Digital Workplace Logo


You are here: Home » Resources » Collaboration & social » Making intranets global and local at the same time

Thanks for visiting the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) website. You'll see this post may refer to the "Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF)," the "Digital Workplace Forum (DWF)" or "IBF Live." But that doesn't match our website name!

In a nutshell, we merged IBF and DWF into one service and changed our name to "Digital Workplace Group." The new name represents the broader set of services we've grown to offer, beyond an original focus on just intranets. We also changed the name of our monthly webinar from "IBF Live" to "Digital Workplace Live."

Although we've relabelled things, we're proud of our decade+ history and have left this page intact. Enjoy your time on our site and please contact us with any questions or comments.

One of the many challenges around intranet development, especially in a large or dispersed organisation, is making content REALLY relevant to the end user.

When IBF benchmark intranets, one of the many aspects it covers is around "global / local balance", both in terms of content contribution and content delivery.

As a user in a small local office of a multinational organisation, you probably want to see local news about your business, along with what’s on the menu on the canteen, but also you’d like an understanding of where you fit into the big global picture – what is the organisation doing as a whole. 

Delivering this delicate mix of content is key to ensuring an intranet delivers relevance for the user and supports the engagement of staff in the wider business strategy.  The key is understanding from the start what users need to do their job, plus what would motivate and interest them to feel part of the larger organisation.  How do you do this?  Involve your users, or local team managers, in the process right from the start.

Which brings me onto the other aspect of "global / local balance" – the content creation stage.  Having the right person create the really local content is key.  One organisation I recently worked with had the office receptionist/manager update the content.  This worked brilliantly for them because this role in each local office knew everything that was going on, as well as what was on local people’s minds, just through passing conversations. 

So considering the most relevant people to publish is just as important as having a publishing model in place which supports both aspects.

Jane McConnell has also recently written an article on just this subject. Her blog is actually called "Globally Local and Locally Global" and here she describes why;

"I think I have never explained why I named this blog "Globally Local and Locally Global" so here goes. For me, those 5 words represent the deepest, most difficult challenge of all global intranets and portals.  And I do mean 5 words, and not 4. The "and" is as important – if not more – than the other 2 sides of the equation!"

For more tips on how to achieve this, the full article is well worth a read!

About the author

Nancy Goebel - DWG's Managing Director for Member & Benchmarking ServicesNancy Goebel is DWG’s Managing Director for Member Services. In addition to heading up service delivery, she is responsible for member engagement, retention and growth. Nancy also sits on DWG’s Board of Directors.

Prior to joining the Digital Workplace Group, Nancy was a accomplished executive at JPMorgan Chase where she built and led a global team in desigining and implementing an award-winning intranet. She also led digital enablement and business re-engineering initiatives.

Outside work, Nancy is a wine maker, fundraiser, meditator, wife and mother of two.

Connect with Nancy on Twitter: @nancyatdwg or on Google +.

One Comment

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Are you ready for the digital workplace?
Learn and explore the new digital world of work.
Your information will never be shared with any third party.
Are you ready to connect with DWG?
Learn and explore the new digital world of work.
Your information will never be shared with any third party.
I hereby acknowledge that the Digital Workplace 24 Video Library is designated for my professional use alone and may not be shared with any other parties, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the Digital Workplace Group.