and personalizes their work-space so that the employee decides what areas and information are important for them to get their work done.

    spocktwitter

    I hope you  take some time to reflect on how your digital work-space is working for you and your employees, and what you can do in 2014 to achieve social digital work-space greatness.

    Live long and have a prosperous New Year!

    Could Your Intranet Win an Ugly Sweater Contest?

    With the holidays in full swing I have been invited to a few of those ugly holiday sweater parties and I was on the quest to find one that will land me first prize. I even shelled out a few extra dollars for some holiday pants too, thinking if I have an over-the top, crazy, but complete ensemble I would surely smoke all of my competition. Wish me luck.

    I then started to think about how so many companies have an ugly intranet and if they did was it ugly enough to win an ugly intranet contest? Trust me I used to work at a company where it could turn into a week long quest to find any useful information. The intranet was so cumbersome and annoying that no one wanted to use it, EVER!

    I bet you are wondering what made it so ugly, here’s the nitty gritty:

    • The home page was a complete jumble of this and that, no structure – no rhyme or reason
    • It was a dumping ground of information overload, where you would have to dig to find exactly who or what you needed
    • There was no sense of content ownership either, there was content posted that was so outdated that it talked about releases that happened years prior
    • It wasn’t connected to other systems that I needed to use such as a CRM or learning tools
    • When I wanted to post something I had to submit it in an unsearchable document library that asked me to fill out all this metadata and key word mubo-jumbo that didn’t even make it easy to find it once it was posted
    • If it was that bad on a PC, I didn’t dare try to use it on my mobile device – why create angst for myself
    • Sadly I could not work or share information in groups with members of my teams – and all correspondence was done by email after email

    If the above bullets about how terrible my experience was sounds like your current intranet experience,  congratulations you just won the ugly intranet contest.  Let me tell you what you won. Don’t worry, it’s not a Chia Pet. Its  a gift from me to you that will help make your intranet sparkle this holiday season.

    What do you want this holiday season? I bet it’s a social intranet that:

    • Is accessible from anywhere – no matter what digital device you are using
    • Allows you to join and create groups that you can work and share information effortlessly
    • Personalizes your experience so that connections and communications are relevant
    • Your able to work in a space where you can connect to the tools you use every day to do your job
    • Has  resources available in one place that is easy to locate, share, update and download
    • Fosters innovation and share new ideas with employees
    • Can measure how employees use the social intranet and how their activity can lead to improved ROI

    Bottom line – no one wants a gift that they have to stand in line to return, better yet one they wouldn’t even want to re-gift. Why bother using an outdated, undesirable, non-performing intranet when you should be using a social intranet that nurtures connections to employees, directs workers to resources they need, creates a collaborative space into a super powerful communication hub, fosters learning across the entire organization, and strengthens both internal and external relationships.

    By implementing the right social intranet that they will enjoy using, you will give your employees a gift that keeps on giving!

    Happy Holidays!

    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.

    Search

    Find us on Facebook

    Archives

    Recent Posts

    Recent Tweets


    4 Critical Reasons Your Intranet Needs To Go Social

    Free eBook

    Discover how your company can maintain a competitive advantage by adopting technologies that support a collaborative learning and working environment.