Penny for your Thoughtexchange


Dec 2019

There once was a large corporation that preached how in tune with its employees it was.  It even called it a competitive advantage and that its most important assets were its people, that human capital, not physical assets or financial capital, reigned.  It felt real.

And so it was important to understand what its employees thought.  Before year end, the corporation had circulated a survey to all of its employees ensuring that everything was confidential and that the input was essential to the success of the company, and more importantly, it provided a means for the employees to be heard.  Of course, participation was critical to getting a full view.

But as busy employees went about their work, we didn’t always prioritize the survey until the first email reminder came.  And then a nudge from the boss suggesting the participation rate in the group was too low.  And then further pokes and prods until everyone got their answers in.

Of course, the survey had some wonderful questions about the workplace environment and our work, the nature of it, how content we felt doing it, and how nice the offices were.  There were even questions about our personal development, culture and a few about things that were important to the corporation, that year.  But they really never asked us for our opinions, and what we thought needed to change and how things could be better by doing things differently.  Those questions were (and still are) very difficult to ask in a survey and the corporation may not want to hear the real answers.

The good news is that the corporation reported the results of the survey 6 months later thanking us for making the company a great place to work and how wonderful it was that we were all happy (and lucky) to be working there.

But did HR really care? Were the results scrubbed before presented to the executive? Was it really confidential?  How did they know we hadn’t answered the survey, and therefore how did they not know what we answered?  Why wasn’t there a section about what we really thought? The survey really didn’t close the loop for us employees.

Ever wonder the same?  Sound familiar?

This corporation has a name.  It your company’s, the one you are at, and the ones you used to work at.  That is the state of the art in employee engagement.  There really isn’t a voice of the employee(s), or for that matter, customers, distributors, functional groups with the corporation, subsidiaries, or regional offices.

There is no way to get ideas, and answers to open ended questions from these stakeholders in an easy and confidential manner, at least until Thoughtexchange (“Te”) came along.  Thoughtexchange has developed a very powerful platform to elicit thoughts, think crowdsourcing, from whatever stakeholder needs to provide it.  It does so in a completely confidential manner.  It uses the same stakeholder to randomly rank other (peoples’) answers and uses advanced analytics to breakdown the answers without ever disclosing the source.  The beauty is that everyone can see the answers, in rank order.  It is not the most frequent answer, it is not the answer of the “loudest” voice.  It is the best answer, as ranked by users, that percolate to the top.  Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Try building it.  It has taken Te may years to perfect it, and it is always easier to understand it when you use it.  But it does work. In fact, check out what Allstate and Looker, only two of the company’s many customers, have to say.

Don’t believe us.  Believe the many corporate customers across financial services and other verticals that have embraced it in the last 18 months.  The use cases are broad and deep, and the number is growing fast.  It is incredible what smart managers want to know about their businesses and how good organizations believe that their stakeholders have credible ideas, ones that they hadn’t considered.  It is making a difference to businesses around the world.  It is worth more than a penny.

The credit goes to the team that has been diligently working away at building this company to the business that it is.  Jim Firstbrook had the idea, Dave McLeod ran with it and everyone else has joined to refine it.  All of it from distributed workforce “headquartered” in Rossland BC: population 4,000.

We are proud to welcome Te to the Information VP family.  We are excited to be working on rolling out thought exchanges to the corporate world and look forward to working with everyone at the company, especially, Dave, Jess, Dess, Jim, Joe, Jayme, Juliette and many more.  Just don’t make me ski in beautiful Rossland BC and remember “Break a leg is just an expression!”

-Rob, Alex and the Information VP team.