How far would you go in support of customer communities?

shutterstock_73054714.jpgI have a great job as Community Manager for a big finance firm (over 6,000 employees) here in Sydney, Australia. We’re a socially responsible business; we have a great culture that promotes creativity and innovation; we nurture our people to become effective leaders; and we believe in the power of a social and connected workplace. (Just check out the AMPlify Festival coming up this June to see the kinds of innovative programs we run to bring new ideas to our staff).

We have a world-class Intranet and collaboration tool where we constantly grow and nurture a highly engaged and active community of users and believers. We back our investment in technology by making sure we have an awesome social team to manage an awesome engagement program that leads to awesome outcomes. (If that doesn’t sound perfect enough, it’s very sunny most of the year; famous Bondi beach and a crystal blue recreational harbor are mere moments away; the culture and nightlife is excellent; and world-class restaurants leave you spoilt for choice.)

But I am about to leave it all behind. I’m moving to the other side of the world to work for NewsGator in a position that will allow me to continue to evangelize the power of social collaboration and engagement through community building and nurturing. Here’s what I’ve learned so far and what I hope to build on:

IT as a Strategic Partner

I think the reason my firm has been so successful with its technology implementations is more than just the hardware and the team. It’s actually the philosophy and values that back it. We have long ago thrown out the old subservient IT model where the business instructs the technologists to build them a machine and off they go and do it.

We stopped being a mere sales vehicle and decided to steer the ship toward the warmer, clearer waters of co-creation and collaboration (way before they became buzz words). A core strategic intent of our IT division is to provide thought leadership to our business and to keep it on the cusp of emergent technology and digital change.