Thursday, 9 May 2013

Improving Internal Communications and Collaboration

Have you been looking for ways to improve your internal communications? Perhaps you had a look at expensive enterprise options and you are not sure if you can justify the expense.

Well have you ever considered using the Social Media platforms that are freely available and most of your employees are using everyday?

Lets have a look at how we can possibly use the different platforms:

LinkedIn Forums
Forums are the best way to get communication going, be it with your internal people or the greater public, forums are generally closed and only those invited can see the posts by other members and participate. Keeping the topics to a minimum also encourages participation, when there are too many topics people are not sure what to engage with, so be strategic in the topics you create and ensure that the focus remains there until you have the results you expected.

FaceBook
Some of the late adopters are getting into FaceBook now, so don't knock it while most of us are wondering why we are still playing on this platform. FaceBook has secret groups which very few people know about and works well as a collaboration platform, but I would be cautious in relying on FaceBook as they often change their algorithms and soon you may find that half of your group cannot see what the rest of the group posts.

Blogs
Although Blogs are normally just published by one person, having many authors that are hand chosen from the thought leadership within an organisation can create an effective communication and collaboration channel  Leaders need to be open to discussions and would need a high level of emotional intelligence when ideas are challenged and sometimes criticized  Blogs platforms generally fail when the authors are too precious about their ideas and get on the defensive - collaboration works well between highly emotional intelligent people who have learnt to let go of their ego's.

Pinterest
We should never forget that people are visual, sharing graphics, pictures and diagrams often spark new ideas in others. Create a secret board in Pinterest and think of it as a notice board in the virtual office. The opportunities are endless, creative and this can be a catalyst for innovation.

Twitter
The BBM (Blackberry Messenger) group on a professional level is almost a thing of the past, as most professionals would prefer  other smartphones. So forcing people to use the BBM group would be limiting their creative thinking. 

Twitter offers quick and easy communication. Now you thinking ... what has Twitter got to do with internal communication, as Twitter is a public platform?

Indeed it is a public platform, but Twitter has a functionality of protecting your Tweets and effectively closing your account, so your form your own closed group and it is not device dependent as with your BBM group. You simply create new accounts for each member, follow each other and lock all the accounts and you have just created your own closed communication group. Simple and effective and just be sure that everybody follows the simple rules.



There you have it, a few simple and cost effective solutions to better internal communications.

Innovation can only occur when there is effective collaboration between like minded people, the more we collaborate the more we will innovate. 


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net