Enabling collaboration, implementing web governance & developing your career: interview with Lisa Welchman
As part of a series of interviews with presenters at the upcoming Together London Masterclasses, May 3-4 2012, I interviewed Lisa Welchman about implementing web governance, enabling collaboration and cross-functional working in organisations, and developing your career as a web manager. If you like this interview, don’t miss Lisa’s masterclass on 4 May in London–tickets are still available.
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Jonathan Kahn: I’m talking to Lisa Welchman who’s an expert in web governance. Lisa, you’re a consultant. You work with organizations to establish web governance. My question is how have these organizations managed up until now without understanding how to use web governance? What causes them to come and talk to you and ask you for help? Where does this kind of start?
Lisa Welchman: Well, I think the first thing I would say is organizations haven’t managed without web governance up until now. Any organization has some form of web governance in play. Now, whether or not it’s effective or not is a different story. Web governance doesn’t necessarily mean putting things in a strait jacket. It just means understanding who’s accountable for establishing policies and standards inside the organization and how loose how you’re going to be about compliance to those things. Most people have some paradigm that they’re using, even if it’s kind of ad hoc or not. What gets people thinking that they have a web governance problem is usually something practical. They’re trying to achieve something across the entire site, and they’re realizing that they can’t do it either because they can’t get all of the stakeholders to line up and either implement the same design, or use the same technology platform.They realize usually, the they in this is the central web team inside the organization, realizes that they really don’t have any authority, real authority, to insist that people use a particular platform or adhere to a certain design standard, or whatever the case may be. It’s usually something like that that makes them realize they’ve got an actual governance issue and that they need to look at how they’re working in this area, and tighten up their procedures.
Jonathan: You’re saying they do have governance, but it’s not sufficient that they would actually have any, the web team would have any authority over what’s really going to happen…
Lisa: Yeah, I mean for the Digital Governance Journal, which is an online journal, Graham Oaks recently wrote an article that we’re getting ready to put up. One of the things that he talks about is how, you know, one method of web governance is anarchy. [laughs] It may not be the one that you want, but it actually is a form of governance. It kind of exists as it is, it’s usually just not adequate, and that’s what people are realizing. All of this stems from kind of the organic nature of the web and how everyone adopted it inside an organization. It really wasn’t a strategic decision to adopt the web. People kind of stumbled upon it, and then implemented it incrementally over the last 10 to 15 years. They really didn’t have a moment where they stopped and said, “Hey, we’d really like to figure out how to govern this.”At this point now that the digital presence and website and mobile and social, they’re all strategic assets for the organization. They’re realizing that they need to have a little more method to the madness.
Jonathan: When people come to you, are they actually saying, “I’m trying to get my specific project done and governance is a problem for that. Can you just come and help me launch my campaign or whatever it is?” Is it some short term thing like that? Are they actually saying, “I want you to sort this out on a sort of medium term viewpoint.”?
Lisa: It’s really all of the above. There are reasons why people… Frequently it’s something like, “We tried to do a redesign over and over again and we can’t get everyone on board. Where we’re trying to implement at WCM system, and we’re trying to get, and this unit over here doesn’t want to use it.” There’s also kind of this growing contingent of folks that are just calling kind of throwing their hands and saying, “It’s just a mess.” It’s clear that we’ve got all of this content and all of these applications on a server. In some instances, they don’t even know what they have. No one’s taken anything down for years and years and years, so they know that they have a quality problem, and that it may be causing some risks for the organization, and certainly might be causing issues with search, find-ability, and things like that.It’s just this kind of holistic sense of “Wow, we really created this monster, and now we need to somehow get it under control. How can we do that? How can we interact with all of the people inside the organization who were on our digital presence, and get us all kind of lined up and marching in the same general direction?”
How that looks for the organization is going to depend on the management style, the mission of the organization, the culture of the organization. Those are things that people are really thinking about a lot.
Jonathan: You could talk about governance forever in a way. You could talk about any level of time frame when you’re talking about governance. When people are coming to you and saying, “We have a problem with our implementation of whatever, content management system.” What type of timescale are you able to engage with them? Do you kind of just, do you set off processes that continue when you leave? What’s the kind of time frame for the work you’re doing with them?
Lisa: This is a permanent operational solution. As I mentioned before, it’s not that they’re not governing, it’s that they’re not governing well. Very few organizations as I mentioned are anarchy before, but very few organizations have a paradigm where people are just allowed to do what they want and put whatever they want on the server. There’s some type of governing mechanism. It just lacks clarity. That’s any kind of first cause omnipresent thing inside the organization. All I’m doing when I work with people is tweaking it, and tuning it so it works the way it needs to work inside that organization so it’s effective. People have governance, it’s just not effective.I don’t really like to think of it as a sort of project with a beginning, middle and end. It’s just sort of chiropractic adjustments that we’re making in certain areas of the organization to get everything flowing in a better stream, or at least in the direction that the organization needs it to go in.
I really think of myself as a very small change agent. This isn’t some big over processed type of thing that we’re trying to install in an organization. It really is about tuning. If you approach it as, “We’re going to just re engineer this whole thing,” you probably won’t succeed, because if you can’t redesign your website, you probably can’t really redesign the web organization that effectively either.
Usually there’s a lot going right. It doesn’t really require that kind of massive overhaul.
Jonathan: OK. One of the things that web professionals always seem to have trouble with is siloed thinking and turf wars within organizations where you have historic departments which own things like marketing, technology, or sales, or customer support, and they’re used to working in their siloed, individual areas where they do their thing very, very well. They never really used to have to work so closely with all of these different departments. This must be something that comes up when you talk about governance. How do you deal with that type of problem?
Lisa: I express it less as a problem. It’s sort of a state of affairs, right?
Lisa: Yeah. If you’re going to have any organization of any size, it will specialize and compartmentalize and turn into silos. In a lot of different ways, we leverage that expertise and that specialization. We want to know where are the visual experts, and where the application development experts when we need them? It’s the collaboration piece that’s really difficult. Websites in particular instigate and amplify an organization’s ability to… Well, I should say instigate. It amplifies the state that that organization is in when it comes to collaboration. If you don’t collaborate, you can really see it on a website, right? That you don’t know how to collaborate. It’s really figuring out how to streamline those touch points. There are a lot of different ways to handle that and overcome that.For instance, I’m working with one client right now. We were actually picking up all of the user experience and content people and putting them in the IT department with the application developers, because that works for that organization. There’s actually the most sponsorship for digital on the IT side of the organization. That’s really an effective way to handle it. They’re actually putting that expertise over there.
I think that makes sense for them. I am a proponent of kind of the standalone digital team, but a lot of organizations kind of can’t wrap their heads around creating a separate entity that has you know, marketing, communications, content strategy, user experience people in the same group with IT people. There’s just this kind of cultural rift where people think they can’t exist together.
That’s a little bit kind of old school shallow thinking, because this group is creating the probably largest organizational artifact, which is its digital presence.
Jonathan: You’re saying this case study, you’re saying the department that used to be IT is now going to contain all of these different professionals, but that sounds to me like cross-functional working. That’s not what traditionally used to be IT.
Lisa: That’s right. Labels are labels. I don’t really care about that. I will pick up anyone and move them anywhere where I think we’re going to get a better quality digital presence, or we’re going to be able to enable stronger collaboration. This particular organization has a lot of applications that they’ve developed, and part of the problem is that they work well, but they look really bad. The user experience is… They’ve got competent people who can do the day to day maintenance of the content in the communications areas and the other business units. That part’s really great. The real part is “Can we get a good framework of user experience and content strategy around and embedded in this application development piece of it?” The other people are actually kind of engineered to care about those things. They’re much better.In some ways, it really makes a lot of sense. We’re taking expertise and putting it next to other expertise so that they can have this blending. I’m sure it’s going to work in both ways. A lot of content people don’t know a lot about application development and what the constraints are. I’m hoping that proximity, and that means physical proximity, is going to help.
Jonathan: This is reminding me of the… Are you familiar with “The Lean Start-Up” by Eric Ries, which is mainly about cross-functional, it’s about the move to cross-functional teams at the end of the industrial era. Is there some link between… This is happening like across the board, as you say, there’s lots of content people who are unhappy with Agile, which is normally where an IT department says, “We’re going to work in this non-linear way, iterative way.” Then the writers have a problem with that, which might be due to the fact that the developers are interpreting Agile in a very kind of narrow engineering-y way when it’s actually about not specializing in anything, but kind of being open to wherever this thing might go and kind of letting go of always knowing where you’re going. That kind of stuff.There’s kind of bigger issues going on than any one professional might see in terms of the change in organizational structure. Are you seeing a link between that kind of death of Waterfall and the move towards Agile and the move towards cross-functional teams, and away from specialization in the work you’re doing in governance?
Lisa: That’s an interesting question. I wish that I saw the death of Waterfall, but the reality is in a lot of large organizations, I don’t see the death of Waterfall. They talk about it, almost every business process, an deep business processes including the way people are paid, and so that that reward structure and all of this stuff is tied into this kind of long-winded project management methodology. It’s just a lot to untie that in organizations, which is why I think some business will fail rather than change, because it’s really hard to make that type of transformation.
Jonathan: Can you talk to me about that? This question of, organizations will fail rather than change. You look at an organization today, and you can’t tell really which one it’s going to be. How do you approach that particular issue of “Will this organization fail or will it change?”
Lisa: That’s a huge question. I think, off the top of my head without too much deep reflection, I would say the one thing that I would look at in that arena has to do with an emphasis on measurement, and managing to measurement. It’s really hard to, you can always make numbers look whatever way you want to make them look, but the numbers, generally speaking, don’t lie. If you’re actually linking your business objectives to these quantifiable measures that are there, and you’re managing to that, then I think you’re less likely to fail. It’s when you have a very kind of… There’s some sophistry around the numbers, especially when it comes to websites.I see a lot of backwards analytics where people will go and cherry pick a number out of the analytics pool and say, “Wow, people got a lot of hits on this page, therefore it must be a great page,” s opposed to articulating an actual performance measure, and then trying to hit it or not hit it. I find organizations that are actually tying traditional business metrics, numbers related to sales. People who are in e-commerce are big into this.
Too digital are actually more likely to succeed, and this is just anecdotally from my experience. That’s almost no one though, because a lot of large organizations one, may be floating on a lot of cash. They’re not really that concerned, and the transformation that is digital is really slow in impacting them, at the moment. The obvious ones, anyone who slings information for a living or content for information has been impacted heavily.
If you’re a newspaper, if you’re a magazine, that sort of thing, but if you’re a traditional manufacturer that makes a physical entity and distributes it, you may have some maturity in the area of extranets and information flow and managing your relationships, B2B type relationships in the organization. The core of your business hasn’t changed yet.
Jonathan: That has to do with the maturity issue. If you look at sort of retail or something, you’ve got Amazon, so people who are head to head with Amazon, completely scared about the Internet. You look at say, food or something, and there’s like, none of that’s really happened yet. This kind of runs into my next question. You’ve written some stuff on your blog about web managers and how their role is going to change. What’s your advice when web managers come to you and, there’s question of, “Do we need to improve our business skills, become more mature, talk about the business case, etc.?” How do you advise people in terms of this question about are they in the right place? Types of tactics that people might use to try and explain why what they think should happen makes sense for the business.Do you have any advice you tend to give to people in that situation?
Lisa: Sure. The first thing is to make sure that you’re educated about your business. I’m going to be critical, because I can be, but also because I think it’s important, web people are always complaining about how executives don’t understand digital. What’s left in the room is that frequently, web folks don’t get business. They really holistically don’t understand the business model. They can have a very simplistic way of looking at it and saying, “Look, we could increase sales by XXX percent if we just do this!” There’s like these really quick types of metrics without really functionally understanding what that sort of transformation means inside the organization. Not because they’re not bright, they may well be bright about that activity, but they may not understand what it’s going to take to turn that ship 40 degrees to go in this other direction.I really tell folks, “Find someone who is a mature manager inside the organization, executive, VP level, director, whatever makes sense in your organization, and learn from them.” There’s usually some non-web person who understands and supports and sponsors digital, who’s kind of the good advocate. That should be a bi-directional communication. It shouldn’t be, it’s not like, “We’re the digital geniuses, if only they’d listen to us!”
You really need to understand the business, and that’s really important for large, legacy types of organizations like say a university, or you know, these big B2B companies where you know, the mission’s heavily impacted in the university side by the dissemination of information. There’s a big kind of bureaucratic churn to it, right? It takes skill to actually get through that.
Is that good? No, objectively not. It shouldn’t be that way. People should move more quickly, but historically, this is what happens. Organizations start out lean and light, and then get bigger and grow and then they slow down. We even see this in our big companies, like in the Googles and the Facebooks of the world, they’re having their growing pains as well. There’s something interesting in that dynamic where things grow.
I really think the idea of letting someone mentor you and understanding that you don’t know everything about a business, I think there’s a huge amount of opportunity for people who have been in digital for 10 or 15 years to really be moving up this organizational food chain so that we are creating senior managers and executives who are very digitally savvy.
Jonathan: Do you have any stories of like, people you’ve known or you’ve been aware of who have kind of made that transition or started doing the transition from web professional focused on the doing to… Sorry, go ahead.
Lisa: Sure. I would probably say maybe, I’m guessing here. Maybe 25, I’ll guess low. Twenty-five percent of the folks that I work with, almost all of them are primed for it, but 25 percent manage to make that leap, or to make the case of why they need a more senior digital person inside the organization. Sometimes that person’s calling me on the phone to begin with. “I’m VP of Interactive” or something like that, that’s like, “Woo hoo!” That sort of thing. That person’s already there. Frequently, it’s a web manager who knows the right way to do things, but is just embedded down in that web ghetto. They’re really trying to interact with various folks and get the attention of senior executives. Sometimes they just don’t have the chops. It’s not what they’re saying or what they know, it’s just they don’t know how to do that. It’s like, they don’t know how to use that language.They don’t know what type of argument resonates with an executive, which is really why you need a mentor so that you can have that person say, “Yeah, I get what you’re saying, but if you’re going to be talking to the CEO or the CIO, this is the way you have to say it.”
Jonathan: Sure. It’s a skills thing. You have seen several, lots of people actually, make this transition. If there are people out there who are thinking “It’s time for me to do something,” you’re saying this is actually possible to do if you get the right help and if you’re in the right place.
Lisa: Right. A web governance type project, I mean not to toot my own horn, even doing it on your own without outside help is a really good way to do that, because it deals with risk mitigation. You know, that’s something that executives really care about, or creating opportunity for the organization, or making it easy for opportunity to be taken advantage of in the organization. If you are working on a web governance framework or trying to create one for your organization, you’ll get to be able to deliver these strategic messages to these executives. You’ll have some questions that you can’t answer, so it will give you an opportunity to get some face time with them.When you’re dealing with policy issues, you’re usually going to end up at some point talking to corporate counsel. You’re going to talk to people across the entire organization in order to get information to understand how to structure a policy. Likewise, with standards, you’re going to have to talk to folks within the business unit. That’s a really good way to kind of promote yourself and represent yourself as a leader inside the organization.
Jonathan: Start a web governance project of some type.
Lisa: Right, and raise it as an issue. It doesn’t even have to be heavy-handed, instead of just… This is what I generally see happening. I see a lot of web people that are kind of sitting back complaining and pounding on the table saying, “Why won’t people follow our standards? We know what the best design is. We know what the content should be like. We know what apps we should be developing and what platform. Why don’t people just do what I say?” Then they kind of sit there and gripe, right? All day long. That doesn’t look very manager-y, right? That’s not the way to get something done. Flip that into, “You know, I think we have a problem collaborating.” If you don’t want to say the governance word, right? “I think we have a problem collaborating, and it’s not really clear who gets to make decisions about digital around here. I think I’ve got an idea about how that could work.”That simple sentence is the same thing as saying, “I want to create a web governance framework.” Lisa says web governance framework, a normal person can say “I want to figure out how we can collaborate better and learn how to make decisions together about what goes online so that we can stop pounding our head against the wall.” That’s a kind of can-do attitude and it’s positive. If it’s made outside the confines of a project, it’s not threatening.
Lots of times people try to talk about governance in the middle of a project that people are all heated about, and then you want to kind of slap down these rules and regulations. That’s really not the best time to do it. The best time to do it is absent a project. You can say, “Hey, look. Let’s just step back and look at this a little bit from a little bit of a higher level.” If you’re doing that type of work and offering that to your organization in a competent way, it’s a leadership quality to step forward that way.
I think that can create a lot of opportunity for folks who are interested in management and want to move forward. Those who don’t can still be you know, very senior individual contributors. That’s great too. Not everybody has to want to do that.
Jonathan: Fantastic. On the slightly larger scale, have you got any stories you can share or case studies of organizations who have had some type of significant digital challenge who have made some real measurable progress by going through a kind of web governance type process?
Lisa: Sure. There’s an example that I use a lot and that I can name because their site’s live and it’s the government is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They have a classic, I mean, I’m not a user experience person so I’m not talking about the quality of the site, but they had a classic problem a few years with you know, they have multiple divisions inside the Food and Drug Administration that focus on different aspects. Each area had their own look and feel. There was a lot of challenge. They wanted to unify folks, not only on a single WCM platform, but also a unified look and feel. That was kind of the impetus for the governance project, and they realized in play, and trying to get this done, that they really couldn’t line people together. We worked with them to actually create this cross-functional team that could talk about standards and put mechanisms in place to figure out who gets to make decisions about certain aspects of web development.That was kind of a lot to do at one time. Let’s figure out a web governance framework. Let’s do a redesign and let’s re-platform the site.
I mean I wouldn’t recommend anybody to do all those things at once.
Lisa: But, they actually managed to successfully get that done. So, whether you like the FDA.gov site or not, it’s one case. But, they were able to successfully unify that and keep that up and running and come up with a kind of handbook of how we do the web here at the FDA. So, I thought that was really one of those projects that I was proud of. A lot of times we do web governance work for people, and it’s very difficult to see the effect, right?
Lisa: If people don’t actually have projects that are associated with it that you can actually visually see it….
Jonathan: So, how do they measure their success internally for that?
Lisa: Yes, I was going to say it’s kind of hard and soft, right. I’m a metrics girl that a lot of it should just be, it should just be easier to work. Right, so one of the…I know it sounds crazy, but one of the bad things about not having effective governance is it’s just really hard, right. You have more meetings where you’re arguing about things than you are actually…
Jonathan: People talk about spinning their wheels a lot.
Lisa: Yes, yes. So that, I mean, that’s really hard to measure. No one sits around and says like how many meetings did you have about this user interface, right? No one’s counting that sort of thing and then afterwards saying, after the fact saying, “Oh, wow. We only had one instead of 16.” But, I think everyone who works in digital inside an organization would know what I’m talking about. It’s just this head counting against the law, spinning quality of trying to get the simplest of things done, right?
Lisa: Or, a classic one is IT creates an application and it looks absolutely horrible and the interface folks don’t find out about it until two weeks before the thing deploys, right. So, those sorts of things should stop, right, and you should be able to think more strategically about that.
Jonathan: You should be able to somehow manifest the business value, really, shouldn’t you?
Lisa: Yes, and it should just be easier to work. So, I mean, one of the outputs…I mean, I think the end of the line output of a mature approach to governance is you kind of have a body of standards, your own internal W3C, right, of how you all do web digital, mobile, social, whatever you want to call it inside the organization. So, you’ve kind of got this gospel that the people follow. It might be a lot of rules. It might be a little bit of rules. Again, that’s cultural. It doesn’t mean a whole…that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole bunch. But, it’s very clear about what certain guidelines are like a user interface, right, or application user interface, if you want to be very specific about that.And, hopefully, you’d align processes so you can have expertise in that area. So because one of the outputs of this is an expressed set of standards, hopefully, folks will comply with this, right. So, the people, I think, almost hear folks listening to this, laughing about that and saying, “Well, we have standards now and no one complies with them.”
OK, that can be a problem but usually it’s a problem because no one actually said they had to ever, right. No one ever said, “This group over here is responsible for creating all the digital interface standards for whatever this organization produces. And, you are accountable for following these standards. And if you don’t, there are consequences.”
Jonathan: Right. And also there’s a reason why because it concerns…so often it’s like, “This is our thing. We own it and we feel it has to be this way,” without any actual why does this matter to the organization or to risk or to our success or whatever it is.
Lisa: Well, yes. I mean, when we write standards for people and I think this is an important point to draw out because anyone can do this in their own time. One of the things that’s part of every standard is the rationale, right?
Lisa: So, it’s not just…so people are online looking at their online standards and clicking through things. It’s not just, “Do this because we said so,” although sometimes people can take that attitude and it’s not our fault, right. We’re the experts and we know. It’s like that’s really not a good enough reason, right?
Lisa: It has to be why this adds business value. And so, we insist that people have a rationale for every standard that they have. It makes them think about it. You’d be surprised how many standards fall that the web team’s actually articulating fall because they realized, “Wait, there’s really not a reason why it has to be like this.”
Jonathan: Right. We’re not actually used to working in that way. We much more like this is how we’ve read it. It should be done. And it’s like, “Well, have you thought about the specific context here now and in the context of this business?” None of us are really used to working in that way, I think.
Lisa: Yes. I just got back from a trip where I was meeting with some people and someone was really adamant about social media. And they were very immature for not early adopting when it comes to social software inside this organization. And they were kind of pounding their fists on the table, not literally but figuratively and saying that the train’s left the station. The bus has left the depot. Whatever it is they said and we missed it, right. And like some people really want to do it. And what was happening is that people who were writing a policy were being very careful about how they articulated what was OK to do with social.And for this particular organization, that was really appropriate, right. This is not an organization where you want to be loose about social media. I don’t think anyone does, but in particular. But they were adamant that they had just like missed the boat on this. And, I kind of looked at them and I said, “That’s just not true,” right.
“You’ve missed the boat when you can’t make money because you’re not doing something or you can’t whatever.” I mean, there may be competitors who are doing other things but it would be really useful sometime for web folks to kind of turn off the histrionics behind early adoption. It is…
Jonathan: Right because it’s fine to say, “You guys haven’t seen how relevant this stuff that’s happening outside the company is to the company.” That’s why people are saying, in addition to that, we have to then say how much of our ways that we like to work are ignoring other realities. Or, for example, this organization’s been around for 50 years and can’t just like change as fast as a new start up or whatever it is. So, I think that’s part of the process.
Lisa: Yes and sometimes that means that, that 50-year-old company might go out of business, right. So, it’s not like…which is not what anybody would want, right. But, that’s also and this is, maybe, a little more philosophical and sensible from a business perspective, but that’s just how it goes, right. Two businesses come in and out and things, dynamics change.
Jonathan: And I think the other thing is web professionals, although some of them don’t seem to, wouldn’t agree, I think we have the freedom to like decide where we work and which gigs we’ll take.
Jonathan: And so if this organization is not appreciating you and you’ve done your best to explain what’s really going on and how obvious stuff could help them. And they sort of want it then, and you can’t see any self development within the organization, then you do have the opportunity to then find something else to do.
Lisa: Yes, that’s true but that’s hard inside an organization where the average tenure is 20 years, right?
Lisa: And so that’s part of what you were alluding to before which is that’s all changing and it’s not really shored up. What is it going to look like? I mean, people who are beginning their careers now, what’s that life cycle going to look like when they’re retiring? To be honest, I have absolutely no idea at all.
Jonathan: Yes, exactly. So, Lisa, you’re coming to London on May 4th to give a masterclass called Web Governance for Your Organization. And so, we’re excited to have you. So, first of all, who should come to this master class?
Lisa: Well, I think the primary audiences are really folks who are in this central web team inside an organization or the head, key web manager, or, if you’re larger, someone who is responsible for standards and creation of standards inside the organization, and I think this is really important, wants to solve this problem, right. So, there’s always someone inside the organization who is very passionate about getting this done and realizes how much risk and wasted effort is going on around web development and kind of wants to carry this torch in the organization. So, I really think that this would be a good session for them.I mean, they’ll get a lot of practical information on how to negotiate these waters and what works and what doesn’t work and some different techniques for building collaboration inside an organization and figuring out when is it important to kind of rule with an iron hand or iron fist and when is it OK to let things go.
I mean, that’s really a balancing act as well. And so just a lot of that over the last 10 or 15 years I’ve been doing this of what works and what doesn’t.
Jonathan: So, what will attendees coming out of this master class be able to do that they couldn’t do before?
Lisa: I mean, they will be able to tune their on web governance framework. That’s my take. Whenever I give these workshops is that they don’t have to call me, right.
Lisa: Well, I mean, part of it is identifying. You can’t fix everything, right?
Lisa: I mean, just in life and anything, you can’t fix everything. Being able to identify what are those things that are really causing problems and being able to point to them and tune them as well as being able to understand how to make this argument upwards so that you can get a little bit more sponsorship and support and seriousness about digital and collaboration.
Jonathan: Fantastic. And so can you share any…you’ve done a lot of these master classes over the years. Can you show any kind of success stories of someone who’s come to one of your master classes and had some positive outcome out of it?
Lisa: Sure, I mean, the thing that usually happens the most or the story that I’ve heard the most out of master classes are folks who come in and then they go back and lots of times they get some sort of promotion. Now, whether or not this means more money, I’m not really sure. But usually they go back and they find a way to espouse this information into a way that is coherent for their organization. And they’re able to sell this story inside the organization and get themselves raised to that level. In a lot of instances, this is just unaddressed, right?
Lisa: So it’s not as if you’re fighting with somebody over this power. Tactically, you might be fighting with someone over what does a web page look like. But usually there’s no one else who’s trying to rant about “I want to run all digital,” right?
Lisa: And so, usually, you can find a way to make yourself more senior. But then you have to be careful because if you really are content being an individual contributor, that’s something you’re going to have to give up if turn into the management right. So, that’s not necessarily the only type of success story. But, that’s one that I see a lot where they’re actually able to implement this web governance framework inside the organization, and at least streamline some things. It is a process. So, what you want to get out of this is a really quick fix, right?
Lisa: So, this is a process. Usually, it’s going to take anywhere from a year to two to three years to actually smooth it all out. There’s a lot of policy to look at. There’s a lot of standards to write over time and there’s a lot of relationships to build and trust to build. And you work at it to build throughout the organization. So, the process to implementing a web governance framework may come. Defining it can only take a few months, right. So, you’ll be able to walk out and know how to define your own web governance framework and determine what level of control or not control works in your organization. And I can give folks a lot of insight on what they expect to see down the line as they implement things, right, because there are some traditional challenges that come up that people have to navigate.
Jonathan: Fantastic. Well, we’re really looking forward to seeing you at that master class. I know it’s going to be fantastic. And thank you for this discussion which, I think, has been really interesting.
Lisa: Thanks, Jonathan.
Jonathan: See you soon.
Lisa: OK. Bye-bye.
Don’t miss the masterclass
If you enjoyed this interview, don’t miss Lisa’s masterclass on 4 May in London–tickets are still available.