Redefine Possible: NYC

Originally posted on vmnick:

I had the distinct opportunity to participate in the EMC Redefine Possible launch event in New York City.  I was selected to attend as a member of the EMC Elect, a community driven group with a strong passion for EMC solutions.  A special thanks to Sean Thulin (@sthulin) for the invitation, one that I could not turn down.

The event was basically a relaunch of what was announced in London a few weeks ago.  The major announcements were around VMAX, XtremIO and Isilon.  I wrote an article about each however in the spirit of community, below are other articles written by other EMC Elect members.

GeekFluent (@davemhenry)

Virtual Storage Zone (@cincystorage)

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Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Collaboration

Originally posted on Ties That Bind:

Everything changed with the June 2, 2014 launch of our social intranet.  And lest you think that I’m exaggerating, let me share just one quick story.

One of our corporate departments published a notification of an upcoming change in a benefit plan (trying to be a bit obtuse here, forgive me).  They have done that routinely in the past, posting it to the intranet with a “click here to discuss” button that would bring employees to the social collaboration space to comment.  Rarely did anyone do so.

For reasons unknown, aggregating the intranet with our collaboration space yielded far different results.

There were 123 responses to the change announcement.  Initially, comments were positive but then began a downward spiral of employees who were incredulous about the change, unhappy that they weren’t asked their opinion in advance,  and generally feeling ‘left out’ of the decision making.

Let’s face it, that’s usually…

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Top Down AND Side to Side

As a communitwitter-announcement-557x342ty focused person I have this Utopian anarchist dream that we will all get along and ‘do the right thing’. Which of course really means ‘everyone do what I want you to’. You can see where this might cause some issues. In my time attempts to rally the troops to the new intranet platform I did not take into account that most people need to feel secure and supported especially in new ventures. I really needed to guarantee that adopting a new method would be seen positively by our managers. Let’s face it. At the end of the day you need to make your boss happy to keep your job and hopefully get that next raise. Here I was trying to convince folks we should use the free time that we really didn’t have to work on something that no one had been asked to do.top down

Now jump to the present.  Two good things did come out of those efforts.  First, everyone is now educated about the new platform and no one was surprised when it appeared.  Sometimes sustaining business as usual can be the goal.  Second, my efforts were noted by management.  I have now been officially assigned to the TCE communications team.  This means that I have slightly more clout than I did before.  More importantly I have the opportunity to get buy in from executive management.  That doesn’t mean that I stop explaining why our new platform is so useful of that I need the teams buy in.  What it means is that I can now effectively communicate up down and side to side.  That brings me just a little closer to that utopia that I am never going to stop hoping for.

What I’ve Learned Planning the Launch of a New Social Platform

SirSocial:

I’m having issues trying to improve a single space. This saint of a woman is trying to change an entire platform. Yeah. Not quite ready for that job

Originally posted on Ties That Bind:

Let’s get right down to it.

What I learned about myself:

  • I love planning, putting together all the pieces, working with folks I may have never met
  • I love checking actions items off.  I admit that sometimes I will write down an unexpected activity JUST to check it off
  • I struggle to portray patience (BEING patient is a whole other thing) when others don’t deliver as committed
  • I do have a breaking point.  You can tell because you’ll see me crying and vomiting (only twice in ten months, though)
  • I can say things as I see them.  Unfortunately, that can sometimes feel brutal.

What I learned about our users:

  • They don’t use the collaboration platform home page. Interesting factoid that explained their lack of awareness about the change.
  • Since they skip the homepage, they  missed the twenty or so pieces of content explaining what is happening, why, and what it…

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Engage, Enable, Evolve

Engage, Enable, Evolve – This is the new mantra of the EMC Total Customer Experience team.  It is working it’s way into all of our communications.  And will be a point of focus at our EMC World TCE booth.E3

Engage the customer to understand their perspective

Enable them with new information and enable yourself with their feedback

Evolve to meet newly set expectations

Isn’t this a great idea for all of our interactions though?  Right now I am working to apply this to our TCE intranet page.  I covered the project in my last post.  I have engaged our teams in online discussions and brainstorming sessions on how we can make the page better and more efficient.  Next we have planned to enable them with drafts of team policies to cover what type of content we should share, how often it needs to be managed, and who is responsible for these actions.  Lastly we will evolve the page and our internal engagement model to meet user needs.  Sounds great right?

Things are always so much simpler in our minds though.  Our current sticking point is that so many potential users do not currently interact with the existing platform.  That means no one really has any feedback to give.  Learning a new interface is is not something people normally get excited about and it take the one thing nobody has, free time.

Thankfully leadership has agreed that a training session needs to happen.  I will have 30-40 minutes to go over the  platform, it’s functionality, and use cases.  Then I have to tell everyone it is changing.  I certainly don’t expect this to be easy.  I only hope that I can engage in some good discussion, enable new users to explore their options, and evolve a new plan for making improvements.

Talking about engagement feel free to make recommendations. :-)

Setting the Scene

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Most large companies have an internal network that they use to share information.  It can take many forms and often takes multiple forms at the same time.  During my time at EMC we have had eRooms, Wiki pages, electronic bulletin boards (who remembers tacboard?), the EMC Intranet page, and an array of closely guarded team websites. We even tried to create an internal social network that looked just like MySpace.  That lasted for about  two weeks.  Now we use EMC|ONE.  By far the most heavily adopted option; it still is not utilized as much as it could be considering there are so many remaining options to be cleaned up.  It looks very similar to the EMC Community Network.  That means that you can share documents and post announcements as well as starting discussions and posting questions.  The foundation for a great social network is in place.  That is the what.

Not too long ago I was part of the Customer Services – Customer Advocacy group.  We managed the survey that goes out when a customer closes out a service request.  Recently it was decided that we should become part of the Voice of Experience or VoX team.  That makes sense because they manage just about every other survey that EMC sends out.  This new team rolls up under the TCE or Total Customer Experience organization.  TCE includes VoX, Analysis & Reporting, Lean Six Sigma, Audit, and Customer Advocacy.  There are others but we are going to focus on these.  And yes this is a different Customer Advocacy group.  The people that make up these teams are the who.

Now that we have all had a little time to settle in I took a look at our shared EMC ONE spaces.  Some groups have a space and some don’t.  Some groups have content and some don’t.  Some groups have a shared layout…  You get the idea.  The biggest issue is that it is all out of date.  Being a fan of EMC|ONE I decided we needed to do something about this.  Go me!   I decided this without asking for input.  Bad me.

This is where I am starting from.

The beginnings of a blog

I am in the process of getting my Masters of Science in Innovation Leadership.  Someone said they came up with that name by playing buzz-word Bingo, but hey, it got me to sign up.  In my classes we take a long look at projects, processes, and innovation.  This most recent class I was told it would be a good idea to blog about a project that I was working on.  I ignored that suggestion but now that the class is almost over I’m thinking it might not be a bad idea.

Since this blog was created to be about “being social” it makes sense that the project I’m going to dig into revolves around social networking.  This post is really just to mark the end of the random and the beginning of the mildly organized.  I hope you enjoy.