Secrets of Corporate Intranets

Here I present in its entirety a professional presentation that I wrote and delivered in Las Vegas. This presentation can help you navigate the confusing world of corporate intranets used for communication between management and employees using web-based technology.

Thank you for choosing to attend this conference today here in Las Vegas.

I believe you will find that this particular session is very much worth your attention and time today.

I have built in time for questions from you today, so jot down what’s on your mind and you’ll be able to share them during our Q & A.

Today I’m going to share with you some lessons learned that nobody else could. I promise you a unique perspective.

This is all about TRANSFORMING your workplace if you have a MULTI-GENERATIONAL CULTURE. And you want to use YOUR EXISTING INTRANET – as compared to buying a new intranet capability.

I am WOODY GOULART. I’m a local resident of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

My professional experience spans several major media markets in the United States: San Francisco – Washington, DC – Boston – Los Angeles.

If we were watching a DVD right now, we would see certain text appear before the content starts.

I have a spoken word version for you.

The opinions expressed here today on the subject of using intranets for internal communication are those of the speaker (that’s me) and do not necessarily reflect official policies or positions of any particular organization listed here on the screen.

Using intranets for internal communication requires a level of knowledge that you must have about two things – technology and software applications.

Keep these two things separate. Because they are.

Here you see examples of technology. Physical, mechanical, electronic stuff.

Apps, on the other hand, are separate from technology.

Each of these examples on the screen of generic apps requires some sort of technology.

Therefore, we can conclude correctly that software applications are ENABLED BY technology.

I’m here to tell you:  What you may choose to do on your intranet for your internal communications has more to do with how you use apps than how you use technology.

When I was very young, I became aware of a mysterious, undeniable power.

I wasn’t yet 10 years of age when I heard a local radio station in my little home town play the Hank Williams song, Your Cheatin’ Heart.

A deeply emotional song recorded in Nashville. It was distributed using radio and recording industry technology of that era. It immortalized a young singer – songwriter who had died at the age of 29. And, it changed country music forever. Very powerful.

I saw how this song – on the radio – somehow – made – grownups – CRY. I saw my father cry. Men aren’t supposed to cry. I wondered: What was going on here?

I kept listening. I concluded that there was POWER available to those who were on the radio. That motivated me. I wanted in on that. So, I sought a career in radio broadcasting.

And, yeah, I’m talking about what motivated ME as I grew up. I was attracted to working with technology.

But, it’s the PROCESS and the POWER that’s so critical to understand this morning while you are with me here in Las Vegas.

If YOU learn how to blend emotions with technology, then you, too, can learn how to control and influence attitudes and behaviors of people.

Emotions by themselves won’t do it. Technology alone won’t either.

But – Learn how to blend emotions with technology successfully. And you can generate the power to control and influence peoples’ attitudes and behaviors.

In brief, the way you can accomplish this use of emotions is through storytelling on your intranet.

Yes, that’s what I said: Storytelling.

To leave storytelling only to those who work in show business is to make a costly mistake.

We each have the exact same access to the power of storytelling. We may not all become celebrated and famous authors or actors or poets or musicians who can make money from the stories that we tell.

But, every human being is hard-wired, so to speak, inside their brain to be a storyteller.

Whether you choose to belief this or not will never change the reality that somewhere deep inside your mind there is a story that empowers your life.

Also true is that as humans, our brains are programmed since our earliest days to respond emotionally to storytelling. That is what you want to tap into if you want to inject emotions into your content on your intranet.

We’re focused upon intranets for internal communication here today.

So, I will raise a fair question –

Why do you need to have an intranet at all.

What’s the point? Is it all worth it?

My experience at very different organizations over a span of some two decades has taught me that leaders within organizations are seeking the power to control and influence the attitudes and behaviors of people in their workplace.

Your boss and maybe even your co-workers will ask you:

Why did you go to Las Vegas to learn about intranets for internal communications?

I have your answer. Right now:

Woody Goulart in Las Vegas is telling you to select social business apps to grab onto the power to influence and possibly control your employees’ attitudes and behaviors using storytelling. That’s the big take-away from today.

The “HOW DO YOU SELECT” part of the question is vital if you really want to deploy storytelling strategies and tactics over your intranet.

What do you think will happen? Well, we all have high expectations.

Does it matter what particular company you choose to get social business apps for your intranet?

A hush falls upon the room. The vendors here have started listening up to hear whether I mention their company by name.

What matters most is this:

Embrace the expectation that social business apps can be used by content creators in your workplace to convey official organizational messaging using storytelling strategies and tactics to create a positive emotional impact.

You should expect three things in return for all you hard work:

Stress points, barriers to success, and, roadblocks.

Listed alphabetically they are:

  • Budgetary issues
  • Competing platforms
  • Hierarchies of power
  • Office politics.


Those people who are in the organizational hierarchy. Those who have some designated authority to affect policy and procedures in the organization. The “ones who are in charge.”


Although they may not have designated authority, influencers are critical to factor it. Influencers are those who in some way affect and possibly control your employees’ attitudes and behaviors. Just because someone is NOT a designated authority is never a reason to perceive that they lack the ability to be an influencer.

When do your organization’s leaders expect you to start conveying official organizational messaging with positive emotional impact?

Next year?

Three years from now?

Are you receiving pressure for your boss to come up with “the next answer” for your organization’s leaders?

In my experience, social business apps can become essential tools for success by leaders of an organization.

Without social business apps in your workplace, you’ve going to have to lower your expectations. You’re going to have to embrace one-way, top-down communication as “normal”. I believe strongly that one-way, top-down communication to employees is the wrong path.

Content creation in your organization that results in positive emotional impact for official messaging using storytelling strategies and tactics. That one aspect is the top accomplishment to aim for. That is the main conclusion I’m offering you today.

You must employ people who can provide effective strategies and smart tactics to guide and drive the content creation on your intranet.

You must employ people who can create content based upon those strategies and tactics. This involves storytelling – not just drab corporate communications messaging. Storytelling over your intranet will ensure and maximize emotional impact.

You must make wise choices of the available social business apps that can deliver the content that’s going to result in positive emotional impact for your organizational messaging.

Do you want your social business apps to enable employee commenting? Well, if your answer is NO, then don’t spend the money on social business apps that promote and encourage transparent and free-flowing commenting by employees.

Do you want comments from employees to leaders? If you answer NO, again – don’t spend the money on social business apps that will enable such upward communication in your organization.

Do you want your intranet to attempt to change the culture of your organization from what was during the 20th century to what is today in the 21st?

Social business apps can stimulate that culture change. But, you need to WANT that culture change.

I will add quickly that you need to WANT that culture changer VERY MUCH.

You will NOT be able to turn back time to what was – the 20th century – after you have embraced the social business apps of the 21st.


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As of December 2016 I no longer work for the company for which I guided the launch of their corporate intranet in San Francisco. This is good news for you; Now I am available to help you on a one-to-one basis. Should you ever need someone to help you with your internal communications to your employees and stakeholders by way of a social media powered intranet, I have the hands-on experience you may need. I only make myself available as a consultant (on a contingent basis and never as a full-time employee of yours.)

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