Notes on CCS102 The Emergence of Business Networks and Communities – connect.BASF

Dr CheeChin Liew is presenting on business networks and communities at BASF. CheeChin is the Enterprise Community Manager at BASF SE.

My notes on his session:
– BASF started with Connections in May 2010. Will be talking about lessons from the past 18 months.
– … BASF is a €64 billion chemical company, with 110,000 employees around the world.
– … areas of interest – chemicals, plastics, performance products, functional solutions, agricultural solutions, and oil and gas.
– … goal of connect.BASF – to complement hierarchies and teams with a network of formal and informal communities, so as to be fully connected.
– … from idea to launch: initial idea in 2007, business (HR, research, change management, and IT) team in 2008 to develop the concept, pilot in 2009, and decision in 2010 for global roll-out. Launched within 1 month – basically a communications launch.
– the what and why?
– … (1) create value through connectedness – eg., strategic principle – to form the best team. Mission – to develop one online business network. Objectives – develop active use, build one network, and develop best practices.
– … (2) question – how do we integrate it into daily work?
– …. … first thing – become visible by setting up your profile, joining a community, etc.
– … … second thing – to share knowledge (search, tag —> using blogs, forums, and bookmarks)
– … … third thing – start to collaborate – eg., through sharing files, using wikis.
– … (3) develop a governance structure – with community managers (formal positions), complemented with advocates and community builders
– … (4) engage employees – facilitating the first steps, pull use (not push), and have exciting launch communication (eg., key visuals, tangible benefits, stories (via cartoon videos to describe a scenario), and regions before headquarters).
– … (5) fostering adoption – increase awareness (roadshow to present and demonstrate BASF sites), promote exchange (face-to-face meeting), transfer business needs to actions (consulting to find solutions), and gather and transferring best practices. (It was gratifying to note the similarity in the stages to what I talk about in User Adoption Strategies).

– result of the first 18 months:
– … grew to 28,500 users within 18 months (out of 110,000 employees). 36% of users are invited by colleagues (“viral adoption”).
– … communities have grown to 2,300 communities. Over half of the communities are restricted access. Only 50% of registered users are members of a community.
– … there are various scenarios being supported by communities – eg., experts and professions, and personal networks (among others).
– … half best practice awards every 6 months. Users nominate and vote on these.
– … community managers say they get various benefits – finding experts and stakeholders, increases the value of knowledge, and boosting efficiency, among others.
– success stories and outlook:
– … a project team – working openly in a community, with Connections being a collaboration hub. By shifting to Connections, the project timing was shrunk by 25%.
– … finding answers to questions within minutes.
– … feeling connected in an hour of need – eg., quickly getting involved after environmental disasters.
– … have been invited to give talks on this topic, and written up as a case study.
– integration – to Intranet, Internet, social media channels, corporate blogs and wikis, etc.
– best practices:
– … visible commitment from top managament
– … people-oriented and voluntary character
– … leadership by advocates and community builders
– … sharing and transfef of best pratices and succss stories
– … integratin of communications.

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