Simon Evans's Blog

Making Intranets and Innovation Work!

If you don’t sort out your intranet strategy…

I recently came across the excellent but painful to read website www.intranetsecrets.com (well worth a look!!!).  www.intanetsecrets.com

It struck me that this follows on nicely from my last blog about why governance fails.  If your intranet governance is non-existent or fails due to the factors described in that blog, then these “secrets” betray the classic symptoms of this situation.  No clear direction, no one understanding why the intranet exists, a separation between the needs of the business and the technology that should be supporting them.  Watch out for these other symptoms as well!

  • Reinvention of the wheel
  • No clarity of the intranet benefits
  • Variable quality, out of date information
  • Litigation risks appearing
  • Site proliferation and volumes of content with no value to user (“vanity ware”)
  • Poor search capability
  • No central view and management of the cost of ownership
  • Content arranged by organisation not process (suits provider not user)
  • Little coordination and cooperation across the business

How to fix this?  develop a well led, engaged, proactive governance team who are tuned in to the business needs and how an intranet can make people’s jobs easier!

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March 18, 2010 Posted by | Enigmaquest | , , | 1 Comment

Why does Intranet Governance fail?

Getting governance right is a real challenge.  So often structures are put in place that last only 6 months or so.  It is not uncommon that it takes 3 or 4 attempts  before a successful incarnation is arrived at!  Typical failure points observed in large organisations would include:

  • No committed senior sponsorship
  • Lack of strategic vision (“What do we have an intranet for?”)
  • Mixing strategic issues with operational leading to loss of interest by senior people
  • Domination by IT people and issues
  • Key decision makers without sufficient time to make process work – “Not my day job!”
  • Governance roles not included in performance plans
  • Insufficiently senior people involved so decisions must be deferred
  • Senior managers who do not believe in the power of the technology and resist change

Careful consideration of these points when setting up the governance team should mitigate the risk of these problems hitting you!

Reinvention of the wheel
Variable quality, out of date information
Litigation risks
Site proliferation and volumes of content with no value to user
Poor search capability
No central view and management of the cost of ownership
Content arranged by organisation not process (suits provider not user)
Little coordination and cooperation across the business

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Enigmaquest | , | Leave a comment

Boston Consulting Group Innovation Report 2009

Am just reading and digesting the BCG Aannual report on Innovation for 2009 – it makes interesting reading looking at what impact the recession is having on innovation strategies.

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Innovation | , | Leave a comment

What do we call the Creative Innovators?

Idea!I was wondering what to call those people in our organisations who come up with the creative and left-field ideas.  Belbin used the term “Plant” but I have discovered that this term does not seem to resonate much in the US.  Malcolm Gladwell in “The Tipping Point” user the term Mavens to describe those who are ” intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends” (from Wikipedia) though I not sure this quite sums up what  I am looking for.  “Innovators” is not right as the scope of innovation goes well beyond the pure creative part.

By being able to name the role, we are halfway to identifying those who can fulfill it and maybe recognise some talent already in place in your organisation whose contributions are going unnoticed currently.

Ideas on a postcard 🙂

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Innovation | , | 1 Comment

Innovation in a Cold Climate

What do we need to do to thaw out our innovation processes ready for the Spring?

What do we need to do to thaw out our innovation processes ready for the Spring?

What happens to innovation when times are tough? Are we all concentrating our dwindling resources on trying to make things better, cleverer, slicker?  Or are we simply turning off the tap and hoping for the best – riding out the storm waiting for things to get better.

A recent mail from a client of mine reveals all…  “Innovation is on hold for the moment”.  I find this very worrying.

It is clear looking around at the current business environment that things will never be quite the same even after the recovery kicks in at some point in the (indeterminate) future – should we not be using this opportunity to look at how we do things and come up with new ideas?

Another very innovative and forward thinking  client recently observed “The old ways are broken, we need new ways to do things better” just before he was made redundant in the latest cost saving drive.

It is my belief that innovation will be one of the most critical keys to open up the new world that will be the post crunch economy and that those organisations that have reviewed their innovation strategies while things are quiet will be ready to leap ahead when conditions ease.

What do you think?  Is now the time for radical thinking and being bold in identifying things that need to change?  Or shall we all continue just tightening our belts and hoping for the best?

What can we do?  How do we approach it?  What tools are available to help us?  Are there new ways of thinking about innovation that can kick start the creative process?

Get involved in the debate!

Simon Evans, Innovoflow Ltd

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March 10, 2009 Posted by | Innovation | , , | Leave a comment