Intranet post 3

Intranet 2.0 | The mini-series | #3

Thanks to all of you who came along and said hi at my Digital London talk! To complete this mini-series, here are three psychological, evidence-based tips that you can use to successfully integrate your intranet into your new, social business. Following from last week’s blog post on Leadership, Culture and Tone, this week we’ll look at 3 other elements vital for intranet success.

1. Engagement

Once you’ve launched your intranet and the influential members of your organisation have lead by example, the continued success of your intranet rests with ongoing engagement. This is basically common sense – your content should be relevant and updated regularly so that your employees begin to log on to get daily updates [1]. One of the companies I was consulting with recently told me how their highest level of engagement came from the canteen page within their intranet. Employees would log on first thing in the morning to check out what they could look forward to for lunch, and this was a behaviour that we could see consistently across the board (regardless of sector). So we devised a strategy to leverage this behaviour and posted the most important information as news flashes on the same page as the daily menu. User engagement with news updates sky-rocketed as a result.

2. Innovation

This is the one that many large corporations struggle with. In order to truly reap the rewards of insightful innovation, research shows that you have to give your employees more user control. Whilst many businesses may be uncomfortable with this, an intranet that gives its users more personal responsibility and autonomy ultimately creates greater Intranet knowledge growth, vital for problem-solving and innovation [2].

3. Going global

Again this point is especially crucial for larger organisations with offices throughout the world. If you have branches in Shanghai, Paris and New York, you’ll already be acutely aware of the cultural differences that exist between one country and the next. For an intranet to truly succeed across geographic boundaries, it’s vital that you encourage a sense of collective cooperation and communal responsibility across your network. With a sense of shared identity and an intranet (and pan-cultural structure) that encourages personal autonomy and innovation, knowledge-sharing can flourish [3].


[1] Bennett, E. E. (2008). Reflection, Learning, Technology, and the Socio-cultural Context of Virtual HRD: An Emerging Theory of Network Culture Dynamics. Theoretical and Methodological Issues in HRD.

[2] Begbie, R., & Chudry, F. (2002). The Intranet chaos matrix: A conceptual framework for designing an effective knowledge management Intranet. Journal of Database Marketing, 9(4), 325-338.

[3] Leidner, D., Alavi, M., Kayworth, T. (2006). The Role of Culture in Knowledge Management: A Case Study of Two Global Firms. International Journal of e-Collaboration, 2(1), 17-40.


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Nathalie Nahai

Nathalie Nahai

Best-selling author of "Webs of Influence" (Pearson). International speaker, consultant, columnist at Marketing Week.