Innovating with Employees

Molly Miller, chief content officer

Imagine that you put out a call for employees to sign up for working teams focused on various company initiatives. You might expect 10-to-20 percent would respond and be willing to participate, right?

Well, what if 70% signed up?

It happened at ALM. It was a watershed moment. I think a lot about innovating with customers. But today, and since the moment of counting the responses, I can’t think about anything other than innovating with employees. Individuals from each of our 17 offices, including Hong Kong and London, signed up. Experts from every division raised their hands. Teams from every industry vertical—legal, consulting, real estate, insurance and finance—jumped on board. People who have been at ALM for 25 years were game—and so were those who joined 3 weeks ago.

And they didn’t just sign up. They came to the kick-off meetings. They attended the ‘get started’ meetings. They set up their working team meetings. They are submitting their ideas, their timelines, and they’re gearing up for their first sets of recommendations.

What’s the significance? Why am I telling you about this?

In my view, this is how change is made. When initiatives are not top down but built through the voice of almost every employee, you get change—but even better—change that comes packaged with buy-in. There’s not one work stream to come up with ideas and another to figure out how to execute. We’re ideating and planning in one fell swoop. And we have the force of our teams making it happen.

And if you will tolerate a minute of basking…I’ve discovered that ALM is a company of hundreds of employees who are willing to work hard to control their destinies. Our employees want to shape the success that will benefit them, their families, their customers, their readers. Success to them means not just profits—although they’re a savvy bunch and know that profits mean investment in them and their customers—but also a great culture, values to be proud of, a strategy and vision worth fighting for.

I am proud to be a member of this team. Thank you ALM employees; your exuberance is inspiring. And thank you to all those readers and customers that make our employees want to come to work every day—and sign up to make change.

Thinking about rolling out some employee work teams? Go big or go home…

Molly Miller

Chief Content Officer, ALM, Molly is responsible for leading the integrated editorial organization to develop synergies between industries, identify new monetization opportunities and engage critical audiences. Since joining ALM in 2012, Molly has held several leadership positions, including Publisher of The Recorder and, Chief Content & Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Previously, she held marketing, editorial market planning and product champion roles at Lexis Nexis after practicing law in Cincinnati and reporting for the Cincinnati Enquirer.