Building an army of ESN champions

I was reminded this week that it was just over 2 years ago that we launched the Hub, our global enterprise social network here at KPMG. Thinking back those early days I remember both the excitement and trepidation that I felt as I tried to imagine what the organisation would look like with everyone using our new social platform.

One topic I kept coming back (and still do) to time and again was that we would need to recruit an army of Champions to help us sell the story of the Hub and to build momentum across our global network.  Yes we had a model for rolling out and driving adoption by country but the total headcount of those resources was tiny in comparison to the size of the organisation.  They could not do it alone. I should also explain that like many other professional service organisations, the one I work for is effectively a network of franchised countries who all use the same branding, name etc. but who are all autonomous in their own right. Each has its own unique culture too (that’s a whole other post..). We have to work through standard deployment steps with each one but importantly once beyond that we need arms and legs on the ground to help to foster, sell and ultimately to drive adoption.


As each country’s Hub journey begins, there is a country lead who takes care of all the deployment steps (Risk, Security etc. etc.) and who works identify the first local use cases who will form the early adopting communities. Local community managers are then identified at the individual Group level (or Subjects as we call them) – these folks get some basic training in their roles and responsible as Subject Managers of those groups and are encouraged to join our Subject Managers network to share experience and knowledge and collaborate around their role etc. And so it goes on in each country and for global /cross border groups where the same Subject Manager model applies too…

Despite all this however what we do lack is a solid network of key individuals who really champion the Hub beyond those Country leads and the global or local Subject Managers.  These are the people who are passionate about social, who get it and who question at every step why others are not using it.  We tend to find that they do exist and are the real social advocates but they are very few and far between. Finding more of them is hard. In short we need to recruit real Champions who can be the extended arms, ears and advocates of the Hub. Who can sell it to others and infect their enthusiasm on others.

At the other end of the scale we are building out Global Community Manager resource capabilities from a central global team perspective but these folks serve a different purpose…

To provide a sense of scale, today we have over 90+ countries live (out of 150), around 1,700 communities and 29,000 active users on the Hub but despite all the process and structure we still struggle to identify a decent number of true champions who we can rely in to sell the story of the Hub to others.  29,000 may sound like a decent number of active user but when you consider we are a massive global network (of which around 95,000 have access to the Hub today) and when you look at the total global headcount of nearly 158,000 you realise we have some way yet to go on our journey.  The Champion role is therefore a key piece therefore that we need to focus on and accelerate rapidly.

So for me one thing I want I want to get out of #ESNanon is come away with practical steps and examples from others around how they have gone about building their army of Champions beyond their central CM resources.

So looking forwards to connecting on this topic on the 21st March at ESNanon




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