Hello and welcome to our presentation, which we’ve titled “Bank Blogging: Design and Evaluation of a Knowledge-Sharing Initiative”.
In our case study, the CIO of an investment bank has three strategic goals. These goals are: (1) to raise staff’s awareness of strategic issues, (2) to improve collaboration within the bank, and (3) to attract new clients. The CIO hopes to accomplish these goals by encouraging more internal blogging, and starting an external blog that engages the public in discussions of general issues in investment banking.The investment bank’s current culture supports the use of internal blogging as a way to share information within the organization. The internal blog is hosted on the bank’s sever, protected by a firewall and viewable only by employees.The bank’s CIO wants to extend the use of internal blog content, to an external blog that will hopefully enhance the bank’s image and services. However, current bank policy requires all external communication to be vetted before release. This approval process is not congruent with blogging practices, and could be detrimental to the goals of the knowledge-sharing initiative. Expanding on internal blogging and extending that idea to external blogging requires a cultural shift in the way the bank currently operates. Online banking has taken away a lot of the personal interaction within the industry. The CIO understands this and wants to re-establish this connection with blogging. Upper management is already on board with the idea, therefore the challenge within the organization will be to convince employees that this is worth their time and effort. Employees will also have to become comfortable with publishing their subject matter expertise on the web for everyone to see; when currently, internal blog content is highly secure.
After examining the culture of the organization, we looked at the research that has been done about internal and external blogging. Research shows that new technologies affect the way organizations have to manage internal and external communications. The appeal of blogs is that they facilitate fast and direct communication. They are interactive and relatively inexpensive. They have a personal, informal and convenient nature. However, they require effort to start and maintain, and they need to be updated regularly to attract active participation. We also investigated how other professional, for-profit businesses are using blogs, so that we might learn from their examples. This research could also help to show employees the value in blogging for information-sharing, and that this was an opportunity to put a personal voice to their work. We thought that employees might find additional value in blogging if they saw how other businesses are using it.
We considered three alternative options to our proposed blogging program. The first option was to have only executives contribute to the external blog. This option was vetoed because research shows that blogs are an effective method for reaching a wide customer base only if the blog contributors can relate to the general reader base. Also, staff-level employees are likely to be the most experienced when it comes to blogging and use of social media tools.A second option was to make all internal blogs automatically external. But this was not an ideal solution as the internal blogs may contain confidential or proprietary information that should not be made available to the general public. The third alternative was to create anonymous external blogs. But this option was not chosen because research shows that the proven authenticity of the blog author provides credibility for the blog and increases readership.
The proposed external blogging solution involves two basic steps. First the CIO starts an internal blog to discuss the possibility of the external blog with the employees in the organization. The CIO can address various topics of concern regarding the external blog and answer any questions raised by employees. Next, the CIO and other executive staff will browse the current internal blogs maintained by individual employees and select specific blogs or blog authors that are particularly engaging. The selected blog authors will be given the role of Expert Blogger for their particular division. The Expert Blogger will be responsible for all blogging activities for that division. The performance evaluation and job description for the selected employees will reflect the additional responsibility of Subject Expert Blogger. The group of selected expert bloggers will be led by a Captain Blogger who will work with the CIO, Public Relations employees and the Privacy Officer to ensure that all applicable policies and guidelines are followed regarding confidential and proprietary information. The team of executives, the Captain Blogger and the Expert Bloggers will meet monthly to discuss blog activity and reader response.Finally, this team of Executives will create comprehensive blogging guidelines to provide oversight to the external blogging activities. These guidelines could be adapted from other organizations in the banking industry or be specific to this particular bank’s needs.
TheCIO will lead evaluation of the knowledge-sharing initiative, delegating where appropriate. The three questions shown here will serve as guiding principles for the evaluation process. As a reminder, the goals of the initiative are to raise staff’s awareness of strategic issues, improve collaboration within the bank, and attract new clients. The CIO hopes to accomplish these goals by encouraging more internal blogging, and starting an external blog that engages the public in discussions of general issues in investment banking. Through evaluation, the CIO will find out if the knowledge-sharing initiative has been successful, and how it might be improved.
The CIO will use a set of key performance indicators to evaluate success. These key performance indicators will serve as metrics for measuring the success of the critical success factors. This is shown here in the table. As you can see, a combination of objective and subjective measures will be used. Examples of subjective measures include surveys of engagement, bloggers’ self-assessments, and focus group feedback. Examples of more objective measures include the number of blog posts and comments generated and use of Google analytics data. We acknowledge that there are issues related to the accuracy of self-reported survey data, and deriving meaning from complex web analytics. The hope is that using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches will mitigate some of these issues. The results of the evaluation process will be used for improvement purposes.
In conclusion, we designed and justified our internal/external blogging initiative using the steps above. Organizational culture was very much taken into account in designing our knowledge-sharing approach. We also looked at the literature and similar blogs in coming up with a range of potential approaches. We then ruled out less desirable approaches (such as completely externalizing the internal blog) and decided upon what we thought was the best approach. Finally, we developed a way to evaluate success and ensure process improvement. This is the end of the presentation – we hope you enjoyed it!
Gingrich Ketterer Kunze Group Design Presentation
Bank Blogging: <br />Design and Evaluation of a Knowledge-Sharing Initiative <br />Cynthia Gingrich, Jillian Ketterer and Carrie Kunze<br />
Design/Justify an external knowledge-sharing approach<br /><ul><li>Control external content
Convince employees of external blogging benefits
Many customers use Internet banking and making investments.
Majority of Bloggers are Gen Y/X (“Net-geners”)
Current bank policy allows only internal blogging and strict control over external communications.</li></li></ul><li>Internal Blogging •support connections and collaboration among employees •stimulate innovation and dialogue •blog content can be easily organized and accessed •focus on single issues •allow for self expression<br />External Blogging •enhance credibility •build customer relationships •test new ideas with the public •provides for transparency •constant communication can help with trust and security •a blog gives a bank an equal and immediate platform to participate and respond to outside discussions<br />
5 main blogs each geared toward a specific subject and audience:<br /><ul><li>Wells Fargo-Wachovia blog
Commercial Electronic Office</li></li></ul><li>Three Alternative Methods for External Blogging<br />Only Executives Blog Externally<br />Anonymous External Blogs<br />Automatically open internal blogs externally<br /><ul><li>Internal and external blogs have different audiences
Internal blogs may contain confidential or proprietary information
Author brings credibility, authenticity and readership
Majority of bloggers younger employees or “Net-Geners” who understand blogosphere</li></li></ul><li>CIO begins blog to start internal discussion regarding external blogging<br />A review of internal blogs will determine selection of “Subject Expert” bloggers for areas such as “Personal Finance” or “Investment Banking”<br />CIO<br />Public Relations<br />Privacy Officer<br />Subject Expert Blogger<br />Subject Expert Blogger<br />Subject Expert Blogger<br />Captain Blogger<br />
Is the approach consistent with management philosophy?<br />Is the approach consistent with corporate culture?<br />Are there supportive management and business processes in place?<br />