Making Connections with Jim - Chapter 3: Using Your Network

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Welcome back. Jim here. Your resident social business expert. The last time we met, Charlie and I were eating lunch, celebrating the great brainstorms IBM Connections was helping him lead. That’s when …

Welcome back. Jim here. Your resident social business expert. The last time we met, Charlie and I were eating lunch, celebrating the great brainstorms IBM Connections was helping him lead. That’s when we met Maria, our
HR manager.

After hearing about Charlie’s new process and how engaged his team had become, Maria asked if she could sit in on one of his IBM Connections-hosted brainstorms. She was impressed. A few days later, an email showed
up in my inbox. “Jim,” she wrote, “I’m seeing big changes in how our teams work. First with Betty over in sales and now with Charlie in marketing…it’s making me wonder whether we can do things differently in HR, too. The company leadership recently came to me with an important
challenge. Do you think you can help?”

“Let’s grab a coffee!” Coffee in hand, Maria explained her situation. “Our leadership team knows that in order for the company to stay competitive, our employees need to extend their skillsets and better connect to experts across the company. That’s why I’ve decided to create a new employee mentorship program, so our people can keep growing and learning while building a support system and camaraderie.” “That’s a great idea!” I said. Maria shook her
head. “Not so fast. I’ve hit a few roadblocks…”

See, Maria needed an easy and fast way to transfer knowledge from subject matter experts to interested employees. But locating the right experts, connecting them with mentees and enabling them to work together over a long stretch of time were proving easier said than done. On top of that, Maria found traditional knowledge-sharing methods cumbersome, since they offered no easy way
to get information to many people at once.

I explained to her that IBM Connections could help her implement this exciting new program. First, IBM Connections would make it easy for participants in the mentorship program to find and connect with the right expert mentors in order to gain the new skillsets they’re interested in. Next, it will allow experts to mentor many
people at the same time, amplifying their voice. With IBM Connections, mentors will be able to build communities around their areas of expertise. Any interested employees
can join in and contribute, from anywhere, at anytime. It’s that easy!

Brought to you by “Jim, this sounds perfect. I can’t believe I
didn’t know about it sooner!” I met up with Maria a few weeks later and found her team humming along. They had
already started using IBM Connections as part of the new and successful mentorship program. The results so far? Employees find themselves wearing many hats and contributing to the company more broadly, giving the entire business a competitive edge.

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  • 1. Brought to you by using your Network Chapter 3
  • 2. Brought to you by Welcome back. Jim here. Your resident social business expert. The last time we met, Charlie and I were eating lunch, celebrating the great brainstorms IBM Connections was helping him lead. That’s when we met Maria, our HR manager.
  • 3. Brought to you by After hearing about Charlie’s new process and how engaged his team had become, Maria asked if she could sit in on one of his IBM Connections-hosted brainstorms. She was impressed. A few days later, an email showed up in my inbox. “Jim,” she wrote, “I’m seeing big changes in how our teams work. First with Betty over in sales and now with Charlie in marketing…it’s making me wonder whether we can do things differently in HR, too. The company leadership recently came to me with an important challenge. Do you think you can help?” To: Jim From: Maria
  • 4. Brought to you by “Let’s grab a coffee!” Coffee in hand, Maria explained her situation. “Our leadership team knows that in order for the company to stay competitive, our employees need to extend their skillsets and better connect to experts across the company. That’s why I’ve decided to create a new employee mentorship program, so our people can keep growing and learning while building a support system and camaraderie.” “That’s a great idea!” I said. Maria shook her head. “Not so fast. I’ve hit a few roadblocks…” JAVAJAVA
  • 5. Brought to you by See, Maria needed an easy and fast way to transfer knowledge from subject matter experts to interested employees. But locating the right experts, connecting them with mentees and enabling them to work together over a long stretch of time were proving easier said than done. On top of that, Maria found traditional knowledge-sharing methods cumbersome, since they offered no easy way to get information to many people at once. ?
  • 6. Brought to you by I explained to her that IBM Connections could help her implement this exciting new program. First, IBM Connections would make it easy for participants in the mentorship program to find and connect with the right expert mentors in order to gain the new skillsets they’re interested in. Next, it will allow experts to mentor many people at the same time, amplifying their voice. With IBM Connections, mentors will be able to build communities around their areas of expertise. Any interested employees can join in and contribute, from anywhere, at anytime. It’s that easy!
  • 7. Brought to you by “Jim, this sounds perfect. I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner!” I met up with Maria a few weeks later and found her team humming along. They had already started using IBM Connections as part of the new and successful mentorship program. The results so far? Employees find themselves wearing many hats and contributing to the company more broadly, giving the entire business a competitive edge.
  • 8. Brought to you by Maria was proud to introduce me to one of the mentorship program’s early adopters, Carlos. He explained how he used IBM Connections to learn more about a new part of the business. In fact, he was already enjoying a productivity boost during his workday. “This is a neat tool,” he said as he shook my hand. “But wait till you see what else it can do,” I said. I smiled. I had a feeling I knew what he was about to say…
  • 9. SocialBusiness have a question? Tweet them to @JimClaussen using #ConnectionsWithJim Are you looking to use your network in new and meaningful ways, like Maria did? Listen to the AskJim Podcast (Episode 9) and get the inside scoop on creating effective networks.