Interaction Intranet Conference 2013 – What Happened…

Day two of Interaction Intranet Conference was attended by over 240 intranet professionals from across the UK & Europe.

The day kicked off with the brilliant tradition of Nigel Danson’s (@nigeldanson) children talking about the importance of a collaborative intranet driven by business processes.

Collaboration on the Intranet – Michael Sampson, Collaboration Strategist

The first keynote of the day was by Michael Sampson (@collabguy) looking at the importance of collaboration on the intranet.

Discussing how the rise of the intranet has given us a way to communicate with employees that is much faster and cheaper, he went on to examine the 4 key functions on an intranet:

  1. Corporate communications – a place we’re told stuff
  2. Policies, procedures, content – a place to read
  3. Workflow and process – a place to do stuff
  4. Collaboration – a place to work with other people

Michael went on to say the first 3 cover just 5% of what a person does on a day-to-day basis and if we introduced collaboration that would help towards the other 95%.

See Michael’s presentation below, which covered the core concepts and values required to maximise a collaborative intranet in your company:

The Intranet Launch Survival Guide – Genevieve Potter, Bauer Media

Head of Internal Communications, for Europe’s largest privately owned publishing group, Gen Potter took the audience through her intranet launch survival guide after going through the process last year.

The first key point was “Making our people care”, which involved a big campaign to rename their intranet, which in the end got over 500 responses and helped generate a lot of engagement and excitement amongst their scattered workforce.

Gen also discussed how she drove engagement by muscling into every key meeting and had numerous workshops and 121 chats to ensure everyone knew the benefits of getting involved with their new intranet – Media Vine.

One of the most interesting points that came from Gen was regarding the importance of their content managers. Alone she knew she could not make the intranet a success and it relied on an army of content managers who fell into one of the three categories:

Squirrel Hunters – responsible for finding the nuggets of information people hide away and for them to uncover it to help others

Cheerleaders – those who would be the real ambassadors for the intranet and spread the importance of it within Bauer to generate excitement amongst others

Detail Freaks – looking at where there may be broken links, spelling errors, no keywords etc to keep content healthy and the intranet a reliable source of information.

What really got the audience listening though was Gen’s announcement that they incentivised their content managers. Based on their document quality score, influence score and performance feedback they could earn up to 3 extra days holiday a year. It worked incredibly well for them and 27 out of 32 content managers achieved extra holidays as a result

Other key points covered were giving content managers lanyards to wear on launch so people could easily identify them and ask questions. Plus they had a video on their intranet homepage to educate people on how to use Media Vine and make it their own.

In the first week of launch, Media Vine had 77% active users and this is continuing to grow. Exciting to see what will happen next.

After an interesting start to the conference it was time for a quick coffee break and tour of live intranets in the expo area with Bauer Media, Midlands Co-operative, Glasgow Housing Association, CrossCountry and NSL.

“Unlike websites it is impossible to easily see what other companies are doing with their intranets. Interaction Intranet Conference is about giving Intranet Managers the chance to see great intranets in action and get ideas for how they can improve their own”

Nigel Danson, CEO & Founder, Interact Intranet

Next the delegates chose from one of three streams to attend for the remainder of the morning and were able to change streams depending on what talks they wanted to hear. Overall 9 talks were available.

Stream one included:

How GHA achieved social change– Wendy Jordan, Glasgow Housing Association Case Study

How good is your intranet?– IBF demonstrate how benchmarking has improved intranet performance at ING bank. Louise Kennedy, IBF & Louise McGregor,ING

Let them eat cake- the cake is a lie, Jason Comer, NSL Case Study

How GHA achieved social change – Wendy Jordan, GHA

Following on from her energetic talk on day one about the new features she has developed on Holmes over the past 12 months; Wendy (@Wednesday_IC) went on to wow the audience again by discussing how their intranet has become a key engagement tool that is helping to solve the business problems within GHA.

With 88% of staff on the intranet every day, with the majority on there 8 times a day for at least 5 minutes it is no wonder Holmes won a Ragan Award for ‘Best Value Intranet to Employees’.

GHA have ensured their intranet is all about the staff – how they talk to them and how they reach them. Wendy said it was difficult getting senior managers on board at first, with many having the fear that anyone can say anything they want. However, Wendy set a clear governance policy with 5 things people could do and couldn’t do and over the past 18 months no one has broken the rules set.


Wendy also discussed how she had introduced a video every week for 16 weeks on to the intranet to help break down barriers to people not knowing how to use the intranet to aid collaboration and improve the way they work. Topics included – how to write a blog and on what topics, how to comment and share plus how to search for what you need.

One of the most successful campaigns was their ‘Think Yes’ campaign, which allowed Staff to cut out bureaucracy and respond to customer issues quickly using their own initiative and guidance on the intranet. This has transformed how GHA operate and brought exceptional level of service to customers and empowered workers.

Read more in our new guide

How good is your intranet? Louise Kennedy, IBF & Louise McGregor,ING

Louise Kennedy from the Intranet Benchmarking Forum kicked off the first part of the talk mentioning how they go about assessing company intranets. She discussed how your intranet is a sum of many parts strategy & governance, metrics & performance, communication & collaboration and usability.

She also went through their Usability Benchmarking Process:


Louise McGregor (@changememe) the Digital Manager from ING then discussed how they took user feedback on their intranet in 2010 and set about to make serious improvements by 2013.

IBF helped ING to come up with some clear recommendations in 2010 for their intranet:

  • Improve information architecture and search
  • Clearer guidance for content creators
  • Including design templates
  • Provide some training for webmanagers
  • Enable/Encourage engagement

Engagement was going to be achieved through collaboration but this was an issue since ING’s Senior Management team were really against collaboration. However they were convinced they had to trust people and it all worked out with no major problems.

Louise finished her talk by discussing their next plans:

  1. Simplify – look at usability, IA and Search further
  2. Connect to brand
  3. Work on governance

Let them eat cake – the cake is a lie, Jason Comer, NSL Case Study

Jason Comer (@JasonComerPro), Head of Marketing and Account Development at NSL kicked off his talk with an entertaining dance you had to be there to appreciate! Quickly following his entertaining start he discussed how their old intranet called Cascade was SharePoint but it had become a glorified shared drive.

Jason then went on to discuss his journey of finding and successfully implementing a new Intranet into NSL.

Key to success:

Understand what you want your intranet to do
Make it clear

Decide on your big wow or sustained reveal
Do something small really well than big and not so well

Be clear on governance
You can’t do everything alone. Need clear process

Give them what they want
What will draw them to your intranet willingly without being beaten.

Stream two included:

-Engagement of Empowerment – Rebecca Richmond, Melcrum

-What makes a succesful intranet team? James Robertson, Step Two Design

-The Future Is… – The Intranetizen Team

Engagement to Empowerment – Rebecca Richmond, Melcrum

Rebecca Richmond (@BecAtMelcrum) COO of Melcrum delivered a presentation that showed how users could be empowered and not just engaged. Featuring a case study from Avery Dennison who have an initiative called ‘The Beat’ – this is feedback loop (via a remote team) through which the company can test selected initiatives and seek employee feedback.

The benefit of such a feedback loop was backed by evidence presented that showed how that the value of an employees influence as an ambassador for content validity has shown a 51% increase in 2011/12 compared with a drop of 25% in the same period for messages from the CEO.

Rebecca also had a gem of a “mantra” when she spoke of “Know, Feel, Do” – the questions that anyone communicating to anyone else would bear in mind when communicating. In response to your communication (or content) what is it that you’d like the recipient to know, feel and do. Are you being clear enough in your communication to facilitate this?

You can learn more on the Avery Dennison case study on the Melcrum site

What makes a successful intranet team? James Robertson, Step Two Design

Next up was James Robertson (@S2djames) who delivered a practical session on the things that a successful intranet team (of whatever size) should do.

Those things were;

  1. Have a to do list
  2. Spend more time with the people that count – the users more than the stakeholders
  3. Give yourself time to succeed – get the right ratio between maintaining the site, improving the site and managing relationships with users and stakeholders
  4. Do work that makes you a hero – i.e. Make sure that stakeholders know what your successes are – as this might then mean your resources are enhanced to do the less glamorous but just as critical stuff
  5. Celebrate successes – not just your successes but how others have successfully used the functionality the intranet allows

Whilst there were some contradictory points – some balancing to do between points 2 and 4 but he went down very well and everyone (many standing so they could see him) was encouraged to commit to one of the five activities.

James’s new book is now available to buyEssential Intranets: inspiring sites that deliver real business value’

The Future Is…- The Intranetizen Team

Intranetizen then stood up for a series of quick fire lightning sessions;

Jonathan Phillips (@digitaljonathan) made the case for focusing on the mobile intranet above all else, partly based on the fact that by the end of 2014 there will be more mobile phones in the world than people – so things better work on them.

Luke Mepham (@lukemepham) then issued the proclamation that the intranet is not the place for news – as we don’t read it and there should be less of it within an intranet.

Sharon O’Dea (@sharonodea) then took the “function over form” disciples on head on showing how good looking good intranets can/should be and finally Dana Leeson (@danaleeson) looked forward to the future by saying it was already here and that we should get over it and deal with it.

Keep updated with the Intranetizen team and their advice by following their blog:

Stream three included:

-The Science and Art of Intranet Project Management, Martin White, Intranet Focus

-Usernomics: Rethinking How You Value Your Intranet, Nigel Williams & Matt McCourty, Interact

-Empowering Mobile Workers, Dan Lewis, The Judge Group

The Science and Art of Intranet Project Management, Martin White, Intranet Focus

Martin White (@IntranetFocus) brings a level of gravitas and reliability to any talk, and having him deliver on the concept of Project Management for the Intranet Manager is inspired. As he explained, many Intranet Managers are communicators, Internal Comms and HR for the most part, which is great when you want to get the corporate message across, but they are not Project Managers. Project Managers are trained, are experienced in running projects as complex as installing a new intranet, and know how to deal with the inevitable problems that this sort of project presents. What Martin so eloquently presented for the benefit of these Intranet Managers, were the important points and aspects of the project that a Project Manager would do as second nature but an Intranet Manager might not, aspects that can make all the difference between done on time and in budget, or not!

These important points included:

– Any Intranet Project was going to have three essentials, Time, Scope and Resources and that a change in one of these would invariably require a change in the others. You can’t lose resources on a project and not expect it to take more time if you still want to maintain the scope.

– Having a Gantt Chart is not all there is to Project Management, there are many other responsibilities, such as the development of your project team, what are they getting out of this project experience? This is important if they have been sequestered from their normal work.

– Risk Management needs to be considered – an Intranet Project will have an impact on the entire organisation.

– Time needs to be closely monitored, a one-week slip in a completed task and become a six-week delay in your project.

– Even if you are brilliant at project management, Intranet projects need to be handled a little differently, as you are bringing together the Project Management of your Intranet software provider and the Project Management of your organisation, you might need a ‘bridging project plan’ to bring these two together as you can’t impose your project plans on another company.

– On-Line, Virtual Team Project Management is VERY different from traditional project management and just because you can do the latter, don’t assume you can do the former! Get some books, take a course, before you start, so you know how to deal with it.

-“90% Done is NOT done!! It’s the last 10% that’s usually the killer that takes you over time and over budget. Make sure all the project team leaders are fully briefed on what is considered ‘DONE’and make them stick to it.

– If you are borrowing people from other teams or departments make sure that not only are they getting something from it, but that their boss gets something from it, this will stop the boss pulling them back when something more important comes up.

Usernomics – Rethinking How You Value Your Intranet, Nigel Williams & Matt McCourty, Interact

Matt McCourty (@mmccourty) and Nigel Williams (@Footshort82) gave us an energetic and different way of viewing the value of your intranet. The term ‘Intrapreneur’ is introduced, I actually had to look this up!

Intrapreneur – person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.

Awesome! Business needs more of this. Nigel explains that these are the people who should be moving round the company asking ‘Why?’ a lot and not being fobbed off with the answer, ‘It’s how we always do it’, but to look for better ways. Intrapreneurs don’t just look at the ROI, they look at people and the ROE, the ‘Return on Engagement’ and this thinking needs to be used when looking at intranets.

Instead of the assumption that time saved directly equals money saved, as it is with most intranet ROI’s currently, let’s look at how people are engaged.

As Jonathon Phillips says (via Twitter): “Opinion: Ignore time saving for intranet business case. You cannot guarantee those secs will be re-invested in ANYTHING productive.”

We are not looking at the ‘Hits’ to a site, of even its ‘Traffic’ we need to consider its ‘Usernomics’, what do people actually do. By establishing what activities are occurring, we are able to work out those who are fully engaged, those who might be able to become our Ambassadors, pushing the intranet goals forward.

ROE looks at the Analytics to assess this engagement. Functionality like Interact Answers, Expertise Endorsements, Document Quality Score and the Influence Score work to give Intranet Managers who’s engaged, people who can be used to further this engagement.

And what is the return on this engagement?

There are many areas, but primarily:

  • Engaged, empowered people are more productive.
  • There is lower turnover of staff, as people are happier.
  • Issues within the company are more likely to be discussed and handled internally, with less disgruntled people turning to Facebook or Twitter to vent their frustrations.

How can you achieve this?

For an example, take your Content Area Administrators. Don’t just dump this role on them, they will see it as yet another piece of work, on top of an already busy day. Make being a Content Area Admin a prestigious thing, make it fun and interesting, a role worth having. Don’t tell them they now just add documents to an area, tell them they should look for ‘pain points’ in their department and look to fix them with the content they add, let them see the value and then empower them to fix the issue.

Empowering Mobile Workers, Dan Lewis, The Judge Group

Dan Lewis (@DanTheITMan) is such an engaging, intelligent speaker I forgot that I don’t, in-fact, know the difference between one mobile OS and another! Dan’s talk focused on the mobile worker. How can the remote, field or travelling worker become engaged and empowered through the intranet while on the move.

This starts with understanding that ‘pushing’ information to the mobile platform is not the right approach. People want to ‘do things’ not just consume information. A mobile site/app that only shows the latest company news is not going to prosper. The mobile platform should not be a one-way street. An example of making the mobile relevant comes from a construction company that put their schematics on the intranet. These plans also had a built in with an annotation tool so that instead of writing on actual plans. So instead of taking a picture of them on their mobiles and sending them back to head office so they could be uploaded, then viewing them as static images on their iPads, they became living, ‘working’ documents, essential to anyone working on a particular site, massively empowering field-level engineers and their managers.

So what are the best ways to engage mobile users?

  • Make the site responsive, so that it fits on any device easily and loads quickly.
  • Make your apps device-agnostic, so they’ll work on anything, going with native apps limits the technology you can use in the future.
  • Make security easy with single sign on through the mobile. Security is important but people don’t want to be aware of it.

One of the big ‘buzz’ areas with mobile is the geo-fencing, using the ability of your mobile to know where it is in the world to filter the information the user sees. This has huge potential, for example, presenting mobile contractors like phones or utilities with the jobs that exist within a few miles of where they are, so they get a short a list of relevant jobs. Or perhaps presenting people with different views and search options automatically on their mobile device depending on whether they are in the office or out of it.

Lunch, Networking & Intranets on Tour

Lunch gave everyone a chance to network, see live intranets on tour and rest after a busy morning full of intranet best practice advice and insight from experts and practitioners.

People were also actively filling out details of their biggest intranet challenge to win a mini-iPad at the Interact stand and selecting their favourite intranet homepage at the Intranet Homepage Wall.


World’s Most User Focused Intranets – Andrew Wright, World Intranet Challenge

Andrew Wright (@roojwright) gave a great talk based on the findings from the Worldwide intranet Challenge – his free web-based survey which has had over 45,000 users complete in 23 countries over 160 companies.

He started off his talk by asking the audience to stand up based on what they felt was the most important factor in contributing to a valuable intranet:

  • 0% Look and feel
  • 40% Ease of finding information
  • 1% Intranet governance
  • 40% staff able to interact
  • 1% Performance and availability
  • 15% Help completing work tasks
  • 1% Quality of Content

Andrew examined how the greater level of interactivity meant the greater the value of the intranet. Previously it has been questioned whether spending a lot of time on the intranet meant it was ineffective because people couldn’t find what they wanted; however there is no relationship between how much time people spend on their intranet and how easy it is to find information.

The condrum is that everyone says they want a collaborative intranet but the end user isn’t bothered. With 90% of staff not regularly contributing to the intranet and more than 50% never doing so.

Barriers to collaboration:

  • Not enough priority given to persuading people to contribute
  • People don’t know what they should contribute
  • Not enough priority given to change management

Andrew then went on to discuss 3 case studies, which Sam Marshall did a nice recap of in his Interaction blog:

1. nSynergy
Managed to reduce email by 50%. Every day the 2 bosses contribute content – setting a strong example for others.

2. Government Dept
Their intranet is centred around “Work instructions”, a page for each workflow. Includes feedback and “what’s new” information. An automatic “related content” area helps break down silos by cross-referencing.

There’s a personalised page that automatically gives a dashboard view showing popular tasks, scheduled tasks and changes tailored to each person’s profile.

3. Weston Solutions
Did WIC as a before & after and jumped from 77th to 1st. Their homepage actually isn’t that attractive, but what matters is everything else it does. The company put real focus on the change management side (following Kotter’s 8 step plan).

The Workplace of the Future in 2013 – Luis Suarez, IBM

One of the most anticipated talks of the day, Luis Suarez (@elsua) began on an explosive note by saying “work is no longer a physical place it’s a state of mind.”

Luis is well known in the industry when he decided to abandon email in favour of using more collaborative technologies – – reducing his inbox by 98%.

Generational shifts are unleashing different work styles with older generations all face-to-face, conference calls and email and younger generations preferring social networks. This leaves the middle age group needing to accommodate both.

However, people will share if you give them the right tools and educate them correctly.

Luis broke down how their workplace of the future would look…

  1. We continue to strengthen our core collaboration capabilities
  2. We deployed a social computing platform to enable collaboration
  3. We support device flexibility
  4. We evolved our “intranet workplace” to include collaboration and social
  5. We are taking new approaches in how we listen to and communicate with our employees
  6. We are moving away from a one-size-fits-all model 7. We developed a social business governance plan

Intranets are all about giving people choice. We need to act as an enabler and facilitator not roadblock. Right tools are not enough, you also need to educate and inspire.

The afternoon finished off by splitting into streams again.

Stream one had the two talks:

-Engage, Energise and Enable Employees through your Intranet, Elizabeth Lupfer
-Behaviours of a Successful Intranet Manager, Steve Osborne, Interact

Engage, Energise and Enable Employees through your Intranet, Elizabeth Lupfer

Travelling over from the US, Elizabeth (@socialworkplace) presented on taking their HR Portal to a People Portal that energised, enabled and engaged their workforce.

For the average UK organisation:

  • 20% of employees are engaged
  • 60% are not engaged
  • 20% are actively disengaged

A successful intranet means getting the whole company to collaborate is crucial – a people portal needs to be created.

To move to a People Portal the intranet needs to be:

  1. Relevant -integrated with systems people often use and can get access to quickly, distinctive by giving them access to information, tools and resources based on their role, and customised making it relevant to where they are in their employee lfecycle
  2. Accessible -being able to access anytime, anywhere. HR transactions can no longer just happen in the office
  3. Interactive -need to stop thinking of employees as a number and transaction but rather interact with them by enabling social technologies and amplifying their voice

Five awesome ways to immediately interact with employees:

  1. Page rating, likes and shares
  2. Employee generated tagging
  3. Interactive training and learning
  4. Virtual agent / interactive FAQ
  5. Crowd sourced job aids and video tutorials

Elizabeth’s final thoughts included:

  1. Assess the current temperature of your employees and organisation – employee sentiment
  2. Think about how your social intranet can make an employee’s job easier
  3. Focus on the solution not the system
  4. Choose technologies that will evolve with your changing business needs

Behaviours of a Successful Intranet Manager, Steve Osborne, Interact

Steve Osborne (@Steven_Osborne) ended the day by discussing the findings of a recent poll involving 168 Intranet Managers.

Stream two had two intranet case studies:

5 years, 5 lessons learned, Luke Mepham, Aviva
– Connect – Engaging Cross Country, Malcolm Cotterell, Cross Country Case Study

5 years, 5 lessons learned, Luke Mepham, Aviva

Luke Mepham, User Experience Architect for Aviva and part of the Intranetizens (@lukemepham) kicked off stream two session by addressing the 5 key lessons he has learnt over the past 5 years being part of the intranet team as a User Experience Manager.

1. Business cases don’t have to be financial
The main goal of Aviva World in 2008 was to bring together a number of different Aviva brands and bring the organisation together globally. Aviva World was built on a business case aligned directly to the company’s strategy of recognising individuals and working as one organisation.

2. Social for fun supports social for business
The intranet team created an area entirely for social, which was not allowed to talk about work. Slowly employees began introducing themselves to each other and natural collaboration took place. This became global and overtime turned into work conversations e.g. introduce to each other all over the world “I didn’t know we had an office in Canada”. Social can drive business.

3. Findability needs feeding and watering
Aviva took a big list of things that they wanted users to be able to do on the intranet then did card sorting exercises. Created best possible navigation system by involving 1300 people, 8 different languages, over 3 months. People could find exactly what they wanted almost every time.
However, over time the navigation became worse and worse because people managing didn’t know where to put things correctly. Lesson learnt that you have to keep reviewing and educating.

4. Can and do more than cant and don’t
Rather than close things down, leave things open. With ideas for collaboration Luke presented to the Chief Exec what the worst situation would be and their plan for handling it. They understood the risks involved in collaboration and didn’t assume bad things about the people that work there.

5. Strategies have to change to stay current
A number of unexpected things happen and you have to adapt. For example CEO left so there was a business strategy changed that naturally affected the intranet strategy. However it is worth having a timeline of what you expect to do to keep you on track.

Finally, at the end of the day intranets need to be people led not technology led.

Connect – Engaging CrossCountry, Malcolm Cotterell, CrossCountry Case Study

Malcolm Cotterell, Employee Development and Engagement Manager from CrossCountry took to the stage to share how they had built engagement through their intranet and made it an essential tool for all employees.

With 1700 employees over 13 locations they found it difficult to reach people via internal communications.

Early days:

  • Weekly newsletter
  • Quarterly mag
  • Open forums – exec travel to location and talk to people
  • An intranet (old) – people didn’t use, had to be in CrossCountry office on a CrossCountry computer to look at it.

Employee communications survey showed they could do more…and better.

Employee engagement initiative started called “great journeys”, which became the employee brand. It involved everyone coming together helping towards great journeys.

“To be recognised for delivering great service on great journeys across Great Britain”

This involved going out and speaking to every single employee to find out what they did to contribute and communicating that story internally.

They then realised they needed a new intranet to improve engagement and continue their vision and “great journeys”. Chose Interact Intranet and launched it earlier this last year to give people a new way to get information, have a voice and communicate with each other.

This year Malcolm and his colleague Kate Barnes won best launch strategy and were nominated for Intranet Managers of the year at the Interact Intranet Excellence Awards because they actively went out and asked users what they wanted and gained loads of feedback with “I can’t find this… and “how do I do that…”, which has created an intranet that people trust, rely on and has become essential to their day to day work.

Watch their new internal video on their intranet Connect (created by :

Digital Workplace Manifesto

Sam Marshall (@sammarshall) kicked off his talk with a brilliant YouTube clip, from a Michael Douglas movie called ˜Disclosure’ as it showed a wonderful virtual reality view of a company intranet.

“Seems incredibly huge and yet totally empty at the same time!” – Sam Marshall

Sam then went on to point out that intranets were not, in fact, virtual reality accessed and on the whole we are all rather bad a predicting where technology will go. However there were certain principles (eleven in fact) that should be utlised when considering the Digital Workplace from the point of view of the user.

1) Work is no longer a place.
In the digital age, where I can sent an e-mail from the bath to a customer, just as easily as from my desk, work is no longer a place, it’s a ‘state of mind’. While I might like to work somewhere other than the office, a clear difference between work and private life needs to be maintained.

2) Manage the outcome, not the process.
In short, don’t micromanage! Trust your employees to do as you are asking and judge their efforts on the results not when where or how they work.

3) Digital environment should be inviting.
Using the digital workspace should not be a massive effort, have an unpleasant look and feel or lack functionality. You won’t design your actual office with mould paint work, uncomfortable chairs and bad lighting, but the same effort into your digital space as you do your physical space.

4) Collaboration only works if we do it the same way.
The digital workplace should break down silos, not create new ones with everyone using radically different applications.

5) Let Me Be Myself Online.
Encourage people to be themselves on line with full profiles that talk about their lives (if they want to) as well as their work responsibilities. Don’t force them to adopt a ‘corporate voice’ that isn’t them. Open, honest communication starts with letting people be themselves.

6) Learning is good for me and the company.
Everybody wants to learn and develop, it keeps people engaged and focused as well as bringing new knowledge and skills into the company, include this in your digital workplace.

7) Not everyone is an early adopter.
For some people new technology (as just technology as a whole) is scary. Support these people, but also make sure everybody has training and understands how your technology works so they can get the most out of it. However easy you feel your software is to use, everybody needs a little help in the beginning.

8) Work doesn’t stop at the firewall.
Your workplace doesn’t just operate between the people in your building. There are suppliers, contractors, customer… so why should your digital workspace not include them too?

9) Everything should be geared to helping me do the work that matters.
Don’t make steps like logging in complicated; make everything easy to use and easy to find, to help massively increase productivity.

10) Working relationship involve understanding each other.
This understanding comes from mutual appreciation and respect for each other, being willing to listen to others so that they will listen to you and it’s not just a peer to peer thing, this goes double for management and staff communications.

11) If I don’t like it, I can always leave.
It’s worth bearing in mind that not every working environment is perfect for everybody and the responsibility to find the right working environment lies primarily with the individual, its not up to the company to attempt to fit itself to everyone.

Download an illustrated version of The Digital Manifesto

Understanding and Making Sense of the Intranet Landscape

As Richard Hare (@RichardHare) explained in his talk, we have been consistently failing to connect on-line for years in business, it is only recently that we have moved into a truly digital social age and incorporated that into our working life and we are STILL getting it wrong. By not promoting collaboration and its benefits, by failing to make it fun and engaging, there is low motivation to get involved.

In answer to this we need to make business collaboration easier, to sort out the good and best practice from the novel and emergent, to present people with the best business collaboration has to offer. There has to be some thought behind this, the analogy used by Richard was the children’s birthday party:

  • Low Planning – throw all the children in the room with food and drink and let them get on with it = Chaos
  • High Planning – make sure every moment of the party is planned and nobody is allowed to step outside the plan = No Engagement because it’s no fun.
  • Some ideas for games and having an attention grabber (a large red ball) – then they can play and run around and enjoy themselves, there’s stuff to do, but if you need their attention you can get it.

The End – Q&A with an expert panel

The end of the conference finished with a lively and often heated debate with our expert panelists – Michael Sampson, Dana Leeson, Luke Mepham, Martin White, Sam Marshall, Elizabeth Lupfer and Luis Suarez.

A range of topics were covered from ‘Does below the fold really exist?’ and “Whether intranets are too complacent about business leader’s needs such as driving innovation?”

Congratulations to Bryan Evans from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy who won a mini iPad, and POP from EU Skills who won best intranet homepage.

This years Interaction was the biggest and best by far and the feedback has been amazing. We are also delighted to have been able to donate GBP1080 to International HIV/AIDS Alliance from the success of ticket sales.

Interaction 2014 planning is now full underway and you can apply to be a speaker or book your place at

We look forward to seeing you there next year.