Kim – you will be speaking at the upcoming Enterprise Digital SUMMIT about the lessons learned from the establishment of your Enterprise Social Network Neo and some cultural change actions that have taken along with it at Pearsons. What are the three keywords that you could categorize your project and talk?
Culture, Transformation, Leadership
Could you give us a short introduction to what you will be talking about?
In late 2014 our CEO decided to invite all employees and our customers virtually to his leadership event, the topic “Efficacy and culture: evolving together” was live streamed through Pearson.com and our ESN Neo. We used our ESN to engage the company with the topics ahead of the event and selected roving reporters to act as the eyes and ears at the event to report back. The entire event had a digital first approach and has transformed how we deliver internal and external events going forward.
So would you say that this kind of event is an enabler for a business transformation at Person?
We focused on Digital, Advocacy, Storytelling and Transparency, we needed to make sure the experience was as good virtually as in person. We needed to provide talking points and conversation starters before, during and after the event. For example employees were invited to the discuss whether our values were fit for purpose. The external live stream offered a unique insight into how Pearson is embedding Efficacy in everything we do at Pearson.
What have been the key challenges for this transformation event?
The key challenge was making an event like this feel truly inclusive when it was being streamed during a specific time zone. Pearson is a global company and we needed to make sure we were able to include everyone in the experience. It was also important to help people engage with the event digitally, this took place through our ESN and through social networks like Twitter.
Your role is about the internal community management. How critical/important do you evaluate your role to the outcome of your project?
Our ESN was at the heart of delivering some of the core technology aspects of the event. It was important to establish the right tone for the community during the event, we also introduced roving reporters who acted as community managers for their respective businesses. We took time to train them and provide them with the tools and skills to be successful in their role. I felt privileged to be at the centre of the event and see the transformation first hand.
If you look back at the project path – what would have you done differently if you would start today?
The event was ground breaking for us, it was the first time we’d expected our leadership team to be so open and commentate their conversations and thought process through our ESN and social media during a leadership event. We learnt many lessons about how a conference feels as a viewer both in real time and someone who is catching up. Six months later we’re still seeing new people interact with the content from the event, so we’re still learning from the event on how content can land with an audience beyond the event and how to follow up and keep them momentum going. One area we’d definitely improve is how we used gamification to drive engagement with the event.
What are the future plans for the project?
We are planning a second summit for 2016 and we’re already incorporating the lessons we’ve learned into the planning process.
What are your expectations for Enterprise Digital SUMMIT?
I’m looking forward to hearing from people about how they are transforming their organisations. For some of us digital isn’t so new so i’m interested to understand how we avoid digital fatigue and how we start to change the way we talk about it. I’m also always looking to grow my networks and learn from others and events like Enterprise Digital Summit offer a great opportunity to share and learn.