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At DWG, we get excited about passionate people in our industry. So much so, in 2017, we decided to create an industry award so that we could share our excitement and reward exceptional digital workplace leaders. In 2018, it was RBC Royal Bank’s Aaron Kim who stepped up to the podium at the DW Experience conference in Chicago to receive the prestigious award for Digital Workplace Leader of the Year, from DWG CEO Paul Miller.

The Awards are produced by DWG in partnership with SMG/CMSWire, and celebrate organizations and practitioners who have excelled in creating well-executed, high-performing digital workplace environments.

The entries this year were inspiring (so much so that, as well as choosing the winner, the judges made two “special mentions” – but more on that soon!). Without doubt though, Aaron Kim, Senior Director and Head, Enterprise Collaboration for RBC, was a clear winner. He impressed right across the award criteria of specific achievements, industry contributions, creativity/innovation and overall approach to the digital workplace.

DWG CEO Paul Miller commented after presenting the award to Aaron in Chicago:

“Aaron Kim is a remarkable leader. He combines innovation with inspiration and attention to practical details. For us, recognizing such individuals for their digital workplace contribution matters hugely and that is why we give both individual and organization level awards each year.”

Leading a far-reaching digital workplace programme

Reading Aaron’s story, it quickly became clear to the judging panel that here is a leader with real influence and impact within his organization. The judges particularly acknowledged his successful leadership of internal collaboration initiatives at RBC, in the form of RBC Connect,  through to his involvement in projects relating to innovation, disruptive technologies and employee digital experience.

As one of the judges commented: “Congratulations to this leader on having accomplished the difficult and somewhat rare feat of gaining widespread adoption of internal social tools!” And the adoption figures do speak volumes: from an employee base of c.80,000, 63,000+ are active users and there are 3,600+ active communities.

What, you may ask, is his “secret sauce”? What comes across most strongly, is Aaron’s ability to reduce barriers to participation for employees, as well as empowering people to share knowledge, achieved by simplifying the RBC Connect experience for employees and acting as a relentless advocate of its transformative power.

Exceptional contribution to the industry

The judges were also blown away by Aaron’s contribution to the industry, which includes regular public speaking and writing. His entry, submitted by one of his team, describes him as “generous in sharing his knowledge”, a statement borne out by his many industry contributions – from speaking at dozens of events worldwide, such as JiveWorld, Intra.NET Reloaded, and the O’Reilly Web 2.0 Summit, through to writing on topics such as digital transformation, innovation and emerging technologies, both on Biznology and in various book contributions.

In the words of one of our judges: “Aaron’s public speaking and writing engagements, combined with his ongoing accomplishments with RBC Connect, make him an outstanding candidate for this award.”

As a leader, you know you’re getting a lot of things right when your team have this to say about you: In Aaron, RBC found the perfect storm of experience, knowledge, leadership, visionary outlook, and flawless execution. Although it would seem like RBC Connect is in its ‘mature’ phase, through Aaron’s leadership, we continue to grow and find more use-cases for our employees to work together.”

In 2019, perhaps you will be a winner? Or perhaps you will nominate a digital workplace leader who inspired you? Look out on our website for entries opening early 2019.

Read these blogs to help you enter Four Things our Judges Loved and 7 Reasons to Enter.

Registration for Digital Workplace Experience 2019 is already open with big discounts for early booking.

Digital Workplace Experience 2019

June 17–19, 2019 in Chicago, register now.

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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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