This is the first in a series of guest posts by @IM4Ward, on behalf of the PS Engage planning committee.
The PSEngage conference is happening November 22, 2011 and the line-up of speakers is great! To give more insight to the knowledge and interests of the speakers we sent them each a set of questions tailored to their individual experience. We will be posting the questions and their responses over the next few weeks, so please keep checking back regularly.
Today’s interview is with @AndyJankowski Global Director, Intranet Benchmarking Forum
Andy will be speaking about the shift from traditional intranet and portal environments to digital workplaces. He has been working in the area of collaboration and communication for years and has seen how the thinking, experimentation and solutions have evolved to achieve business goals and objectives.
1. From your experience, how do companies and government differ in their approach to adopting social workplace practices?
Surprisingly, not as much as you would think. While both entities are different structurally, they share similar needs and interests; knowledge sharing, expertise location and employee engagement to name a few. Regulatory environments aside, the approaches to which these entities, whether private or public sector, take in adopting social workplace practices is more affected by organizational culture than any other attribute. I have seen the same type of approaches, as well as speed and success of implementation, in both public and private settings. It just depends on the culture, leadership and willingness of the entities to change.
2. How can a social intranet help a government workplace be more innovative?
Innovation often results from serendipitously connecting people and dots. Social intranets enable and speed this process by bringing unstructured information and previously unknown networks to the forefront of employee communication and collaboration. Government entities are by necessity hierarchical, structured and often complex. Social intranets can help a government workplace be more innovative by enabling information and person-to-person connections to flow freely without disrupting the necessary structures in place.
Andy has trained and competed for the past three years with the Heroes Foundation Cycling Team and we wanted to know if he was able to apply what he has learnt from his past time to his work.
3. What have you learned from cycling and racing that can be applied to bringing about change in an organization?
- It’s a long race, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sprint several times throughout it. [Don’t be afraid to push things a little faster from time to time]
- You do not know what is possible until you try and that’s when you realize that anything is possible. [Even organizations seamlessly adopting new processes and collaborating together]
- It is better to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable than to try to live and work in a false world of comfort. [This is how progress and innovation happen]
- Your brakes can be your worst enemy and cause more accidents than they prevent. Be careful when to apply them. [Be careful when deciding to stop an initiative]
- A well organized team (peleton) will out race an individual in almost any situation. [A well organized team will break down barriers and silos and make more progress]
- The same road looks different depending on the day. [Do not be too quick judge your organization and its ability]
- A very slight adjustment (seat height, pedal stroke, gearing) can make a world of performance difference. [Small steps and improvements can cause big advancements]
- Time is a man made concept. If you are creative, there is always time. [Being too busy is no excuse]