My conversations at Accenture surround human capital and internal culture and the idea that simulation can help them communicate business process. A good piece from SeekOmega reviews their efforts to cobble a solution.
It covers Accenture’s Chris Crawford's approach to provoking discretionary effort to affect the social alchemy at Accenture.
“SharePoint forms the heart of our social networking capabilities within Accenture,” says Crawford, “We use it as a content management system, a publishing platform and for internal communications.”
SharePoint 2010 platform with NewsGator add in for Social
Located in 120 countries
Yammer for microblogging
$25 billion in annual revenues
115,000 employees have filled out profiles
Headquarters in Ireland
5000 profile updates a month
|CEO: Pierre Nanterme|
1000 blog posts a month
12,000 video items posted to Accenture Media Exchange
4200+ monthly microblog updates
Crawford and his team quickly realized that the key to higher adoption of SharePoint starts with user profiles. They found a direct correlation between the number of customized user profiles, and the amount of internal collaboration. Crawford says, “Those profile pages are a key reason for the success of our collaboration efforts.”
So Crawford began to organize ‘complete your profile’ contests and publishing stats on the percentage of the company that actually did. Soon however, Crawford realized that the profile page can only tell a small fraction of an employee’s story. The rest of the story lies in learning the details of an employee’s expertise and knowledge.
To surface that, Crawford and team again returned to gaming principles. “We started an internal recognition program to encourage our employees to contribute to SharePoint,” Crawford said, “We look and we measure how people are contributing, how they are connecting, and how they are communicating, and score them on their activities.”
Crawford discovered that in order to have a thriving social business solution, the solution must still provide meaningful value in isolation with or without a gaming dynamic.
TO DRAW AN ANALOGY, CASINOS EXCEL AT GAME MECHANICS. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE LOVE TO PLAY GAMES, BUT THEIR CUSTOMERS MAY BECOME BORED IF REWARDS OR RECOGNITION ARE MISSING. SO CASINOS HAVE MASTERED THE ART OF INCREASING CONTRIBUTIONS (OR CASH DEPOSITS) BY PROVIDING A CONTROLLED GAMING ENVIRONMENT DESIGNED TO EXTRACT MORE MONEY FROM THEIR CUSTOMERS.
Admittedly, the cash acquisition goal of a casino is different from Accenture’s content contribution goals. And yet, there are some intriguing similarities. For example, casino employees are encouraged to identify and interact with their patrons to extend the gaming activity while keeping them in the building. And casino loyalty points are strategically used to reward customers for continued game play.
But what’s most striking is the conditions in which their customers tolerate. Smoke filled rooms, drunk patrons, hysterical yelling, so for most of us, we’d never go again. And yet they do. The results as we all know are nothing but astonishing. Have you heard of a casino that has failed?
By the same token, if one asked corporate employees, most do not want to take the time to visit the corporate intranet. Like the casino, there is some initial value in visiting it; but the novelty fades away if the user experience is unpleasant, no one is using it, or the employee can not find the information they are seeking.
Flush in the understanding of this inherent dilemma, Crawford believes the gaming principles they are using give the house an edge. His team deals badges to Accenture’s employees for accomplishing various tasks or to specify how long they’ve worked at Accenture. “That’s proven popular because a lot of people enjoying see it (on their profiles),” explains Crawford.
Mark Twain once observed, “What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it.”
Accenture’s results suggest that instead of extracting dollars, Crawford and his team are extracting content from their employees by leveraging these principles. They’ve created an environment where points and badges are the social currency that rewards and compels employees to contribute to SharePoint.