The innovation rally was an important turning point, an initiative conducted on the social platform that was led by management and included participation from top executives, including State Street chairman, president and CEO Jay Hooley. To help maximize that executive participation, the social collaboration champions who had the most experience with the platform offered "reverse mentoring" to company leaders, Waryas said. "Having that framework and network in place helped us to be successful in the rally."
The volume of response the rally generated turned out to be a challenge all its own. "That's where the collaboration really came into play -- we took the best ideas and built communities around them so the people who had participated in the discussion could build a business case for executive management," Waryas said. Of those, right now it looks like there are 16 ideas with a reasonable expectation of return on investment that will get a closer look. "A lot of those ideas were for things that already existed, but people didn't know about them," she added.
The rally was conducted using the basic discussion tools of the social platform, which meant when the rally was concluded her team had to manually sift through the 12,000 posts to find the best ideas. "We didn't realize all the work involved," she said. Since then, State Street has taken advantage of NewsGator's ideation module for similar projects, using peer voting on ideas to make it easier to summarize the results of these internal crowdsourcing projects.
Although all employees have a login that allows them to participate on the social platform, they have to go to the effort of creating a SharePoint MySite profile to become an active participant.
With the launch of the social intranet, the company will probably push harder to get employees to set up social profiles, or at "at a minimum provide corporate directory information," Waryas said. At "lunch and learn" training sessions, there is usually a photo table to make it easier for people to get a profile photo they can use.
Profiles are important because if people tag themselves correctly, according to area of expertise -- say, OTC derivatives -- they will automatically be notified when someone posts a question on that topic and will also be featured prominently in an expertise search. "It's just the power of crowdsourcing -- if you hashtag a particular topic in a post, you'll reach any person who has that topic in their expertise, so you can start to crowdsource to get the right answer," Waryas said.
Some of the greatest potential lies with the delivery of better service to clients, for example by global asset managers who may not know everyone on their team. By bringing them together in a single community, they can "find someone else around the company who had to answer the same question for another customer. The challenge now is to capture those things and put them into a knowledge repository of frequently asked questions," she said.