What if you had 10 minutes a day for organizational news?
I was intrigued by some tweets a few days ago by Samuel Driessen (@driessen) referring to a presentation by ABM/AMRO about their intranet, and how it was being used for internal communication (here’s a blog post he wrote on it).
Basically they assumed that most staff only have 10 minutes a day to spend on corporate news, and so they put together a space that would give staff what they really needed to know in that time. I really liked this idea given that there is a large volume of competing information in the workplace – but still people often aren’t aware of the most important developments. It got me thinking – what would you put together to give your staff what they wanted in only 10 minutes, and how would you know what they really wanted.
(Disclaimer: our intranet home page is not my domain so it’s easy for me to opine on what we might do, since I won’t be stuck with implementing it, or worse getting all the approvals needed to do it!)
A few thoughts:
- There’s what “the management” wants you to know, and then there’s what you really want to know. Ideally you should get a bit of both.
- To find out what people want to know you should i) ask them what they want ii) track what people actually read and give them more of that. Ideally, if technically feasible this should be personalized based on an individual’s preferences, or at least by work groups preferences. Ideally it should remember what you have already read, and what you haven’t so you don’t get the same stuff every day. Also it would be good to use a digg like feature for people to vote up content from across the intranet into the 10 minutes box.
- Stuff pushed by management should be carefully chosen to be i) interesting ii) relevant and iii) actionable. Often internal communication is vanity based “you really need to know about my project” (admitting I’ve also been guilty of this) – rather than because people are really interested, or more importantly can actually use the information you shared.
- In 10 minutes you want to share things that are short and to the point (you can always have a click-through link to more details for those who want or need to know more). It’s probably a good thing to begin each piece with a brief explanation of why you should read it and what you are expected to do with it. Lots of guidance type materials are just too long and complex to easily absorb so a brief summary of what’s new and what’s critical is essential.
- Just because it is there doesn’t mean people will read it. At least at the outset you should heavily promote the “what you need to know in 10 minutes a day” idea so people realize its there and check it out. But you should solicit feedback, and if people don’t use it then try a different approach.
What do you think? What would you want, or be prepared to read about your workplace in 10 minutes a day?