I occasionally browse through Ted Talks if I get a spare 20 minutes. Not often mind you! As a single mom running an intranet software company, there are not too many spare 20 minutes in the day. I love Ted Talks though because they are so inspirational. They charge up my batteries which gets me excited and thinking creatively.
Recently, I took another look at a very popular Ted Talk – by Simon Sinek on “Start with Why”. Simon is a highly engaging speaker; he has no problem hooking you right away. He then goes on to talk about uber-successful organizations like Apple and Google, who start their entire company strategy not around “what” they do, but rather “why” they do it.
So that got me thinking about intranets. Everyone starts out looking for an intranet with a checklist of the “what” features. First in line:
No one talks to us about the Why when they come looking at our intranet software. Most intranet products have similar feature sets, similar “what” value propositions. That is good news for those looking for an intranet! It is likely your checklist will be fairly covered. The “why” usually comes from the business community inside your company that perhaps tasked you to go find an intranet. A catalyst within that gives you the reason to invest in an intranet.
We recently had a large wireless retailer with more than 300 stores in 16 US states chat with us regarding their catalyst. With so many employees using Dropbox and other cloud-based document sharing apps, IT was extremely concerned about the risk of security in corporate documents located in various siloed cloud apps, none of which were now “owned” by the company but rather singularly owned by individual employees, some of which could leave the company with rather confidential documents still in their cloud-based accounts.
A recent case study was published by a Two Hives about the San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) & SPCA, one of our long-term intranet customers. The SDHS has a very engaging intranet called “Fetch” which is a play off their purpose as an organization: to shelter neglected and homeless animals, investigate animal cruelty, dog training and educational programs for the public. Elkie Wills our intranet champion at San Diego Humane Society & SPCA talked about their “why” in finding intranet software to meet their needs:
“We realized we needed a new form of communication since we had recently merged with another organization and we had staff spread out to five different locations. It was necessary to have important documents and forms in one location for staff access, plus we have so many initiatives and stories to share, we needed one place for all of this information. Our intranet had to not only be used for day to day work, but as a reminder of why we do what we do.” – Elkie Wills, San Diego Humane Society
“The Best Care Anywhere: Emergency Web Intranet by Gold Coast Hospital”
Leo Marneros, Director of Emergency Training at Gold Coast in Australia, loves to innovate with technology. He has a passion for it and what they have done with Intranet Connections is truly an inspiration. Leo sought to find a healthcare intranet that would improve internal operations. Gold Coast is a training hospital, with two campuses and over 350 employees.
Leo created many applications with our App Builder (comes free as part of our software), one of which saves the hospital $10,000 annually. Leo’s most innovative use of our intranet software is in bringing eLearning to the hospital, via the intranet, and in creating an online credentialing tool for interns. Check out the full case study about Leo’s innovations and Gold Coast Hospital.
Leo’s “why” was to find ways in which he could streamline and improve the hospital’s internal operations with technology, thinking if he could umbrella many processes under one roof, the cost savings would start to add up and Gold Coast would save money and time, a precious commodity for an ER department that is one of the busiest in all of Australia.
Before you look for intranet software, gather not only your feature checklist but also the “why”. Why now? Why is it important – right now – to put an intranet in place? Why is it so crucial to the business? It’s easier to ask the “what” and “how”. Asking the “why” is where the vision starts in why you have the intranet and to what purpose it will serve you best.
I hope this helped to pique curiosity and the sharing of ideas! I would love to hear your thoughts on the power of why, please comment below.