Themes from the New Zealand Digital Workplace conference

One of the delights of presenting at a conference, is being able to take in the insights from the other presentations. The New Zealand Digital Workplace conference was on April 30 and May 1 in Auckland and I noted a few themes over the two days.

Change, adoption and engagement continue as important success drivers in the Digital Workplace. The message is clear, that individuals and organisation that neglect to acknowledge and embrace change will be left behind.


As technological change becomes more rapid, the focus on people change is growing in prevalence. It was reassuring to hear from many community leaders about the importance of change management and understanding not just the why, but also helping staff understand what the change will do for them.

Ultimately though, technology solutions will likely come into play. While acknowledging that change should be drive from user needs, Glenn Woolaghan of Microsoft advised that it is important to seek out a partner who can help navigate the tech environment once needs have been defined.

Nobody can keep up

With the clear rate of technological change, digital transformation is ever topical. Christian Buckley emphasised in his keynote the impact of not going with the change as the change is happening. The risk is more in NOT transforming.

However, the rate of change should not come at the expense of our individual wellbeing and happiness. Fantastic sessions by David Downs (who spoke about having a Mild Touch of Cancer) and Heather Newman (How to kick fear and toxicity out of the workplace) provided some much needed perspective.

Old habits

With all the talk of change a few small threads peaked my interest in how we call resist change.

  • 2 organisations I saw present spoke about the habit of staff creating network drive folders structures by their names. Something I have seen myself (and still see occasionally). People will always see things from their own view. I wonder what can we do from a change perspective to leverage this?
  • Microsoft is “sunsetting” the desktop version of OneNote in favour of the Windows10 version. I personally love the desktop version (and am not the only one). I wonder (hope) if the vocal community can convince Microsoft to change their mind.
  • Even with the variety of project management tools available, Excel still prevails as one of (if not the) most popular application for project management.

Yammer is not dead

The position of Yammer within the Microsoft toolset has been contentious in the past. Current investments by Microsoft and increased attention from the community seem to indicate it is here to stay. At DWCNZ I presented Success Factors in a Thriving Yammer network.

To keep up-to-date with the latest in Yammer news and thinking follow the Yammer blog (which I contribute to):



Share your thoughts