Notes from Smile London – Part Two

As promised in my last post, here is the second part of my write up of Smile London 2018. It was a brilliant day and I really did learn a lot, some of which I’ve used already.

Lighting the Fuse at Korn Ferry
“Employee engagement is at the coalface” is probably my favourite thing that Bryan Ackerman from Korn Ferry said of their intranet. What he meant by this was that how quickly a client’s question or problem is resolved shows the engagement the employee has with the intranet (and business).

Bryan said that it’s not uncommon to get a call late on Friday from a client requesting a report on Monday (based on something they had seen online). Historically this involved: researching and emails and calls and weekend working, and then to possibly miss the requested deadline of Monday. Now their intranet, Fuse, gathers everything together from multiple places into a collaboration space as well as onto the homepage. Truly inspirational!

A Baby Monster Bot
Bots are getting more common on digital workplaces, but they’re still a novelty when we hear about them. Larraine Solomon has a baby bot on Monster’s intranet. It’s a baby because it’s still learning, and even though users would like a Siri-, Google-, or Alexa-esque experience with the bot, it still has a long way to go.

David Fletcher from Beezy explained that the bot is Microsoft tech and that Monster’s narrow scope for it has helped hugely with its development. It has gone well so far, and although there’s a way to go for Monster it does make me think about the opportunities behind the tech more seriously.

Measuring Success at McCann Worldgroup
Measuring the success of an intranet can be tricky, as it expands beyond the usual metrics that we have ready access to. Matt Groshong explained that McCann Worldgroup started small with the number of users, then expanded out. This meant they could leverage the correct people and spread out the positivity, getting people caught on the hooks that they’d made sure were present on the site. That then led to the analysis of how long it took people to do tasks (now vs. pre-intranet), how people felt, how productive they were – all signs of a great intranet and how people work smarter together.


The Crescenzos
I learned a lot from this couple (Steve and Cindy) in a very short period of time and then even more during a workshop the following day. The main message I came away with was that we need to do more, and we need to do it better. By keeping things simple, telling stories, being human, and learning from both our successes and failures, we will have very strong communications and intranets.

Disruptive Tech…
Wedge Black, Dana Leeson and Rachel Miller made up the panel discussing disruptive technology (along with Jenni of course, and questions from the audience). There was a huge amount discussed, so here’s what I took away from my question: what tech is seen as disruptive that businesses need to implement anyway?

Any tech can be seen as disruptive, as it’s something that can change the business’ status quo and potentially make people miserable. This means that what disrupts your business could be different from mine, and what is meant by a digital transformation in one business is different to another. Work out what’s right for you and your users, then concentrate on the outputs (rather than on the outcomes) – this is what’s key for a cultural shift with the introduction of this tech.

Smile Panel

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