During the transformation planning process last year, we began using a variety of social media tools to invite staff discussion and participation in transforming the agency. Staff participation has been and continues to be critical in providing new ideas as well as feedback for our transformation initiatives. As we continue to work on transforming the agency, we are carefully investing in new social media tools to sustain and increase staff collaboration and participation.
One of the tools we are preparing to roll out to staff over the first half of 2012 is a tool we are calling the Internal Collaboration Network (ICN). What is it? The ICN is a social business software tool for the staff to more easily communicate and work together. We are using the Jive Social Business software platform to make it happen. Check out this short video that previews how this kind of software is helping NASA today:
Although we are at the forefront of federal agencies using a comprehensive social media tool for our work, we are definitely not alone. We surveyed peer organizations, looked at their lessons learned, and discussed social collaboration systems with their staff. Examples of what others are doing include: the Army’s MilBook, NASA’s Spacebook, Defense’s DoDTechipedia, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Knowledge Center.
These organizations understand the value in using social media tools that enable staff to collaborate on projects, communicate across offices, and build a searchable knowledge base. It’s simply about all of us efficiently working together.
Effective use of our Internal Collaboration Network will help NARA staff reach our transformation goals by:
- sharing best practices and knowledge across agency offices (One NARA)
- building our internal infrastructure with innovative tools (Out in Front)
- sharing our expertise and opinions (An Agency of Leaders)
- learning from each other, encouraging innovation, and allowing for trial and error (A Great Place to Work)
- improving work processes (A Customer-Focused Organization)
- making internal information easily accessible to other staff (An Open NARA)
The tool alone will not break down silos or build bridges. The tool alone will not encourage innovation or increase productivity. But it will make these things easier to do. I am calling on the leaders of NARA, whatever your position in the agency, to take hold of this tool when it is available to you and use it as one of your ways to transform the agency.
**To avoid the appearance of endorsing a product, as per our posting policy, we removed the embedded Jive software platform video on November 28, 2011. You can still view the video here: http://youtu.be/S8Y89jALsXo – NARA staff