Roundup Uncategorised

2022 – the international year of many hats

Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m a creative communications professional. I wear a lot of hats. Both literally and metaphorically (and I’m always on the quest for magnificent millinery to fit my sizeable head). 2022 was an interesting year, personally and professionally.

From L:R: 1. Visiting Red Hat Towers 2. Featuring in The Times as part of the Colour Walk 3. My new “press hat” on way back from Australia 4. My QuizMaster hat 5. Wearing my large oversize hat at the Colour Walk 6. Wearing a crown as Queen of Hearts 7. Wearing a sun hat while on a photographer’s walk 8. Wearing a headpiece from Natalie Webb (pic by Danny Jackson)

International travel opened up once again – and I took full advantage. The nature of my work meant I could spend a little more time with friends and family, and I’ve been spending more time hanging out with fellow artists too!

10 highlights from my year include:

  1. Devising the user-centred content strategy for a manufacturing company’s new website – I interviewed a diverse range of users including someone running the lab at a nuclear power plant in Canada!
  2. Contributing to the Clearbox Employee Apps and Employee Experience platform reports, which improved my knowledge of the tech available to help organisations communicate
  3. Spending time with the tribe of wonderful, colourful creative people at the Colour Walks in London and Brighton
  4. Establishing a local meet-up called #ItsPubOClock to help connect others like me who often work from home, but want to meet new people.
  5. Helping a communications team consider what good might look like for their intranet, and unpack their existing governance challenges
  6. Taking part in Dulcie’s creative Sketchfest workshops and Sketchybition and improving my sketching abilities
  7. Being part of the agenda of the fabulous IABC World Conference in New York, and finally finding a membership organisation that feels right for me and my skillset.
  8. Delivering content design training to large organisations with Christine at Crocstar to help people understand about creating accessible content
  9. Attending the Step Two digital employee experience conference in person in Sydney – reconnecting with some wonderful intranerds and meetings others in person for the first time
  10. Co-hosting an episode of the WB-40 podcast as well as getting to meet some of the gang in-person, too

I also visited Red Hat Towers, went out and about solving an immersive puzzle in Swansea, joined a photographer’s walk with photographer extraordinaire Danny Jackson, took part in a fantastic retreat run by Laura Brunton, filled a pub with friends and family for my 40th, ran a Taskmaster-style game event for ~35 people and more.

Independent consultants don’t operate in isolation, and 2022 feels like a year where I’ve properly (re)found my tribes – and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2023 has in store.

L:R 1. With Catherine Grenfell at the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney 2. With the Step Two gang in Sydney 3. At a Colour Walk in Leake Street 4. With Christine Cawthorne 5. With Laura Brunton at the IABC event in London 6. At IABC World Conference in New York 7. With Kurt Kragh Sorenson in London

I help organisations improve the way they communicate. I’m usually the techiest person in a comms team, or the commsiest person in a tech or product team – or am brought in to advise teams on the best way forward.

Over the years I’ve worked in-house, vendor and agency-side, freelance, as a contractor, consultant and associate. I’m often found working in and around intranets and internal comms, as well as managing digital products and projects for large organisations.

I bring an artist’s perspective to visualising business processes and customer journeys and help connect people and ideas. If you’d like to connect with me, drop me a line at lisa [@] or find me on LinkedIn.

Reflections Uncategorised

42 things I heard at the #IntranetNow Conference

This week I had the joy of going to an event filled with a very specific kind of geek.  Whether your term of choice is the digital workplace,  intranet, portal, gateway, hub or dumping ground, I got to speak, listen and learn with people inordinately passionate about improving the way people communicate online at the Intranet Now conference.

Now, I’ve been told off in the past that doodling in my notepad doesn’t look all that professional, but I actually find it’s a great way of retaining knowledge.  For example, I can still tell you that Jerome Bruner, that great educational constructivist type (ok, that’s getting a little rusty) wrote at length about scaffolding childrens’ learning, as I once drew his name into a large wall, covered in scaffolding poles.

Anyhoo. I digress. Everyone loves a listicle, so here’s some of what I heard at #IntranetNow, in no particular order…

1-6ish. Don’t hover/bother, do bribe.

Get people involved in your testing, but don’t get too involved – sit on your hands if you have to – you have to see how people will use your systems without intervention.

A round-up of @Cal444's wonderful lightning talk on proper testing.
A round-up of @Cal444‘s wonderful lightning talk on proper testing.


7-13ish: Get others to invest in your wonder.

Be inclusive, make heavyweight allies to help negotiate office politics and gain adoption and acceptance of your site.

Francis Rowland's insights into UX and adoption
@FrancisRowland‘s tips on sewing the seeds of UX and getting people involved


14-19: Strong UX + Bitesize Content = Award-winning LMS

How do you eat an elephant? One bitesize piece of learning and development content,  delivered just in time, at a time.

Martin Pope's ace presentation on delivering useful content
Martin Pope‘s ace presentation on delivering useful content


20-24: Start small, but scaleable to make loveable content

Or why iterative, cloud-based development may in fact be our future.  I also love cranes and lego.
Dan Thomsen at Webtop on making bricks, not building sites


25-30: Remember the ubiquitous laws of the interweb.

In my humble experience of managing online communities, the biggest challenge for a workplace social network can be to get people to participate in the first place; once you DO have that critical mass of people using the site, remembering these four rules will stand you in great stead for building a positive network!


Luke Mepham's rules of the interweb
Luke Mepham‘s rules of the interweb

  •  Don’t draw unnecessarily large levels of attention to things that would otherwise go unnoticed
  • Step in where necessary so debates don’t descend into anarchy
  • Take time to understand your audience – tone doesn’t travel
  • Anonymity transcends all moral decency – make promises not threats to deal with dissidence appropriately.

31-35ish: If you succeed, you’re a statistical anomaly

Apart from following the above rules, transparency is key. Listen to your community, make sure there are clear rules for governance and ownership.

Richard Hare on how many ways can YOU mess up an online community...
Richard Hare on how many ways can YOU mess up an online community…


36-42: Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the RFID-enabled candlestick

There’s a beautiful, connected future at our fingertips. Imagine that you could use YOUR intranet to play a massive, multi-player game of Cluedo, using your building information management system, RFID tags, wifi beacons and smartphones. Invotra, I’m looking at YOU to make. this.happen.


Paul Zimmerman's intranet of things
Paul Zimmerman’s marvellous intranet of things

Or, perhaps you’d find it more useful to know if a meeting room was available, or who turned up to a training session, or where in the building hotdesking Fred is sitting today.

Either way, there are practical ways to connect our online and physical worlds – I’m sure Paul would love to talk to you more about it.

Such learn. So doodles. So wow. Hopefully more to come…

I’ve been wrangling with whether to create a separate “work” and “play” Twitter account, but there’s often so much crossover between the two. If you found this, you may already follow me on the Twitter. Come and join the puns…