A meeting of many minds at Intranet Now

The seventh Intranet Now conference happened last friday. On behalf of Wedge and me I’d like to thank our sponsors, volunteers, participants and venue team for contributing to a brilliant day.

I’m still processing everything that went on. It was certainly a day packed full of people talking about strategic digital workplaces. A day of sharing what works, and what doesn’t. And what to think about when you’re planning your next move. 

Two out of three of our top-rated speakers were from sponsor partners – which is a real testament to the quality of minds we have right here in this community of comms, content, intranet and tech people. And we had some brilliant feedback from the workshops from Invotra (and DWP Digital, hi Louis!), Cloud2, Interact and Scarlett Abbott. Not to mention some interesting conversations at our table talks. 

It’s hard to be definite when there are no straight lines

Fintan from Invotra kicked us off with a keynote, which left me and Simon Thompson pondering about where to draw the line when you’re trying to define your strategy. Intranets by their very nature are the most flexible systems in any ecosystem, so deciding what it is (and what it isn’t) is important.

The content dogsbody?

orange slide with a corgi on it

Get your content in order

Kelly and Annette both gave brilliant content-related presentations. Annette’s quip about an audit being the Spanx of your intranet strategy (as they get you in good shape) was absolutely my Quote of The Day. Kelly’s slide about the content dogsbody as a way of prioritising your content was my Slide Of The Day.

Do the hard stuff, not just the low-hanging fruit

I particularly enjoyed hearing about the Spark Trajectory Task Trajectory framework, which covers how to prioritise the top tasks in your digital workplace. It’s easy to try and go after those quick wins, but the things people will really thank you for are the hard things they have to do a lot. Like access the right travel policies and find the right guidance they need right now.

Governing the governors?

4 people sitting talking at a panel

Governance works 

As I mentioned on the day, governance is a hot topic for me right now and I enjoyed thinking it through with people in the room. I thought it was interesting to hear the different approaches from Tanya, Tony and Chris. While it felt at times like we all agreed Governance is A Good Thing, the actual shape of it, rules and management of it varied considerably. 

Perhaps a question / scene-setter which defined *what* we were governing would have been a good idea, as our debate switched between the policies within the core intranet, to wider content on enterprise social networks (ESNs).  I’m still considering my thoughts around this and look forward to hearing more from those of you listening on the day.

You're going to need a bigger case, Kurt

three people on a stage. one is holding a heavy box.

Diamonds in the stream

It was brilliant to be able to award Kurt the Intranet Now Diamond Award. We had lots of nominations – (check out Wedge’s post about the shortlist. Kurt has worked tirelessly to bring together the intranet community across Europe. We had some lovely comments from the Diamond alumni who helped us make the final decision.

Lots of new faces, and old friends too

While we had a handful of people that have been to all seven Intranet Now conferences (I’ve been to 6!) we also welcomed lots of new people on Friday. I’m always pleased to meet new people but I’m terrible at remembering if I’ve met someone before. Sometimes (like with Annette!)  I’m convinced I *have* had lengthy conversations in the past, but usually I can’t remember if we had a chat in person last week.

Smoothly does it (in the main)

The best rewards don’t (always) come easily, right? As you (may) know, organising Intranet Now is something that we do around our day jobs. I started out this year with a broken foot, and a new contract – two things that don’t usually go together brilliantly. This is also the year we ran not one, but two Intranet Now events. We had an absolute blast at our summer event and really enjoyed Autumn. I’m tremendously proud of what we achieved and am supremely grateful to Wedge for the phenomenal amount of work he put in to make it a success. We may have had a few tech gremlins on the day but I think (and the feedback on our forms suggests) that it was a good day for intranerds.

Check out our photos on Flickr

View stream on flickr

Over to you

It can be hard to take in all of what happened and I’m looking forward to reading your write-up if you were there! Let’s keep sharing our experiences post-event and continue to learn from each other.

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