In Grundfos we talk about something we call winner discussions and winner threads in our enterprise social network (ESN). Basically, it’s a post or case which evolves to become more successful than the average exchange we observe. The result is a discussion thread which can inspire others to learn. Not only about the subject at hand, but also the basic mechanisms and behavior which generated the powerful engagement results.
The reason we talk a lot about ‘winner threads’ is that one of the very important practices of any successful enterprise network culture is to tag or label successful cases and role-model behaviors. Cutting edge companies have made a global KPI out of the number of successes they identify by doing a monthly search, generating the number, and pushing select cases out to the broader audience, hence accelerating corporate learning and culture creation.
In a very mature enterprise network culture, it is a naturally orchestrated process which combines work by administrators of private or closed groups and the global network administrators. The objective is simple: identify cases and threads which can be ‘cleaned’ (if necessary – due to confidential matters or person data issues) and then shared in public.
Yesterday, I had time to run through all the cases we had selected for our cookbook. I decided to do what is generally known as a condensation and categorization of the causal mechanism in each winner thread. What came out is interesting since it confirms that you only need a small number of basic techniques to succeed!
1] Have a clear and appealing purpose in the initial post (and a naturally humble tone of voice)
Examples could be;
- I’m looking for help to……or…..I’m really stuck trying to advance here, who can help me…?
- Who knows people with experience concerning……?
- I have this idea, any opinions or experiences?
- I did this work, what do you think, does anyone have ideas for improving it?
The most successful threads reach out for help concerning down to earth and straight forward close-to-everyday-business needs. The needs can be individual, team, or practice driven. Posts that start out with an intellectual or self-righteous dimension usually never create any winner threads. Tip: Always remember to search the network before posting questions. It will give you an important advantage when trying to signpost and share.
2] Take the lead for sharing to happen, e.g. proactively invite for sign-posting
- Use @mention/notify in the post.
- Write things like: if you know somebody who knows somebody, please take a minute to ping!
3] Seek to involve expertise.
- Ask people to share into private groups which might touch upon the given subject or are likely to include domain experts with respect to your need.
- Ask who might know – or know somebody who know – internal or external domain experts.
4] Use real examples or content which is relevant and impact-full
- I have been part of another project where we did this – do you know other cases….
- I know of an example where….
- Here is a link to….
Last and most
Anyone should feel empowered to tag or label a discussion thread with a ‘Win’!
Communicate, curate, motivate, moderate, and train your organisation to ‘win-tag’. Over time, more and more people will learn to identify the high value discussion threads. When you learn this, you also learn how you can engage to create the high value. And all of a sudden – you have new global working culture.