With the huge successes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc. has emerged a rapid, evolution of online networking, trusting opinions, sharing right-here-right-now, our thoughts with photos and videos.
This behaviour is becoming increasingly popular inside organisations by using an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) such as Yammer, Jive and Slack to support strategies, projects, tasks and encourage employee engagement, empowerment and advocacy.
The phrase “Working Out Loud” is gathering momentum to describe this change behaviour. Check out Rachel Miller’s popular blog neatly summarising How to Work Out Loud #wol by John Stepper. It asks you these three growth mindset questions: What am I trying to accomplish? Who can help me? How can I contribute to them to deepen our relationship?
My journey to “Working Out Loud” is a story of personal development, openness and helping to improve the way we work. I joined Glaxo, a global healthcare company, in 1991.
Does this ring any bells…? I used a huge WANG computer with floppy disks. Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and emails were replacing fax. “Surfing the Internet” became a new idiom. I created some of the company’s first Microsoft FrontPage intranets. I became fascinated about how to speed up laborious office tasks.
It was 10 years ago when I first used Facebook “for work” – to stay connected to some great people I met whilst on a course in the US. Success was about sharing and building on our collective knowledge and retaining new friendships. So we turned to Facebook and it’s been instrumental in retaining these connections – and, as we have all experienced, it’s so much more!
By the way, Facebook at Work is currently in beta test so you can clearly see how the power of social networking is influencing the future of work.
In parallel at that time, Glaxo (now GSK) also launched numerous internal social networks ‘vertically’ driven by “command and control” business silos. Over time I became passionate about ESN business value and was appointed as the Corporate Comms Yammer Community Manager. I’m proud of the work I did in this role in partnership with GSK IT, and the GSK Brand Team to make Yammer the sustainable network it is today.
Today, whatever ESN you use, success is about approaching it with the right mindset. For me, it’s Working Out Loud in A Network #wolan
My #wolan framework expands on John Stepper’s Working Out Loud mindset and how it can practically be adopted inside organisations working towards digital transformation. #wolan is now endorsed by Microsoft, Digital Workplace Group (DWG) and GSK’s German Works Council.
Let me explain what #wolan can do for your business. It can help to decrease email dependency; position the ESN business case; create ESN governance; enable ESN adoption; align ESN to strategies & projects and ultimately business value; highlights ESN sustainable success stories; demonstrate your company culture – behaviours and values; demonstrates how ESN can be embedded into apps, processes, systems and tasks; raises the relevance of “business intelligent” hash tags, and a template to create your own framework.
Whilst at GSK and since leaving last year, I’ve experienced and documented the benefits of digital transformation enabled by ESNs in a series of blogs. These explained how you can shift employees from sending random emails with a handful of colleagues and operating in vertical silos to operating in horizontal ESNs that help to generously share work with a purpose, encourage serendipity and offer better ways of working that demonstrate business value.
Look at these ESN success stories in a Sales Team, HR, Factory network, Fundraising, small project teams to employee engagement, advocacy tactics, campaigns and strategies. There is pretty much something for every sector, and scalable to help you on your journey to “Working Out Loud”. Here’s just a snippet of senior leader feedback from these great success stories.
Comms “Yammer has been without a doubt the “hero” channel for our employee fundraising. An incredible opportunity for any engagement/advocacy programme, as it enables real time collaboration, healthy competition and celebration of fundraising activities and sharing success fast! Yammer can reach everyone in the company and cuts through the communications noise. It has taken us well beyond one-way push communications and PowerPoint!” Director, Global Communications & Government Affairs
HR “Our Yammer On-Boarding group is a great way to connect new hires with those that have just joined before them and SMEs. Nip and nurture new hires in the bud to encourage a collaborative culture and mind-set.” VP, HR Operations
If you’re interested in finding out more about Working Out Loud, come along to one of these forthcoming events:
16 May: IABC UK – Future Fit Communications
5-8 June: IABC World Conference, New Orleans join IABC President NSW Australia, Mark Woodrow, “Working Out Loud” session. Mark is a former Yammer Customer Success Manager.
Lesley Crook is a Digital Transformation Consultant