Rather delightfully, Lisa Riemers last week described me as a superconnector. Okay, so she included me in a group of many people I admire in her post about the wonderful community around intranets How to succeed in life (and intranets).
And it’s not just that I admire them, each of these people has contributed to my knowledge, my experience and, in convoluted ways, to my career.
But, this post isn’t really about any of us, Lisa got me thinking about the people we meet who somehow have ended up working in intranets. It’s an amazingly broad range of people who do have a lot in common. To put it bluntly, there are amazing people doing amazing things in the digital workplace.
It’s not just connecting externally with our peers. Intranet people break through silos and connect across our organisations. You can see that in our careers too, we’re the HR people working in comms, the journalists working in IT, or the recruits who never stopped moving.
The place we work is online, our output is digital, our tools are digital, but we understand the effect of our work goes beyond that.
We know real people use the tools we create, so we strive to understand their needs, and consider how our work affects those in our organisations.
Not one of us would be where we are if we’d stopped learning. We are the coders who learned to write, the marketers who nurtured a passion for user experience, or technical specialists who discovered they could achieve more through communities.
At the frontline of change in the workplace, we’ve all told our bosses there are better ways of doing things and, for sure, we’re going to do it again and time again.
To do our jobs well, we know we need to be talking to people throughout the organisation and beyond. Then we need to get them talking to one another, and sharing, and working across those barriers.
We look beyond the constraints of how things have always been done and strive to find better ways. But we’ve grown up with data at our fingertips, so we see past the noise, and make decisions based on what works.
We’re lucky to be able to see the instant effect of our work, and we know this. Intranet people may not be the crazy ones, but we know we can change things.
The title and the last line were inspired by Here’s to the crazy ones from Apple’s Think Different advertising. This appears to be attributed to Rob Siltanen, read more at Steve Jobs was not the mastermind behind ‘Here’s to the Crazy Ones’