Creating a corporate strategic vision is hard work. From understanding emerging trends to gaining buy-in from clashing stakeholders, your corporate strategy is the result hours of research, negotiation, and planning. But for any strategy to be successful, it needs to be clearly communicated to employees—those key players who will deliver on your strategy.
When the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the world’s leading body for professional accountants, introduced their Strategy to 2020, they realized that their organization would face quite a communications challenge. With 95 offices and centers around the world, employees used a variety of communications tools. How would they get everyone onboard and working together towards the new strategic vision?
Fragmented systems and silos
Over the past 15 years, ACCA had more than doubled their membership and student numbers*. This rapid growth included opening new offices, onboarding new employees, and expanding across the globe. But their teams were using a patchwork of communications tools: an old, one-way intranet, supplemented by Yammer’s social features and various email lists. With this lack of integration, employees weren’t sure which content was the most up-to-date. Clearly, communicating a new strategic vision to over 1,200 employees would be a major challenge under the old system.
Building a business case for a centralized internal communications channel
In 2012, ACCA put together a business case for a new intranet. The system needed to support their vision of increasing knowledge sharing, fostering innovation, and ensuring a coordinated global strategy. Executives knew they had one shot to get it right. If they chose a platform that users didn’t buy into, the organization could end up splintering further, losing momentum, morale, and money.
Bringing a vision to life
Adoption is critical to building a centralized communications channel. With the help of ThoughtFarmer’s professional services team, ACCA thoughtfully designed their intranet to be highly engaging right from launch by:
- Giving the intranet a voice and a persona: ACCA added an element of fun and paid homage to their company’s history by naming their intranet Arthur, after their first president in 1904. They gave Arthur his own intranet profile—a cartoon profile complete with moustache and top hat—that communicates on behalf of the intranet team.
- Making the strategic plan visible and engaging: Their Strategy to 2020 was integrated throughout the intranet, including a monthly CEO vlog, as well as a visual download link on the home page.
- Optimizing for findability: Using modern user experience design methods, ACCA trimmed down old content and made fresh, new content easy to find for employees. They also tailored newsfeed content, so employees only received information that was relevant to them. Lastly, they decommissioned old systems, so employees now have one central source for information.
Uniting ACCA with one intranet and one cohesive strategy
A once fragmented and siloed organization has become unified by their intranet. Arthur, ACCA’s social intranet, has brought everyone together on a modern, engaging platform. Arthur has given teams their own spaces share information and innovate while bringing everyone together under one mission and one vision.
Thinking Ahead at ACCA
It’s been three years since launch. Hear how Sarah Moffatt, Internal Communications Channel Manager at ACCA, is successfully using ThoughtFarmer to think ahead and continuously improving their internal communications.
The Long Wow
As ACCA continues to grow, their internal communications team is always looking for ways that Arthur can evolve with the organization. They recently refreshed their intranet to keep building a strong sense of community under a coordinated global strategy.
“We introduced a ‘Think Ahead’ tagline,” Sarah says, “as there was an important need to ensure our external and internal communications were aligned. To support this vision, we added some benefits and functionality to Arthur’s homepage. A carousel at the top keeps strategic news pieces up for longer, and a portlet allows a quick click through to our Strategy to 2020.”
Sarah is thrilled with how their intranet has transformed ACCA. She is excited to see Arthur bringing people together and how this delivers on their corporate strategy.