Johnson Matthey’s new intranet myJM promotes collaboration and innovation...
Johnson Matthey is a diverse company with many divisions, from catalysts for cars to components for fuel cells, from precious metals to ingredients for pharmaceutical products. It has businesses in five continents. The expertise within the company is spread around the world and dedicated to different projects and products.
Promoting Collaboration Across an Expanding Company
Innovation is at the heart of Johnson Matthey and cross fertilisation of ideas provides a strong boost to the process. Yet as the company continues to grow, there is clearly a risk of separate pockets, or 'silos', of knowledge developing, with no links between similar work being done at different locations across the group. With the difficulty of finding out what was happening in different parts of the organisation, there could be the possibility of missed opportunities.
The answer was myJM, a collaboration intranet launched in November 2012. In the words of the Chief Executive, Neil Carson, myJM is the key to "stimulating innovation by connecting everyone in Johnson Matthey with the right people and the right information".
The intranet is designed to promote networking with colleagues from around the world. Individuals build their own networks to connect with people within the company who have similar interests, skills or experience. They can then tap into their network to stay up to date with good practice, get answers to questions and find solutions to problems.
The platform began as a pilot with about 1,200 people globally, mainly in R&D, but over the course of 2013 it is being enhanced and extended to all employees.
How myJM has Helped Employees
From the outset, myJM had an impact. A projects director in the Fuel Cells business in Swindon wrote a blog to ask if anybody had specific coatings experience. He got a response from a senior principal scientist at Sonning, pointing him in the direction of the team behind our ethylene scavenger product.
A chemical engineer, based at the technology centre in Sonning UK, got advice on finding a chromatography pilot plant supplier from two remote colleagues at the other end of the country. And a research scientist in the catalysts and material department in Sonning has been a regular blogger on myJM. His article on types of glass and what they are good for gave a fellow scientist in our Cambridge laboratory a possible solution for fixing glass to glass using glue.
Knowledge Sharing and Socialising
Knowledge sharing is done in an informal way, and the ability to socialise with others at a distance is part of the appeal. Users emphasise the friendly quality of the networking: "it has encouraged colleagues to socialise online and share interests" and "it's made electronic communications at Johnson Matthey much friendlier… You also get a much better understanding of what other people in the company are doing" were among the comments received.
The use of myJM is open ended and non-prescriptive, and employees are finding a host of uses and benefits in it. The myJM intranet allows employees to share information safely and securely. It is a tool for sustainability, helping the business to continue to innovate as it continues to grow.