It’s that reflective time of year. We’re nearly at the end of a decade and it is just over 10 years since I started working with intranets
How things have changed
My first intranet was on a custom-built system that had been inherited as part of a company takeover. It wasn’t the prettiest thing to look at, it was organised by department, it was slow, and adding content to the ‘weekly news’ involved starting at the article that was least important and working up the list. Of course, some departments caught on, so would send me urgent stuff when they knew I was already uploading. Good times.
- Yammer has appeared, then ‘nearly died’, then Office 365 has exploded on the scene.
- ‘Top tasks’ remains a consistently sensible approach, but our homepage buttons were mocked way-back-when and now are commonplace.
- The concept of ‘digital workplace’ is commonplace (although good application still isn’t consistent), alongside digital literacy, and ways to approach the hardest-to-reach employees are constantly developing and getting things right.
I’ve also been promoted a few of times, run a fair few big projects, left a couple of jobs and I’m now helping guide people on how their intranets should be built. If you’d told me I’d be working with Sam Marshall and the ClearBox team 10 years ago (or even eight years ago when I went to my first conference) I think I probably would have laughed.
How did I get here?
To be honest it’s through a lot of hard work. Inner, imposter-syndrome, introverted, me is cringing at that, but it’s a piece of advice I’d give anyone who’s looking to move forwards with their career.
Work out what you want to do (it took eight years for me, so it’s not a short process) then work as hard as you can to make that happen. For me that involved putting myself out there and volunteering – not only to present at conferences but to do extra work like guest blogging. Then when I felt I had a bit of knowledge that people might be interested in reading, I set up this blog (hello and thank you for giving me another stats boost!)
On reflection I think that hard work has to be paired with passion. Passion about the subject, but also passion for what it ultimately ends up doing – helping people. There’s no way to effectively manage an intranet from a selfish standpoint, so working out how it should work so that it does the best for people is so important. I think the laborious process of loading news stories may have taught me that!
My favourite posts from this year
- I covered the idea of passion in a piece called ‘who should own the intranet?’ which ended up twisting and turning to different ideas as I wrote it.
- ‘How to choose an intranet provider’ was something I’d been meaning to write for a while and I hope gives intranet-project managers a bit of help!
- I was lucky to get some data from Kurt Kragh Sørensen’s survey and wrote ‘the importance of senior management support’, which included data to back up my arguments.
So, what next?
I’m hoping to keep writing – for work and in this blog among other things. There are some exciting new things on the horizon with ClearBox next year (involving writing!) and I’ll share more about all that when I can. I’m also hoping to keep learning, but going to conferences, reading articles and watching videos. If you have any suggestions (for topics to write about or things to learn from) then please let me know. And if you want to have a chat with me at any point, about anything to do with my intranerd-ery, then do get in touch. I’m always happy to go for a coffee!
More imminently though I’m going to enjoy the festive period, and I hope you do too. I’m off to eat some stollen!