Are you a Community Manager? Check out Training Targeted to Your Role Now!

Companies are now anxious to adopt all things “social” and launch a community to engage with customers and prospects. But as many of us know, you could select the best, industry-leading social business or community tool and your community could still fail.

Why? As my InfoWeek blog “Who’s to Blame for a Failed Community” suggests, social software vendors may provide you with best practice advice or strategy toolkits, but the responsibility for success lies solely at the feet of the customer organization to both invest in and execute upon a well thought out social business strategy.

A key part of that strategy must include investing in both community management and a strong community advocate program.

But to date there was very little training to help someone manage a community well. With the explosion of social business and community management, it became clear to many of us that a new set of skills, competencies and language was required. Many, like myself, had approached Rachel Happe of The Community Roundtable asking for resources and wondering whether it was time to start creating and promoting a standard of excellence of our own for Community Management.

Well now the hard work of Rachel Happe, Jim Storer, and other members of  The CR has finally paid off.

After a year of input from its members and partnership with WOMMA and ComBlu, those aspiring to be Community Managers, or those who want to polish their skills now have a training program to take. To learn more, check out:

Register to Take the First Module in the Community Management Certificate Program

  • Module 1: Community Specialist
  • Begins: January 24, 2012
  • Duration/Days/Dates: 6 one-hour webinars over 3 weeks every Tuesday and Thursday beginning January 24 through February 9
  • Time: 11am-12pm CT.
  • Delivery: Web Meeting/Audio
  • Instructors: Various brands
  • Sponsors:  The Community Roundtable, WOMMA, Comblu
  • Interested?  Register directly at http://commanagement.eventbrite.com/
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CSC’s C3 Employee Social Community Turns Two Today

As some of you might know, my day job at CSC focuses on our social business strategy. Two years ago today, my day job hit a great milestone, the day we launched our C3 employee community in pilot.

May 18, 2009

That was the date we launched our C3: Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. pilot to CSC employees. This pilot was limited in duration (six months) but not in audience (all employees from all business units or geographies could opt in if they wished). We launched the pilot as a strategic move in validating our business case and testing our adoption practices. By pilot launch 100+ global advocates, who had been our strategic planning partners, helped us seed over 200 groups and business use cases in the platform.

That pilot proved to be wildly successful. In just 20 weeks, 25,000 employees opted-in and registered in the pilot and helped us expand the groups to over 2000 groups. We were watching our metrics prove how successful the pilot was, we were hearing stories of how it was providing business value to our global teams and we were hearing stories of how the platform was winning employees hearts and minds.

May 18, 2011

Today we have over 88K+ registered users, a 69% monthly active engagement rate and over 10K+ groups in our environment. We completed a platform consolidation project just this past January and are about to launch new projects to extend our business use.

Our success with the employee community has led to the launch of a formal community program which has been extended to other aspects of our eco-system. Kudos go to so many involved in the project, both business leads, technical architects and the far too many to name list of over 100+ global advocates who helped us fuel the success of our platform.

C3 has truly changed the way we work

C3 meets all kinds of business goals by account teams, global communities, solution developers, project teams, learning professionals as well as executives and business unit for communication, collaboration and strategy alignment. We are amazed every month at the new business use cases our employees envision every day.

I’m sure many of you have similar success stories as well. What are yours?

Join me at J. Boye Conference in Philadelphia, May 3- 5, 2011

I will be speaking at J. Boye’s third North American conference in Philadelphia this May 3-5, 2011. J. Boye

Billed as an idea sharing summit for web and intranet professionals, this conference promises to provide a fantastic learning and networking event for online professionals. In considering this event, I was immediately impressed with the simultaneously high focus on case study content and social events to enrich the networking experience.

I’ll be participating in two sessions.

Tuesday Tutorial: “Social Business Collaboration: A Practical Framework for Adoption, Staffing, Governance and Education”

Join my colleague, Megan Murray and me as we provide a practical framework for socializing your intranet.

Enterprises are increasingly evolving their intranets into state of the art social business collaboration platforms using Enterprise 2.0 technologies where employees can locate expertise and assets, engage and interact, and co-create and collaborate along work topics. Wikipedia defines Enterprise 2.0 as “the use of “Web 2.0” technologies within an organization to enable or streamline business processes while enhancing collaboration – connecting people through the use of social-media tools.” This workshop will arm the practitioner with a working definition of social business collaboration while providing practical advice for making the business case for change, planning for deployment and adoption, deciding on community models and governance, planning for education and measuring success.

Thursday Intranet Track Case Study Presentation: “Getting Beyond The Field of Dreams: Building a Successful Social Business Strategy, Inside and Out”

Join me on Thursday as I shared CSC’s Case Study in deploying social business tools for our 93,000+ employee community.

When it comes to deploying social collaboration tools for the enterprise, you hear you can’t plan to go viral. But you can’t go viral if you don’t plan well.

How do you ensure that when you build the environment, your users will come? Come learn how CSC got beyond the “Field of Dreams” and went viral with their industry award-winning adoption practices for its employee community titled “C3: Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.” Finally, this session will conclude with a glimpse on how CSC has begun extending social business capabilities to its eco-system.

For more information about the session context above, check out “A Successful Social Business Strategy: It Can be Done“.

Be sure to sign up, if you haven’t already.

The 2.0 Adoption Council Internal Evangelist of the Year 2010

Last week, I announced The 2.0 Adoption Council’s Internal Evangelist of the Year for 2010 at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara.

Below is the text of the speech along with the award winner announcement. . . .

The 2.0 Adoption Council Internal Evangelist of the Year Award Keynote

I’m here to announce this year’s Internal Evangelist of the Year Award. Before I do that, let me share a few words about The 2.0 Adoption Council.

About the Council

In the Summer of 2009 after the June Enterprise 2.0 Conference Susan Scrupski and a few conference attendees were reflecting over dinner conversation how very few practitioner cases studies there were at that conference.

Hoping to change that, Susan formed the council to bring practitioners together to connect, share, network and advance the industry’s collective knowledge in this space around what it takes to build a business case, drive acceptance, drive adoption and drive a deployment program.

Membership

Today there are around 100 active members, all leading enterprise 2.0 programs within their organizations. While we may all use different platforms and tools, we all share a common desire to transform the way in which our organizations work and the way in which our workers get work done.

Benefits of The 2.0 Adoption Council Membership

While I am further along in my own journey than perhaps new members might be, every day I still learn from a fantastic community of professionals, people who are leading very aggressive programs in their organizations.

When I have questions, need to add new parts to our program, or figure out how to tackle an issue or benchmark best practices, I know I have ready access to a community of smart professionals to help guide me. I’ve also ensured to share my knowledge with other members as well. Bottom line, membership has been both job enriching and career enhancing.

Internal Evangelist of the Year Award 2010

I’m here to give an award, right? So what is this award about?

This IEoY Award recognizes an individual for his or her accomplishments in advancing their organization’s enterprise 2.0 goals. This award recognizes the evangelist who is:

  • Passionate
  • Inspirational
  • Enthusiastic
  • An expert in business strategy
  • Politically savvy
  • A catalyst for change
  • A leader and team player
  • And someone who has great capacity to move and motivate an entire organization

The nominees on the list this year received overwhelming endorsement from executives and colleagues within their companies as the candidates who represent all the qualities I described.

As the winner of this inaugural award last year, I’m honored to pass the torch to a new IEoY this year. I know each and every nominee very well, and I’m glad I didn’t have to make the final decision. It would have been a tough choice. Every nominee has led impressive programs in their organizations. AND they have given back to the industry, sharing their knowledge, speaking at industry events or blogging their lessons learned.

I’m thrilled to see these names on the list and I’m honored to call every one of these nominees my friend.

Good luck to all of you.

So who are the nominees this year?

  • Bruce Galinsky, Metlife
  • Kevin Crossman, Juniper Networks
  • Greg Lowe , Alcatel-Lucent
  • Megan Murray, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Rawn Shah. IBM
  • Luis Suarez IBM

The Envelope Please . . .

And now, it gives me great honor to announce the 2010 Internal Evangelist of the Year…may I have the envelope please.

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Join me in congratulating . . . Luis Suarez

It’s with great pleasure that I announce Luis Suarez from IBM as this year’s IE0Y Award Winner.

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Some photo credit under CC to Alex Dunne http://www.flickr.com/photos/adunne/with/5165270572/

Community Managers. Why Do You Need Them? And What Do They Do?

That is the topic of a paper I submitted for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference commencing next week in Santa Clara.

Why did I pick this topic?

Well as many of you know, CSC started our journey in social collaboration for an internal facing, or employee community. But what many of you may not know as much about is the equivalent progress we’ve made with external facing communities that fall under an umbrella of a wider Social CRM strategy. Our community program is one tactic in a series of strategies aimed at connecting various points of our eco-system together in a well-crafted way to fuel innovation for our enterprise and our customers.

I’ve been fortunate to get involved with this effort and really understand what it takes to stand up, plan for and launch communities for both employees and customers. And to me, it became immediately clear that while both types of communities require good community leadership – the tactics and specifics can vary ever so slightly or in some cases, maybe more dramatically.

This conference will be my fifth Enterprise 2.0 Conference, and I had a strong desire to help the conference evolve with topics I know practitioners need and want. For at least the last few conferences the topic of “community management” was often alluded to in other tracks, but never covered as a full, dedicated session. And yet there are so many aspects of good community management that should be talked about, shared and compared.

Research suggests the strong correlation between successful communities and the quality of community management found in those communities. Community Managers are the coaches, so to speak, of their communities. Their passion, vision and enthusiasm can inspire members and set the tone for the level of engagement within your community. But what does that mean exactly? How can you make the case for a community manager? What do they do? Why are they critical to a community?

These were all good questions I thought new practitioners would need answers to in order to make a solid business case for this role. It was with that in mind that I submitted my paper, but I didn’t just want to share the CSC Case Study even though we’ve had experience now with both employee and customer communities. Instead,  I thought it would be more informative to put together a session with smart community managers from other companies – a true mini-case study session.

Here’s the abstract for our session:

You hear you need a Community Manager. But why do you need one? And what should a Community Manager do?

Whether you’re launching an employee or market-facing community, you’ll want to join this session to learn why this role is so critical to the success of your community. Speakers from three organizations will share community governance models, community manager job descriptions, and provide a glimpse into the day-in-the-life of a community manager.

Fortunately, I found two other great practitioners to round out this session. Speakers will include:

External, Customer Community Management

Erica Kuhl
Community Manager
Salesforce.com | Social Media & Community
Blog: blogs.salesforce.com
Twitter: @erica_kuhl

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Internal, Employee Community Management

Megan Murray
Community Manager, Project Manager
Booz Allen Hamilton
Blog: http://meganmurray.net
Twitter: @MeganMurray
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External (Customer), Internal (Employee) Perspective Compared

Claire Flanagan
Director, KM and Social Business Collaboration Strategy
CSC
Blog: https://cflanagan.wordpress.com
Twitter: @cflanagan
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Attending Enterprise 2.0 in Santa Clara?

Be sure to check out our session on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. And note, this time, we are only one session of an inaugural community management track at the conference. Check it out! http://www.e2conf.com/santaclara/conference/community-development-and-management.php

Why I’m looking forward to JiveWorld 2010

As a Jive customer, I am so energized to attend this year’s JiveWorld. Again.

Why? Let me explain:

  1. Jive does conferences “right”.  I have been to several industry conferences (even one overseas) and I can tell you the best ones I attend are when customers share their stories. Yes, in this industry you do need to hear from experts from time to time. But the best value I’ve ever gotten is hearing from practitioners trying to execute programs I have an interest in and hearing them describe their goals, their challenges, their successes and their lessons learned. At JiveWorld, you get all that. Jive does a great job balancing Jive content (roadmap, keynote sessions) with real customer stories. No matter where you are on your deployment journey, you will find “a track for that” and a customer to learn from.
  2. Jive listens. Last year I think a number of us told them something like “awesome content, how the heck did you fit that in one day and a half?” So, this year, did you see the schedule? More customers, more tracks and two full days. Trust me, if you attend this year, guaranteed no matter what session or track you chose,  you will be missing valuable content going on in the other tracks. There is just no way to clone yourself to attend them all. But that’s ok, because Jive will make sure you have access to the videos and presentations after the conference concludes. So you can finish “attending” the conference when you go back home.
  3. Jive knows how to throw a party. Many of us got our professional avatars photographed at JiveWorld last year by the Jive-sponsored photographer. I have great memorable photos with my industry and Jive friends taken from Jive’s photo both (Jive that’s a hint: don’t get rid of the photo booth this year!). I still have fond memories of the goodies that were given out during the party. Heck, there were so many good things about the party I can’t really list them all. It still comes down to one thing, though. Jive knows how to put on a good event.
  4. JiveWorld provides fantastic networking opportunities. I re-acquainted myself with friends or made new ones. Jive was a tremendous help to many of us customers and prospects who wanted to line up “birds of a feather” sessions. Again, Jive listened and learned from last year, and I hear they have even better plans for facilitating customer and prospecting networking opportunities.
  5. And finally, Jive hires top talent who are passionate and energized. Let’s face it; it’s just darned too much fun to be around fun people!

If you are on the fence, I urge you to sign up. JiveWorld did sell out last year. And it will again this year.

There is a reason why Jive is the leader in three Gartner Magic Quadrants. Don’t you want to find out why? (Hint: Register Now!)


Enterprise 2.0: It’s No Field of Dreams (A CSC Case Study)

I always enjoy attending the Enterprise 2.0 conference, and last week’s conference in Boston was no different. Simon Scullion and I shared CSC’s case study story during our session titled “Enterprise 2.0: It’s No Field of Dreams”.

Enterprise 2.0: It’s No Field of Dreams

The 1989 baseball film “Field of Dreams” is often cited as the source for the memorable quote “If you build it, they will come.” In the film, an Iowa farmer hears a voice to tell him to build a baseball field and the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and other Chicago White Sox players will just show up and play. No business plan. No marketing plan. No plan at all in fact. Just the notion that if you build the ball park your players and your audience will just show up.

But we know that’s not the way business works. You can’t just install something without a business and marketing plan. In a business context, this is often used as a negative metaphor – people say “Don’t build it, and just hope they will come.”

Enterprise 2.0 is not a field of dreams. You need to plan to be successful. More importantly these tools are about people. You really need to understand how to engage your audience.

But how do you locate, find, inspire, motivate and orchestrate passionate advocates to help you engage your users? Well, CSC feels we had the winning combination to go wide, go global and go viral. Our case study talk during the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston last week described what CSC did to fill the seats at our baseball stadium of collaboration.

Adoption Planning: Plan for the People

So how did we do it? And — how is any of that different from any other large IT project? Well, most of us know how to roll out tools, get the system set up, configured and deployed. And we felt that we had done everything we could to prepare for a successful IT deployment. But we realized early on this could not be just another an IT project.

This was a tool for people. We knew we would ask users to evolve how they think about the nature of their work and the transparency with which they do that work.

You hear in the industry you can’t plan to go viral. I argue you can’t viral if you don’t plan well – – Claire Flanagan

So to view the highlights of our story, view our presentation now on SlideShare:

Below is a very brief summary of our adoption planning tactics:

  1. Adoption Principles – Before we started we thought carefully about our adoption guiding principles, those areas that would shape how we would approach deployment. There are no right answers, no silver bullet, in fact the answers to any of these areas can vary for your organization and your culture. We addressed areas like executive involvement, listening and adapting to our politics and culture, thinking about taxonomy patterns and emergence, staffing for success (community managers and advocates) and other important areas.
  2. Advocate Planning – We knew we needed to both quickly scale the efforts of our small project team, but also knew that we needed to reach out to our global users to help us go wide, global and viral. We located a team of 12 chief champions who helped us bring on another 100 advocates prior to our launch.
  3. Executives as Advocates – We knew our executives were not only sponsors of our program, but they were also critical in “walking the talk” and showing that C3 was safe for business. Our advocates helped us engage executives as well as they worked with local management.
  4. Seed Use Cases – No one likes joining a space that is empty. They don’t know what to do or where to start. Also, these tools have to be more than just “Facebook for the Enterprise”. Your executives demand it. We felt it was important to seed use cases that met our business goals, use cases that our global project, competency or community teams could start using right away. Our advocates helped us seed over 200 groups prior to our C3 pilot launch.
  5. Watercooler – Don’t overlook the importance of relationships and the value of a ‘virtual’ watercooler – a location where pure “social” conversations are ok. We knew we needed to trust our employees, but we needed to also create ‘bump in’ opportunities where new relationships and trust could form.
  6. Feedback & Transparency – We knew it was important to provide formal feedback mechanisms while practicing transparency. With the help of our advocates we engaged in both the easy and the tough conversations online – and we feel – earned the trust of our employees along the way.

The above are obviously only small summary points of our talk.

To hear the more specific tactics we used in our Adoption Planning, catch one of our upcoming talks at one of the many industry conferences coming up. Watch our blogs for where you’ll hear our case study next.