Yammer – Our Ideation Hub

March 12, 2019
The original article is published on the Microsoft Tech Community Yammer Blog.

Employee engagement and creativity are some of the most desired characteristics of successful organizations. With collaboration through communication platforms, organizations can easily improve their performances and accomplish more in their projects. Today, more than ever, organizations have countless apps and tools at their disposal in their attempt to raise them. However, great choice brings great confusion. So, sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best.

Yammer, an often-overseen tool, has been around for years in your Office365 toolbox. And in our organization’s experience, often, it’s the only tool we’ve needed to really drive employee engagement.  It has brought a very modern environment to our everyday business life. On this platform, among other things, we are exchanging ideas and sharing knowledge, no matter where we are.

Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney said: : “The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.” Additionally from my own experience, I would add to this quote the importance of human interaction, free debate, arguments and exchange of opinions.

This is exactly the point where Yammer, as a tool for company`s communication, helps elevate our ideas into new products, methodologies or an entire new path in our business.

Ideation Hub

One of the specific areas where we use Yammer in our company is a Group for ideas – our private Ideation place. It allows us to create our own “Idea Hub” through Yammer’s functionalities of posts, likes and polls. We share our own innovations and ideas that “tickle our” minds and allow them to spread around the office and collect feedback.

We use polls to ask our colleagues’ opinions on topics, thoughts and different points of view or just collect opinions. The team is also invited to post useful links, such as webinars that are in line with ideas, or reviews of favorite business books that complement the discussion.

Ideation Process in Yammer

My colleague suggested on Yammer a new service for our company to offer our clients. The suggestion was to create and offer our version of an idea management workshop where we would develop sparks in people for new ideas based on our own experience with ideation. After the initial posting and conversations about this offering, we searched our database and previous Yammer conversations. Collecting the previous conversation and related content helps the team develop new techniques for creating new ideas and how it’s worked for other parts of the business to gain a few different examples to share. Currently, we are confident that we will evolve this initial idea into action very soon and start to offer this kind of solution for our own clients.

We already have developed a public speaking workshop via a Yammer post and conversation within our Idea Hub. It’s workshop that our clients can now enroll in.

Ideation poll crotian.pngNote: Text is in Croatian

Not all ideas come to life

Those are two examples of glory moments from our Ideation group. But our ideation hub records the successes and our failures. We are very proud on this part also. Motto for us about failure is – fail now, fail small.

Some of the failures are changes in previous way of work. An example of this was an introduction to a new way of leading interviews with including question beforehand. However, this approach did not work because the way people on the interview only could focus on those questions, and didn’t have the ability to think on their feet and add new questions or themes throughout the interview.  This is one of many examples where we had an idea that was born on Yammer but in practice it didn’t pan out how we thought it might. But the examples that we have tested, tried and shared this way – all born on Yammer.

One of the best things that come out of it is that, over time, we’ve created a pretty big knowledge base about all the generated ideas and suggestions.

We also have a pretty good idea of our failures and successes because we’ve been sharing them throughout our journey with Yammer. 

And that has become our own wall of fame.

If you want to learn more about Ideation in Yammer review this Use Case Deep Dive: Ideation and Innovation for step by step guide and tips and tricks. . And more helpful tips for running a Yammer group can be found in the Yammer Group Owner Guide.  

Let us know below if you've had an idea that has sparked on Yammer and become something more! 

Katarina Zenko.jpg

Katarina Zenko is from Zagreb, Croatia. Her everyday job is to helping people raise their level of internal communication in company using Microsoft Office tools at InfoCumulus.  She is connecting people by finding their common themes and interests by creating their use cases and materials for further communication. Katarina helps her customer feel the importance of sharing and collaborating with others on projects. She finds this type of work fun and glad to be part of this kind of a changes in companies.

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