Archive for the ‘Intranet’ Category

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]I recently came across the interesting theory of Prediction Markets, which could have a profound effect on how we apply social networking initiatives in a business context.

Before I go on I’d like to state … that whilst I’d love to stake claim to the concept of Prediction Markets or suggestions for how to apply it, the best I’d be able to do is take claim for bringing this to your attention today! Prediction Market theory is long standing and the idea of applying it come from people far smarter than my humble self. The premise is simple however…

Prediction Markets are speculative markets created for the purpose of making predictions – where people who buy low and sell high are rewarded for improving the market prediction.

It’s when the theory of prediction markets is combined with Web 2.0 mechanisms of today, that  powerful outcomes for business could be unlocked. Indeed, many social initiatives today have allowed large groups to work to a common goal. In the public domain things like the Pepsi Refresh challenge have allowed the public to (together) decide what social initiatives Pepsi will sponsor. This is now nothing new with My Starbucks Idea, Dell Idea Storm, M&S ‘Plan A’ and many other similar initiatives already around for a while.

The quest is on for how these initiatives can evolve and produce better results yet. Introducing Prediction Markets to the above scenarios could create a whole new level of engagement and perhaps more importantly, enable the successful ideas to be predicated with far greater accuracy.

Practical applications are not too difficult to imagine. Consider then for example in a corporate context, if staff could ‘bet’ on the next years R&D spend. And if those ideas were to get selected and subsequently launched into products, that staff who backed the ideas would reap rewards of some sort. Imagine the interest this would evoke in that companies R&D strategy.

The key for this to work would be establishing a reward mechanism, so the people who back successful ideas get rewarded too. The more successful the idea becomes, the greater the reward. Likewise, backing the wrong ideas would result in perceived losses too. In this model, it is not only the original contributor of the idea that get’s rewarded (by having their ideas selected), but all those that ‘invested’ in the idea too.

Needless to say, the concept of introducing Prediction Markets into today’s social initiatives has it’s risks, ranging from accuracy, the ability for some to manipulate the system and perhaps even just the addictiveness of it and time consumed by it (especially in a corporate environment).

But, if the boffins are correct in their assertions that Prediction Markets result in greater accuracy of trend prediction, then businesses may have a good way to evolve their social networking initiatives into something of greater value than the ‘Like’ buttons of today.

Intranetzzzz zzzzz zzzz

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Intranet

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]Who would have thought that intranets can be exciting!? That governance, content strategy, stakeholder engagement and rollout strategy can be things to get excited by? With a reputation damaged by a lack of ownership and focus, intranets certainly don’t have a good name for themselves.

At View our take on creating a successful intranet has always been a simple one – treat it as a journey. As with every journey there is a clear start and end point (and at times, an onward destination!). At the start, just one simple question why would people use an intranet? At the end, something usable, effective and engaging that users want to use.

Intranets designed by View

Intranets designed by View - never losing sight of the end user experience.

Granted, writing about the journey in a short blog post is not so easy. Every organisation has different challenges and different solutions are needed to get there.

But all too often though the starting and ending points are forgotten about and when this happens it’s no surprise that getting there is made all the more complicated. Perhaps most importantly, it’s when these are forgotten that the passion is lost from what should ultimately be an exciting and inclusive challenge for any organisation to address. Hell – I know we’re having fun working on our intranets!!

[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false] “When no one is doing as you say, is it their problem or your problem?” – leveraging the corporate intranet to communicate bad news

As the economic climate continues to deteriorate and companies suffer blows to their reputation, there is much talk about the role that the corporate intranet plays in improving corporate communications.

Unsurprisingly, ‘industry experts’ urge their clients to open up as much as possible via the intranet: Announce restructuring plans and layoffs. Circulate external news feeds by the hour. Companies that don’t do that (which accounts for a large number of FTSE 100/250 players) are dismissed as bad practice.

But I wonder whether this industry opinion is more knee-jerk reaction than a careful suggestion. Can good and bad practice be summarily defined? Have we considered clients’ business realities?

Layoffs and bail-outs are emotional subjects, and the intranet is too impersonal as a communication vehicle. Not only can messages be misinterpreted; but the whole intranet may be seen as a senior management mouthpiece, which enables the top brass to disseminate anything anytime but does not give those lower down the food chain a level playing field to express their own concerns. The resulting feeling of frustration and uncertainty would be exactly the opposite of what companies aim to achieve with honest, open communications.

I am not saying that negative corporate news should not be communicated internally, but there are many ways to achieve this more effectively, such as face-to-face meetings, and the intranet is not always the right platform if it does not yet have the necessary features or functionality. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of building the supporting infrastructure (e.g. a responsive and secure bottom-up feedback mechanism) and reinforcing content ownership by other departments (such as HR).  Each is a daunting task. Making shallow recommendations without careful considerations on our clients’ business priorities will only undermine our credibility, and theirs.