A very common question…What should I post to Yammer?

What should I post to Yammer? [Or insert tool of choice] 

I get this question often when I work with a variety of people, end users, admins, leaders. These people who are trying to figure out how to use the social and collaboration tools.

For me personally, this is a non-issue. But its because of how I am wired. I am a connector. It feels natural for me to share what I am up to, what’s holding me up and why I am working on the things I am focusing on. It’s also how I have been working the last 10 years of my career.

A few years ago I ran a globally dispersed team. I shared with my team “Don’t ever let me guess what you are working on”. Not because I am a micromanager, but because I was trying to instill some habits of “working out loud“.  I would pull up a team member’s Yammer profile and see where they’d been posting, which groups they’ve been working with and where they were at with certain projects or initiatives.  I didn’t want them to work in their own silo (or email inbox). They didn’t need to include me (or @mention me) on every conversation, I could look for myself. Likewise, I didn’t need to be included in every email they sent either. During my1x1s with my team members, it became less about status updates, and more about strategy, roadblocks or working sessions.

Sharing links to articles of relevant industry news or blogs is easy and usually the starting point for many people. I believe there’s more that could be shared. More context. More details. More intrinsic knowledge behind the decisions.

Here’s of 5 ideas on what you could post to Yammer:

  1. Be interested instead of interesting.
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Reflect on your day. Answer, who did you just meet with? Why? What is the decision that will be made?  What lessons did you learn from your most recent project?
  4. Reflect on your week. What were your high’s and lows from the week? Why? what have you accomplished? Where are the roadblocks?
  5. Reflect on your learnings. What did you learn from the webinar/training/conference you attended? Was it worth it?

Often we don’t take enough time to reflect and digest what we’ve experienced. Myself included. But these opportunities of reflection become the building blocks of context that ourselves or others will need to make better decisions in the future.

 

For more great ideas of what to post, read Jane Bozarth’s Show Your Work.   Working out Loud week is coming up in June 2017, check the link for more details and resources about how you can get your teams involved.

Enterprise Social Scared Straight – The Yammer Conference Circuit Recap 2013

Steve and I have been on the road a few different times now presenting a story that we believe in.

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We have visited technology conferences, internal Microsoft conferences as well as industry conferences. Participated in Tweet Chats, webinars, panels and lunches to get to know the community who wants to do something with the next generation of communication and collaboration.

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Something that we feel like the world needs to hear. Something that is at that cusp of a paradigm shift of communication and innovations within the walls of the corporations.

Every time we actually deliver the presentation its actually a varying message. But its similar to the ones that follow but because of the differing audience, we change it up. We try and figure out a key message that we want to stress to the group of listeners who become a captive audience. And this isn’t because we are great speakers, its because we have struck a chord. We are talking about something they care about, something that matters.

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Steve and I encourage the audience not to settle for the status quo. We tell them change is on the horizon if its hasn’t already burst through their walls. And we tell them that we know what it feels like to fail and things go not according to plan. Our talks really come from our stories with customer and our own Yammer journey before we joined the Yammer team.  Stories of hope  that others are doing this and being successful. And stories of when it hadn’t gone well and the customer who is still trying to figure it out.

This picture below was taken at DevLearn in Las Vegas with a new friend from MSFT. We actually had a story about the work that he did for MSFT in our presentation and it was great to meet him in real life. Serendipitous connection made in real life!

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The key points to our message was around how can organizations actually use social to change the way they work and service customers, whether they produce a good or provide a service. We also provided some areas to avoid as common pitfalls for thinking about enterprise social and collaboration – like getting more than one executive sponsor, build experiments with different teams and projects to see how to work out loud and move faster, and the objectives that we hear and how to combat them by providing business value. ( Engagement Tips for leaders blog post) .

What I learned most on many of these trips is that the audiences vary on level of social literacy and use. That this message needs spreading and that its only just the beginning… the movement is moving…  are you in?

 

The conference season is picking back up again and Steve and I are on the road for the upcoming SharePoint 2014 Conference. Our session going to do a similar feel with some fresh perspectives.  I’ll be speaking at the AZ TechCouncil during a Lunch and Learn Feb 6th. We will also be at ASTD National Conference in May and others are in the works and we will keep you updated!