Key Takeaways from Intranet Now: Summer 2019

Sarah Blackburn is our Client Success Manager. She is responsible for ensuring our clients make the most of their Office 365 subscription and in this blog, she shares her key takeaways from this year’s Intranet Now!

There were 3 talks that really resonated with me. Jamie Garrett from Invotra spoke passionately about using social to drive your intranet. I've heard the arguments against this a number of times from boards / senior people who struggle to see a direct business benefit from allowing employees to chat about social topics such as football and the menopause. Why give people a reason to do something other than work within the workplace - surely they have opportunities to do this outside of paid working time? 

Then Elizabeth Marsh showed us some great statistics about digital literacy in the UK (or lack of it). Nothing very new to me here as it's a common theme when working with clients on adoption, but good to see a proper chart (which hopefully I can reuse with credit to her). She also went on to draw a parallel with the amount of investment is dedicated to digital skills training - again it seems clear that if people can't do something, they probably aren't being supported or trained in how to do that. But how do you get a business case together for additional training? And then ensure that training actually works? I've been a trainer for a long time - training needs to be relevant, succinct and delivered at the point that someone needs it. 

Hang on is there a parallel there then? Can we 'invest' in digital upskilling by simply allowing people to use in-work digital platforms to talk about stuff that they are comfortable with? Use the intranet firstly for making personal connections and expressing opinions in a non-threatening way (chat about running or parenting) and then it's an easy step forward to use it in a business situation as well - enabling you to reach out to colleagues you haven't met to discuss how to solve a business problem. 

Anne-Marie Keirnan from Kellogg reinforced this with her story of millennial content generators - the business trialled giving people who already had the digital skills the opportunity to tell stories from around the business and their success has driven adoption of these skills in other parts of the workforce. They run practical workshops on how to use your own mobile phone to produce short videos and upload them to Yammer - it's helped to grow Yammer engagement by 63%. 

I had the opportunity to run a series of table talks - this time I seem to have found a hot topic - Microsoft Teams and how it fits into your digital workspace. One of my sessions was so popular that people were standing around the edge of the table. We had some valuable contributions about why Slack is just somehow cooler (but not scalable) and tried to iron out some of the confusion on how Teams, Yammer, Intranet, team sites and email can all sit together (thanks to Sam Marshall for his talk about making connections as that’s really relevant here) plus a jaw-drop moment for Wedge when he realised it was possible to ever be disconnected... 

If you’d like to learn more about Teams, you can watch one of our previous webinars in which we discuss how and why to use Microsoft Teams. See here.

Thanks to Wedge and Lisa for another friendly conversation-based conference. Their aim is for good quality conversations and I really feel like I was able to do that - with current clients, potential ones (fingers crossed!) and intranet consultant peers.

If you’d like to speak to Sarah about your Office 365 investment, get in touch here!