I recently joined Robert Crane on his Need to Know podcast for a conversation about the digital workplace, intranets, design, SharePoint and Microsoft Viva.
Big thanks to Robert for inviting me to have a chat with him on his podcast. It’s always fun for me to talk shop with people who are equally interested in technology and change.
Listen to the episode now:
Reach out to Robert if you need someone to help you get the most out of Microsoft in the Cloud, or if you are a passionate technology professional and want to feature on his podcast. You can find all of his details on his website www.ciaops.com
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Robert Crane (RC): Welcome along to the Need to Know podcast, I’m joined by MVP, Rebecca Jackson, how are you?
Rebecca Jackson (RJ): I’m good, how are you?
RC: Not too bad. So before we kick off, as always, I’d like to get Rebecca just to introduce yourself to the audience and let everybody know who she is, what her background is, and what her current role is.
RJ: Um, thank you. So I’m kind of a digital workplace and employee experience practitioner. That’s how I like to like to frame it. But I’ve basically spent the last 10 years of my career working predominantly in digital workplace, and intranets. I like to say that I work kind of at the intersection of people and technology. So I understand the business and I work with the technology teams to deliver really, really great solutions. And at the moment, I’m taking a little bit of a break for exams and looking for my next great gig.
RC: Excellent. So perhaps what you can do for us is, you know, what does this digital workspace mean? How would you describe that to a, you know, a non technophile, a laundry manager, someone who says, you know, generally has a mistrust of, you know, the benefits technology can provide?
RJ: Yeah, it’s a great question. And I get asked it a lot. It’s not a role, you know, exam, a digital workplace manager, or I’m an intranet manager. Not a lot of people know exactly what that means. And so I basically say that I help them look after the technology that people used to do their jobs. And as you know, intranets have become more prevalent, more loved for one of a better word. Understanding of that I think is increasing. And the scope of how you define it does depend on the workplace you are within, but I think essentially, if you’re talking about digital workplace, you are talking about any digital tools that an individual may use to help them get their job done.
RC: Okay, so one of the things that has been with us for quite a long time and something you mentioned, there is this concept of an intranet. Now, obviously, that largely in the Microsoft space referred to SharePoint back in the day and unfortunately, SharePoint does have some baggage around it. And but what we have seen with the advent of Microsoft 365, is, you know, SharePoint still there. But it’s taken a bit of a backseat to this concept of teams, perhaps. And now vivre and those sort of things coming through, is it still a conversation you have with your engagements around, you know, a pure SharePoint environment? Or does intranet now incorporate you know, teams and vivre? And all these other fantastic tools? We get a Microsoft 365?
RJ: Yeah, I think for me, the intranet is kind of that that portal, that place you go to that has the the centralised corporate knowledge, it’s very much that knowledge focus. Whereas SharePoint, and particularly with the introduction of teams, is can be and I think should be much more than that. So I see the intranet is playing a role in the digital workplace that they’re not words that are interchangeable. And I do kind of cringe a little bit of people in the past people have often said is, you know, is Yammer, the intranet or, you know, I mean, by by definition, an intranet can really be whatever you want it to be, as long as it’s the place that people go to, to get their knowledge. But I think an intranet should be, you know, this space that surfaces corporate information, it’s a mixture of the communication piece, as well as the the policies and procedures. And now, through the introduction of enterprise social networking in the growth of SharePoint as a tool, it becomes part of this really wonderful ecosystem.
RC: Alright, so when you are brought in for an engagement, is it generally the case that the organization’s you’ve been working with? Have they had an attempt at an intranet? Let’s call it or digital workplace and they’ve decided it’s failed? And they need to bring in a specialist? Or is it a greenfields environment where they’ve come in and say, Look, we need something to be competitive or to share the information? How do we do it? Where do you find you know, you sort of generally come into an organisation when you’re engaged.
RJ: I’ve been fortunate in my experience to have a little bit of a mix. So I’ve worked on a Greenfield intranet project, I’ve worked on a redevelopment project, and that that redevelopment project was an intranet that had aged which is a very common story. The intranet gets to a certain age, maybe it’s become unloved or maybe the technology is getting old and they’re ready to do to do the next version of it. And I’ve also come in on just just an intranet that was taking over and needed minor improvements to, you know, update certain certain things in my experience across, you know, my my keys and I do like to talk to a lot of other intranet people because it’s it can be hard to get information about intranet from the marketplace because they’re kind of behind the firewall, right? But I feel like more often than not, when intranet roles themselves pop up, it’s an organisation has either had the realisation that they that this unloved intranet they have needs some love and attention. So they’ll bring someone in, to manage it and or redevelop it, or it’s a new business that that recognises or a startup that recognises they’ve come to a point where having that sort of tool where they can manage knowledge and incorporate information is going to be advantageous.
RC: Alright, so my experience has been generally as you’ve noted, the, when you come into an organisation, they have had something that some person who left many years ago, started and had a passion for and championed. And since then it’s it’s been left in the weeds have overgrown it, and you know, they’re looking to refurbish it, and the ad has come down on high to make it Yeah, basically part of the business again, how do you address obviously the cynicism of, you know, employees in the organisation who’ve seen what the intranet was seen at die, and then maybe see this, as you know, okay, not another rebirth of this intranet concept that never really worked for me.
RJ: Yeah, I think it’s really important for any activity like that to be a trust building exercise, and not just, you know, the lipstick on the pig thing. actually going through the process to recognise what’s not working with the current tool that’s in place to understand what the business actually needs? And if that, you know, does that marry up to what is there already? Do we just need to improve on what was there? Or do we actually need to make a substantial change, and to make sure that the business is involved in the process, which is great from a change management perspective, that’s kind of change management fundamentals. But it’s also really amazing from a design perspective, because why wouldn’t you work with the people that you’re designing for to create the ultimate solution? And I think that’s one of the dangers with out of the box products, is that they they offer you that that ability to get to stand up your intranet quicker, depending on how you look at it. And that perhaps sometimes, that means that businesses aren’t necessarily looking at those change management and business needs pieces and, and leading down a path of non success.
RC: Also, I think part of the challenges, I would assume, as you brought in being brought in as an outsider, obviously, your engagement does have a finite time on it. How do you position it? Or how do you deal with the fact that obviously, you want this to be an ongoing success, after all, the effort that you’ve and others have invested? But it’s going to have to be done by typically some people or a group inside the organisation? How do you approach that sort of, you know, hand off that eventually someone’s going to have to look after this child and help it into maturity?
RJ: Yeah, I am. Several of the roles that I’ve had have actually been the the role where come in, run the internet and do the project. So it was ultimately setting up something that I would manage in a business as usual context. But when I’ve been in situations to advise, on on how to approach these things, it’s definitely from a perspective of like, yeah, you need an internet you need to stand it up. But if you stand it up, and there’s no governance in place to manage it, if there’s no one to care, take it and look after it. It’s it will die very quickly, the the doesn’t matter how shiny or how beautiful you make it, the the technology will become out of date. Without improvements, the content will become out of date, if no one’s managing the content, any WebParts and things you might put in place like you know, the good old news carousel. And for better or for worse, if no one’s putting us into that carousel trust in the internet is gone and it becomes useless. So the the answer to how that is solved is really an it depends for the business, but it needs to be solved. And that could be a small solution. It could be a solution where the responsibility for that is devolved out to the business and that can work in some places or it might be the need for a really centralised team who’s managing and curating this content.
RC: So when you go in and approach this, you know, initially Do you in general, again, rules of thumb here and general approaches? Do you approach it as a big bang theory like we To keep it all, you know, hidden behind the veil of secrecy, and then today, it’s good to go on day one, and it’s bigger, faster, better than it was before? Or do you approach it, you know, in a way that okay, we fixed this a little bit, we fixed this a little bit, we let a few people in we, we grow it out or improve the bits, what sort of been your approach that you found has proven to have the most success, either the Big Bang approach, or we fixed a little bit, we sanded off, we painted we, you know, refurbish it, and then grow it out from there
RJ: I am I like a mixed approach, I think maybe you might call it a transparent Big Bang. If I’m coming into a company and we’re doing an intranet, I want the process to be transparent from day one. So it’s, it’s not you know, Wizard of Oz, we’re all behind the curtains, you know, fiddling the knobs, and things like that invented are however many months and in some cases, with intranet projects, it can be used, hey, here’s the new intranet, surprise. That’s not the sort of surprise that the people think is as exciting as you might think it is from the project team, because they don’t want to be surprised, necessarily, they want to get something that’s useful. They don’t want it to interrupt their day, they want it to slot in nicely. So I think from a project perspective, and then there’s two layers to this or a project perspective, you’ve got to do a rebuild and deliver, it should be transparent from go to Whoa, and involve the business heavily, and be communicating about everything that’s happening along the way. The other thing is that when when the launch in inverted commas happens, so when the intranet is stood up for a substantial improvement is made, you do need to keep working at it. And so that is the case definitely of kind of product, managing the intranet and looking at what is the next thing that we need to improve and target and also being transparent with the business about that, and involving the business in that process?
RC: So part of this is dealing with the major unknown inside organisations, which are the people. And we know that people, the majority of which function largely, perhaps initially on emotion, rather than rationality. And I think part of the success of getting that engagement is appealing to that emotional side of people in the organisation. What sort of approaches? Or what could you recommend that you’ve seen success with that really get that initial engagement to get people to change their mind or pay attention or reengaged, with something that they’re potentially lost? fifl? Yes, there’s got to be the information they need and the HR forms and that but I think there needs to be a certain level of emotional attachment or emotional pull into this, whatever you’re refurbishing, so that you do get that buying.
RJ: Yeah, that’s, that’s a really interesting one, I think the the emotions there can can be a range of things. And the first thing emotively, which can happen is you get resistance. My approach with resistance is to find those people and bring them in as soon as possible. So to get that understanding of the business, what’s not working now, who’s not happy with it, who’s being vocal about it, and to talk to them, understand what’s not working, and what we can do to improve it, and then even better bring them along on the journey. And that generally works really, really well someone’s passionate and vocal about a problem they see with a tool, and they’re usually quite happy to be involved. And while what they’re asking for may not necessarily be the best solution, in the end, usually I find it’s just a case of working, working through that root cause analysis, what is the real problem here, and then working with them to develop that solution. And people when they’re involved in the creation of the solution, are more often than not really, really happy with the outcome, because they’ve been a part of it, and they’ve agreed to it. And it’s ultimately what they need. The other side of that, I think, is the positive emotion. So it’s just another boring intranet, what’s new and shiny here. I think it’s a really good idea when you’re doing an intranet to, to have your practical stuff, but also something that’s going to give a little bit of joy. And that can be different things for different organisations, that might be the look and feel that might be giving it a name or a logo or branding. Or it might be some gamification might be as simple as a bulletin board, but something that’s a feature that that will touch it at the heart of something exciting for people.
RC: So another question that I think people are interested in is the diversity of important diversity of opinion. So an example that I’ve got is we worked on an intranet for an organisation and you know, the team that we work with, had it all designed and you know, we followed standards and we tried to keep it as simple and then unfortunately, the last one At the management came in or one of the managers came into decided that they wanted the intranet to be black background and white writing. So basically dark theme. And you know, that was going to be a pretty shocking change for most people. Everybody was sort of initially you know against it, but that was insisted on and the internet died at five times the speed at normally dies at so what about what’s your take on the importance inside an organisation around that diversity of input around things like, you know, colours and navigation and font and size? I mean, not everybody’s into Wingdings, if you know what? It’s like, Do you follow a standard and say, Look, it’s going to be you know, pick from these four fonts? Or do you follow a guidebook or again, you just take it on board from the organisation.
RJ: I’ve been in some really painful meetings about choosing colours. And I’ve learned from that experience. For me, when when you’re building an intranet there, there are a number of areas of the business that are always naturally involved. And your communications team is definitely one of them. And generally, it’s your your comms your marketing team that owns the brand guidelines. That’s one of the one of the first places that that you need to go. If you’re, if you’re building a product in a, me for a company, I’m thinking, you know, my focus is mostly internal. But even externally, it needs to align with brand guidelines. My opinion is that an intranet doesn’t necessarily need to look like a website, I and in some places I’ve worked, people have wanted that they want it to look like the website and be corporate. And in other places I’ve worked in non corporate, but something that’s on brand has worked really well. So for me, it’s going to stay with the brand guidelines from a look and feel perspective, because that’s, that’s your Bible. And there are things in there that you can leverage, such as fonts and colours and things like that, I think it’s incredibly important to overlay accessibility. Because standard corporate brand guidelines don’t always consider accessibility, then when it comes to picking and choosing and what box goes here, and how we’re using colours, and things like that, as early as possible in the project, identify who needs to sign off on that project. So that process, and make sure that all of the people who needs to be involved or who could be blockers aren’t involved and make it really, really clear and agreed to upfront what the process will be. And you know, hey, if you work in a company, where the CEO needs to sign off the final look and feel, follow that process and just make it as easy for yourself as possible. And for me, one of the internet’s I worked on that was putting forward a few different versions of design, and having them go Yeah, like that one.
RC: Okay, so let’s say that you’ve, you know, revamped or brought back to life, you know, pre existing Internet, and you follow the guidelines you’ve talked about, you’ve got the sign off from the powers that be, do you have a process? Or, you know, how would you approach her getting feedback from the people working at the coalface and people that have to use this day in and day out and making sure that, you know, the alignment you’ve been given via the marketing, the branding people, and the management actually does translate into, you know, usability and productivity for the person at the coalface? Who is going to be using this on a regular basis? Is it a formal survey, you know, use, you know, focus group meeting or theatre, the ground? How do you get that sort of grassroots feedback on you know, the concept that you’re building for people,
RJ: I think it’s really important to be to be strategic about how that feedback is sought. And that’s for a couple of reasons. It’s never because the the person at the coalface his opinion is not valid, it’s always because I don’t want to waste their time. And if I’m asking for their time, I need to make sure that it is of high value, particularly in organisations where I’ve worked where the the people who are out in the field are essentially running the business, like taking them away from their job for any period of time, can translate to lost money. So you know, surveys can can be useful, but if I was going to do a survey, I’d be very particular about what I was surveying how frequently how long it was, Do I really need to ask all these questions or, you know, how can I make decisions in other ways, predominantly, the the way I get the best decision making in the most tangible outcomes is in as you said, a focus group type situation. And what I really like to do is where I can to stand up as early as possible, a champion group or a stakeholder group that is cross functional, that represents all areas of the business Some layers of management and have that group be the voice of their peers. And then when things come up where it will clearly be contentious, we can then use other mechanisms to do a bit of a deeper dive, maybe ask a few more people, maybe it requires a survey, maybe we, you know, post something on the enterprise social network and say, Hey, this is the latest, whatever, and just get to get the pulse of what the organization’s thinking. So you definitely don’t need to talk to absolutely, everyone, it’s impractical, and it would be would be wasteful, but certainly getting appropriate representation from people is critical.
RC: Okay, all right. So we’ve hopefully got some, you know, going through the, you know, the positive feedback, and, you know, things are looking good, and we’re getting the, you know, the thumbs up, generally, is your involvement, you know, to that point, or is it, you know, okay, we’ve redeveloped and now we want to, you know, make sure and see that is mature and it’s stable, and, you know, it is becoming ingrained in the organisation rather than just, you know, sending up a website and then leaving people B is your role largely to go beyond just the redesign and also look at, okay, let’s help everybody be more involved and get the most out of this tool, which is obviously now being a big investment.
RJ: What I found with with the intranet roles that I’ve had is there’s usually a kind of a first project for one of a better word. And I mean, let’s call it an MVP, right? Although I think sometimes people misuse the term but minimum viable product, what’s what’s, what is our core that we’re standing up, get that stood up? And then beyond that, yes, definitely looking at what are our opportunities in the business to improve on this? You know, what is our governance process is that still working keeping keeping that running, I’ve had the opportunity to be in a role where you’ve kept an intranet kind of running during the business as usual thing, but also what’s interesting over over my career, because of the changing position of intranet, the understanding of digital workplace and the the newer term kind of employee experience looking at the end to end is that very quickly things will extend beyond the core intranet itself. And like from right the way through to tools that frontline staff for use your maybe that it’s a check in experience, they’re using a form to check in customers, or maybe they’re out in the field, and they’re going to do a safety check. So they’ve got a mobile application, the, the, the parameters for what’s what a business sees as an internet, digital workplace, and what someone like me might do in an organisation is the biggest it depends it really depends on on the company and and their focus and the cultures openness to to improving those sorts of things.
RC: Okay, so with With that in mind, when it comes to the, you know, the corporate culture, do you find that generally, the organization’s you’ve worked with they did they play it safe and say, Look, you know, well, we’ll just do the minimum here, we’ll just, you know, we just need this problem solved, or is at the other end of the spectrum, where it’s like, oh, you know, we need all these features, we want the kitchen sink, you know, keep adding, keep adding, we want a gigantic mansion that’s, you know, way beyond the reality for what most people would consider usable, where on the spectrum, do you find that the organisations you work with tend to lie?
RJ: I tend to find if someone’s looking for someone like me, who’s got, you know, a good chunk of intranet, digital workplace experience, they’re, they’re wanting a next level. So they’re usually looking at things. If they may be looking at a new intranet, but they’re looking beyond they’re looking at what is their digital workplace strategy? What is the relationship between our other tools and systems? They might even be looking at employee experience from end to end, like from, you know, from the recruitment process, right through to when someone leaves the business, what is their interaction with us as an employee in company relationship? So yeah, I think generally when I come into a company, you’re part of the way that because if a business’s acknowledged that they’ve that they need someone to look after this, they they’re thinking about the possibilities that opportunity and they’re usually thinking well beyond just the intranet
RC: so from your personal point of view, Now obviously, you know, it’s branding as digital workspace but how do you you know, keep your skill set current or attractive to organisations is a just an experience and going through the trenches and the battle. With organisations or, you know, in those times between projects, or whenever, is there something that you focus on, you know, you work with to make sure that your skills sort of are at the cutting edge of what could be called, you know, digital workspace these days.
RJ: I think, I don’t know if if everyone thinks the way I do about this stuff, because I’m definitely a nerd for the subject matter, I’m really passionate about what I do. So I’m always looking for the new way to skill up. Or if I see something that I don’t know, I want to educate myself on it. And over the years that I found myself, looking at user experience design, it’s really fundamental to, to building technology, I found myself deep diving into accessibility, definitely found myself down a path of change management. So if for someone who’s working in the digital workplace or in the intranet space, those are subject matters that I would definitely encourage them to explore. Because I found benefit from that and from networking with people or just reading books, or going to conferences, whatever the opportunities are, are available. And one of the more recent ones for me, which is probably not that recent anymore, because I think I’ve been volunteering and networking in product management circles for probably about five years now. Product Management is incredibly interesting, because it’s a subject matter. If you look out into the marketplace, it tends to be very consumer focused, or b2b focused. But most of the people who I know who do an intranet or some sort of quasi intranet role, could actually, if you compared it to the position description for a product owner, you would draw a lot of lines between them and go go tick, tick, tick. So people who run intranets are essentially managing a product, they’re understanding the needs of the customer, that internal customer, they’re prioritising. They’re working with technology to deliver and going through that that continuous cycle, I think the the depth and the scale of it just depends on the organisation within which the role sets.
RC: Okay, so if you look at the project you’ve been involved with, in general, again, can you give us some idea of Firstly, you know, techniques or approaches or, you know, the design that works really well, that you’ve found has really resonated with users. And likewise, things that have been the complete opposite that haven’t gone? Well, and you would probably recommend, in general, people avoid adopting?
RJ: Yeah, that’s an interesting one, I think, there, I’m gonna use the word stock standard, I’m not sure if I want to stick with that word. But there is some things that you can kind of pull pull into your toolkit for, for building out an intranet that you feel like you kind of have to do. Being able to do content inventory, vary rent coming into an existing intranet. Generally, there’s a lot of stuff there already. Generally, what you want to do is clean it up. And you may need to move it migrated to another system, you may or may not be able to do that, using a product with technical assistance that might be manual even to having a content inventory, which is documenting exactly what’s in the intranet. Now, who looks after it, how current it is, a content inventory becomes a Bible for a project and in roles where I’ve continued to be the business’s usual intranet person, I would tend to try and refresh that if if if not kind of regularly, it will be an annual process to take a look at it and make sure that was up to date. When when starting a new intranet, personas are incredibly useful. And an information architecture is I feel like it’s given an hopefully it’s not condescending to say so but when you have an intranet, it needs to have a structure. So doing an information architecture is incredibly useful. Now, all of those activities are things that you can involve people in content inventories, people don’t generally think are pretty sexy. That’s the sort of thing that someone like me likes to sit down in front of a spreadsheet and do that sort of stuff. But the process of analysing your content in mitre reaching out to the business to ask them about, you know, is this content current is that still interesting is, is necessary, but also a great engagement opportunity, doing some one to ones and chatting with people and finding out you know, what sort of things they’re looking for. That’s, that’s great stakeholder engagement and a necessary process of the content inventory. A persona piece gives you the opportunity to understand the business deeply and you have to talk to people in the business to do it. And I’ve, you know, I’ve had the opportunity to to do a few over the years and in some cases have outsourced them to external parties. Any design company with their salt should be able to do a great set of user personas for you and that gets you talking to the business and it’s something that I think is a great thing to share with the business as well. You should be able to do that. Epson personas and hold them up to the business and go, Hey, we, you know, we’ve gone through this process to, to understand you doesn’t resonate, it’d be good to check that it resonates with them, and they’re not disagreeing, but also to show them that, that you’re using this information to make things better for them. And then the information architecture process like is just an awesome opportunity to involve people, if you’re doing it properly, you really do need to involve people in the process, you’re doing trade testing, or affinity mapping in a room with post it notes that remember when we could go into rooms and do that those sorts of activities are incredibly valuable and great opportunities to engage the business. Think we talked before about design, definitely being very structured and strategic about design. If you’re going to put it out there something like having the business vote on a colour scheme, or a homepage design or the name of an intranet, you need to be prepared to accept the results is proof like that’s my my one thing that I put up a red flag about, not to say don’t do it, but you have to be prepared to accept the results and stand by it.
RC: I think that can be one of the challenging things when obviously, the organisation has somebody a stakeholder that’s trying or wants it in a certain direction. And that’s obviously what needs to be considered. And that may cause you know, impacts or, again, be something that maybe you aren’t as comfortable doing or seen work as well. So unfortunately, like we said, initially, this whole concept revolves around people and people are indistinct entities, which does make it a bit tough to deal with, I suppose at times, but having those processes in place is important. With the, you know, rapid change of technology, and especially with the cloud stuff, Microsoft, which is five new services being added, and also upgrades to the existing base platforms like SharePoint, and whatnot. Is your experience, once you’ve implemented something inside the organisation based on these technologies that it fits in? Or does it require re architecture rethink? Is it something that just, you know, automatically blends in and continues on and keeps enhancing? Or is it a case of, we need to step back maybe, and work out where this new piece or this change, you know, fits in what we’ve already built?
RJ: I think it never fits in? And I think that that’s, you know, I think some of that is just that technology. But some of that is just actually Well, that’s just change management. Because just because we, you know, you know, I kind of I follow technology, and I do get excited about new shiny things. Just because I think it’s new and shiny doesn’t mean everyone else with them doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to turn on or off or introduce or plug in or whatever. So no, I don’t think they I don’t think they’ll ever just slot in smoothly, I think there always needs to be a business lens. And that lens is always going to be somewhat unique to an organisation, that there’s nuances. Everyone has different technologies. You know, like, they, they they don’t always just naturally fit together. And that even if they did, you would still want I feel like I would still want to go, okay, cool, those things are gonna plug in together really easily. But are we doing it just because it’s cool, and new and shiny? Are we going to get benefit from it? And having, you know, like, I don’t like to make decisions just because I think something’s cool. I like to have a reason, like a data driven reason or a persona driven reason or a strategic reason to go, yes, this is the path that we should take, tick and go for it.
RC: Okay, so maybe to round things off as we get towards our time is, I’d like to get your thoughts and maybe you know, how you see something like Microsoft either fitting into, you know, this digital workspace and the internet because obviously it’s sort of another layer on top of teams, which is another layer on top of SharePoint, which probably was your traditional intranet. With all the machine learning and the incorporated apps and the ability to customise the appearance or what surface for users directly inside Viva, maybe you can just perhaps give people an idea of where you see this fitting, you know, on top of what they might already have. And the question I would pose to you is, in a world where we have the version, the improvements that we expect to see, does that you know largely mean that there’s no need for a you know, a static design intranet that we’re going to get this intranet on the fly built and customised for every user. when they log into their environments going forward?
RJ: Yeah, I am, I think, like it connect connects quite nicely back to my previous statement, I think in terms of Viva was a few of the things that I’ve said. So Viva Viva is a set of products that you get that integrate very nicely with teams, and start to help position teams as a really holistic platform for collaboration and teamwork. And with Viva, you can expose your intranet in teams. And I think that’s excellent, because that means that that people can get straight to the intranet from wherever they happen to be working. And I think the reality is that most people aren’t always working in teams, but they work a lot in teams so that the intranet being surfaced there is great because it gets gets people closer to that information within their workspace, if they happen to be working in teams at the time. And then going on to the intranet is kind of a natural one. For me, I think a lot of organisations will gravitate to that. When we start to go down the path of Viva learning, that’s where you start to see why Microsoft is positioning it as an employee experience platform. And the benefit to that could be huge. But if you just turn it on, and let it sit there, you’re going to get very little benefit from it. So to engage in a tool like Viva learning. You need to be talking to your PNC team or your learning and development, organisational development, whatever the area in the businesses that looks after learning and talk to them about it, educate people that it exists and the benefits to it and make decisions about you know, what level to which is it the right thing to turn on? Do you want to turn it on and take advantage of any features? Or is it No, actually, we don’t use this particular aspect we engage in learning in a different way. And the health and well being side of things, insights, I love data insights. I love that that email that comes into my inbox, I love being able to automatically schedule focus time, I think, headspace being being brought in there, being able to do praise, and all of those things is incredibly beneficial. But similar to the l&d side of things, you really need to engage with your PMC team, does this align with their strategy? Does it conflict with any other tools they might be using? And then, of course, what is the point of switching these things on and having them available if we don’t tell people that they’re there? So it needs to be part of that that end to end process that people know it’s there from day one? Or if you’re switching it on this some sort of awareness campaign to let people know about the benefits of it?
RC: Excellent. All right. So just to round things off, what I might get you to do is just share any last thoughts and you know, that would benefit people when it comes to looking at Digital work, workplace inside organisations, how to approach it, just a summary for people. And then if you can also share any contact details or socials that you’d like people to follow, see what you’re up to, and maybe reach out if they do have any questions about what we’ve discussed on this episode.
RJ: Yeah, so final thoughts, I think, when it comes to the digital workplace, you know, technology is a huge part of it. But to your point, Robert, it really is about people. And it’s heavily connected with culture. So an intranet or a technology is not going to solve any people or cultural challenges you might have. But it can be a huge enabler, and involving people in the process is is the way to get success from that. In terms of getting in touch with me, I tweet a lot, and I blog occasionally and do videos and things like that. So I’m on Twitter. I’m at Rebecca J. Lj, also recently on Instagram, my blog, RJ firstname.lastname@example.org, and have remembered that properly, and I’m on LinkedIn, as well. And yeah, if people have questions, I’m always happy to be contacted for people to ask or share internet war stories or whatever, because like I said, this, you know, working with internet, it can be hard to get information, particularly if you’re new in the area. So I’m always really happy to share
RC: that well. I think everybody would appreciate that any information that you shared with us today, I’ll make sure that the links in the show notes for people to use and get in contact with your follow up and see what you are up to. I will take the opportunity as always to thank you very much for the information and your time today. And I think we’ve, again, shed a lot of really great information that is can be beat squeegee as we talked about with people. So I think getting it from an expert like yourself will help a lot of people out there. So again, Rebecca, thank you very much for your time.