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You may have heard that Digital Workplace Group and Simpler Media Group / CMS Wire are jointly seeking out the best in our profession to recognize in its Digital Workplace Leader of the Year award. Perhaps you know someone who has what it takes to win? If so, we really, really want to know! Maybe that person is YOU – and nominating yourself is fine too.

First, what it doesn’t take!

Back in 2014, I did some research for DWG on making the shift from intranet management to becoming a digital workplace leader. At the time, a LinkedIn search for professionals with “digital workplace” in their job title surfaced scant results. Fast forward three years and the digital workplace manager is somewhat less of a rare breed. Nevertheless, even a quick look across our profession reveals a wide range of job titles that reflect the diversity of cultures and needs of the various organizations we work in.
To put it briefly, you don’t need to have “digital workplace manager” as your job title in order to enter – or indeed to win – DWG’s Digital Workplace Leader of the Year Award. In fact, you or the person you nominate may have quite a different title:

What we are looking for in the entries, beyond the job title, are the individual’s specific achievements relating to their organization’s digital workplace, contributions to the industry as a whole, as well as any particularly creative or innovative approaches.

A broad set of skills

In our research, we found that digital workplace professionals come from a whole range of backgrounds and that what has been considered a “traditional” intranet skillset has rapidly expanded to encompass new capabilities:

We also found it takes a whole lot more than the right skillset to orient towards digital workplace success.

Beyond the skills

In a recent podcast, Paul Miller explored how passionate people create the best digital workplaces. He reflected on the “care, attention, experimentation and sheer restlessness” he sees in pioneers within our industry. It’s a theme we’ve tracked over the years, dating back to our curiously named 2011 research paper “Intranet Love Affairs: Be passionate about your intranet”.

As intranet managers are stepping up to broader digital workplace roles, they are not only organizing and managing the digital tools of work, they are also inspiring and motivating both leaders and colleagues towards a vision of the digital world of work that is at the very heart of their organization’s success.

Perfection not required

That said, we know that every digital workplace, even the most advanced ones, are a work in progress. That’s true also of the professionals who lead, nurture, create and cajole them forwards. We don’t expect the “finished article”. We do love to hear about passionate individuals in the industry who are doing great work though.

Have you entered yet?

We welcome people nominating themselves for this award. We often get told not to “blow our own trumpet” but there’s room for acknowledging a job well done, so please don’t feel shy.

Alternately, you may want to think about someone who has impressed you in the industry recently. Maybe they inspired you with a talk about their work at a conference? Or they’re a colleague whose passion and persistence is helping advance the digital workplace within your organization? Or they’re a practitioner who shares insights via a blog, helping to develop thought leadership in the industry?

Whichever it is, just 15 minutes of your time could mean the chance for you or them to get the deserved recognition with this prominent award.

The deadline for submissions is on or before midnight EDT on May 15, 2017 and all you need to do is submit a statement in up to 500 words including:

  • details of any specific achievements within the organization (50%)
  • contribution to the industry and any relevant activities / experience (10%)
  • any particularly creative or innovative approaches (20%)
  • overall approach / methodology towards advancing the digital workplace (20%).

Research and Resources

Becoming a
Digital Workplace Leader

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About the author

Elizabeth Marsh - DWG's Director of ResearchElizabeth Marsh leads the Digital Workplace Group’s member research and events. She is passionate about connecting members to peers or resources and exploring new research opportunities.

Elizabeth is co-author, with Paul Miller, of the new book “The Digital Renaissance of Work—Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future”.

Prior to joining DWG, Elizabeth held intranet management roles at T-Mobile and Reuters, with broad-ranging responsibilities including community management, internal communications and research.

When not busy in the digital workplace, Elizabeth is a keen writer and musician, playing flute in an amateur orchestra and performing with various local groups.

Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter at @digitalsanity or on Google +.

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