Every so often I read in Fast Company or TechCrunch or somewhere else, a list of useful websites someone has compiled in relation to some topic that they're interested in. Usually, reading these, I find one or two sites that I take a look at. One week, a few weeks ago, I notice that people were giving me links to websites that they'd come across. So below is a random list of websites that came my way one week in March!
The first came through my own website and is from someone at ExperiencePoint. He says that - "I am with ExperiencePoint, and we have a family of web-based change leadership simulations that I am hoping would be a fit within your work. They are engaging learning tools that can help build the change and innovation competency necessary to transform organisations. Executive education centres at LBS, Ashridge, Manchester Business School, Wharton, Duke CE, and others use them with world leading organisations."
Out of curiosity I took a look and liked what I saw so passed on the info + link to the leadership development person at work. She too was impressed and, I think, has contacted the company.
Then someone who was doing a presentation for us sent her slide deck via a website yousendit. It's a secure online file sharing software that allows you to easily send large files and email attachments which was a find for me as I often need to send large files to people and then end up coming back because they're too big for the recipient's mailbox.
Then another person doing an teleconf with presentation did it with joinme, which is a 'ridiculously simple' on-line meeting forum. "Get together, up to 250 people, without actually getting them together. Just click share to download and run the app and share your screen, instantly. No need for a plane, train, or sandwich platter. Just gather at join.me. So what is it exactly? It's an impromptu online meeting space, the opportunity to share your screen to collaborate, meet, train, demo or show-off, and the last two words in an invitation". It worked well so you may find me using that.
At somepoint during the week I was discussing customer satisfaction with someone and they recommended a website called communispace. This is a forum for connecting organizations with their customers with the stated goal of redefining "customer engagement and insight-forever changing what it means to engage and intimately understand your customers." Hmm - can this be done in government circles? Well, I took a look at it and government in relation to its customers did not pop up but what I did notice was a lot of references to managing online communities and I wondered whether managing communities of teleworkers (one of the pieces of work I'm involved in) was similar to managing communities of customers. So I'll investigate that further.
One that I really like the look of and will cast around for an opportunity to try out is Crowdcast which describes itself as "the leader in Enterprise Collective Intelligence." The British among us - noted in an Economist article I just read as being "grumpy and uncivic" will probably remark that they'd be hard-pressed to find any "intelligence" in their organizations, let alone "collective intelligence", but assuming that they could what happens next? Well Crowdcast "aggregates your team's intelligence to deliver insight and unbiased forecasts related to your projects and initiatives. We use a combination of prediction markets and discussion forums to highlight risks and opportunities earlier, enabling a more agile, efficient organization."
Finally, from someone I work with, came Ideascale another customer listening/engagement/satisfaction site. That tells us to "Collect ideas from your customers, give them a platform to vote, the most important ideas bubble to the top."
What I haven't worked out is how do you find these websites in the first place? If you want to send large documents, for example, how would you know to go to yousendit? How do you know that there is a really useful website out there for you? As a test I typed into my search bar "how to send large documents" ok - it came up with a bunch of websites that do that (including yousendit). I tried the same technique with "how to crowdsource" but didn't get anywhere with that search. However, "crowdsourcing websites" did produce several. But I couldn't get to 'communispace', in any general search term.
Maybe my method of listening out for what people mention, and noting down those I read about that sound interesting is as good a method as the search bar for finding helpful sites?
In a spirit of reciprocation one that I passed on last week - a colleague I used to work with who is now, as they say in the US, "in transition" (which means looking for a job) asked for suggestions on how to get into strategic consulting in the clean tech arena. I'm no expert on clean-tech but I did remember a course I looked at myself a while ago at the Said Business Schoool: the Diploma in Strategy and Innovation.