Time to think in Las Vegas!!

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Now here’s a rare event in the life of an internal communications bod – an enforced week away from the bosom of the office in…Las Vegas. And it’s work!

Me and a colleague are off next week to an über-conference in the desert of Nevada to share our ESN success story at JiveWorld 14 and yes, it feels as nuts as it sounds. 

Las Vegas isn’t a place that I’d normally choose to visit, but, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited and stupid if I didn’t throw myself into it completely – bar drunken tattoos, getting married (again) etc etc. 

It also comes at a time of change in my role, as I explore how our internal approach to social media and digital communications can also support our client’s own digital and social strategies. Internal clients to external clients…what could go wrong?

So this part-time blogger thought this would be a good time to explore my own changing role and the changing role of internal communications in a series of blog posts both here and on my internal blog. I’m not convinced Vegas is the best place to achieve clarity of thought, but I’ll be missing my family and will have plenty of time to think…which is more than I can say for my wife who will be managing two boys as well as trying to find some peace herself.

So as I travel to Vegas for some thinking space I thought it was a good time to ask, where’s the weirdest place you experience clarity of thought? Shower?

State of Love and Trust

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I was having a conversation with a colleague about governance, rules and regulations and ‘thou shalt nots’ for our anticipated new social business platform yesterday.

We were discussing my previous employer’s Acceptable Usage Policy and what we may need to have in place for this new platform.

We decided on trust.

We trust our colleagues to behave appropriately, self regulate and in turn, they develop deeper trust and respect for the organisation and this leads to the platform being able to grow into what it needs to be, for all of us.

Plus, we only read policy if we think we’ve broken it…don’t we?

So that’s our starting point. I’ll update as we go along and roll with the challenges.

And…points for those who read this for the song reference alone.

Selling cultural change one paper at a time

Well this has been a long seven days. It’s always tough returning from holiday but I’ve found it particularly difficult this time out.

For me, it’s the momentum. I always build up to such a crescendo of controlled panic before annual leave that it feels impossible to slow down. Then I do. To a complete stop!

So anyway, a period of adjustment, the clearing of emails, finding importance in the unimportant…and I’m back!

To what? Well to version 5 of what feels like my life’s work, a document called ‘Changing the game: brand promise, cultural change and social media’. (A version change in my mind is scrapping at least 50% of the previous version. Of small changes…there have been many!)

I spent all day Wednesday on the Executive Summary, making sure I leave no room for anyone to say no.

No to investment in technology. We want to bring Jive into Grant Thornton. We think it will be a good fit and frankly,in terms of social collaboration platforms, it’s the best we’ve seen.

But more importantly, we can’t leave room for our board to say no to the investment (in time, understanding and advocacy, not always monetary) we’re making in social communication, in supporting deep cultural change and ultimately in challenging the way we do business at Grant Thornton.

In investing heavily in our brand and our people’s understanding of it, they’ve endorsed everything I ever thought social media could bring to our business; individual responsibility and action, connected knowledge, true thought leadership, speed to market, the absolute importance of dialogue.

But that’s all direction and intent. What we have the ability to do now is show Grant Thornton people a way to get involved in that direction, led from the top. We already had three members of our board on Twitter before this week and on Tuesday I helped our CEO set up his account (more on that to come).

And that is what I think every business needs as it thinks more about social communication and external social media. A real understanding at the top of why it’s important, why we should be there and the ability to demonstrate it through authentic use of it themselves.

So, version 5 it may well be, but it’s closer than ever. Wish me luck.