Written by John Andrews
Do you have a company intranet? Do you use it much? In much of my corporate life, I’ve found that while intranets are well intentioned, they frequently become stale and of limited utility as updates wane and other tools take their place. As with all technology, we start from the position of the objective. In the case of intranets, usually the goal is to improve organizational communication like events and happenings, people and links to critical company information and documents.
New cloud technology is changing how we all communicate, though. For example, Box and Dropbox have virtually eliminated the need for the vaunted :G drive (or whatever drive shared files went to die). From any of my devices, I can now access every file our company has and it’s as up-to-date as the last save. The same with people, I can now access our entire company personnel via our company profile on Linkedin or even our own people aggregator on Pinterest.
It’s with this changing backdrop of corporate communication that I realized recently what a valuable tool Path
has become. Thanks to Path’s limit of 150 connections, active users are forced to be very selective about who they are connected to. No, “random dude I met at a conference” makes it on my Path connections. No offense, but with 51 employees now and 50 or so very close partners on Path, there are only 49 slots for other folks and I have to play “who gets kicked off the island” every time I add someone now.The effect is amazing, however. Without all the clutter of most social networks, I pay attention to what folks are up to and since most are co-workers and partners, it’s very interesting. The next result, I know much more about what’s going on every day at Collective Bias and our partners than I would otherwise. I see our team checking into client meetings and get a view of offices, dinner spots, etc. I can add a comment or say hello and feel like part of the event.The same with non-work activities as you get a sense of what people are doing out of work as well. With Path’s new iPad user interface you get some great views of people’s locations. Last week our teams were in California, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Bentonville and Minneapolis and all could see and connect to each other in both passive and active modes. Path also serves as an outbound communication tool. Various types of content can be shared to various audiences from just Path to a combination of Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook, etc.Finally, team building becomes a ton of fun on Path. We have daily challenges on fitness via Nike+, bi-coastal dinners, Awkward Stretching challenges (don’t ask), all connected by this simple tool. Over 1,300 members in our Social Fabric community can take part in our corporate culture as well.Communication is changing and becoming more fluid and seamless. Just like the rest of the digital world, people are going to a “Place” like a website less frequently. Give some thought about how new tools can promote sharing ideas and information and bring your organization together.