A few months ago I saw a job advertisement for a ‘Global Director of Internal Communications and Intranet. Looking through the skills needed they were entirely related to ‘internal communications’ and no specific intranet skill was listed as a requirement (you may have a lengthy debate around what ‘intranet skills’ would be but that is for another day).
Here lies the essential issue for intranet managers / folk within most organisations. To advance, running an intranet is not sufficient. They would need to widen their skill sets to achieve progression, to a far greater extent that someone coming from an internal communications or maybe another traditional business support service such as IT or HR/People related background. Currently the value and important of the intranet environment doesn’t warrant advancement to senior levels despite some of the evidence or trends coming from Jane McConnell’s fine work.
I’m old enough to remember when organisations didn’t have large IT and Personnel / HR departments (part of the ‘big hat, no cattle’ journey through corporate life). But through certification, accreditation, organising bodies / institutes and no doubt some value to the business, these areas have grown in seniority and importance to organisations.
I fear in the intranet world people now have to look at where best they can extend their career by branching out further into other areas, whether it is IT, Communications, Marketing, Learning & Capabilities or maybe some other area of expertise that will arrive as companies begin to evolve and adapt to the world of digital, social and beyond. But I guess constant evolution has been part of the intranet managers skillset.