I want to share the Slack integrations that we use all the time at Explain Everything to move work forward, especially given our complex organization. We have multiple time zones, locations, and languages to manage with a company of only about 50 people. Two of these integrations are bots whose automated reporting keeps everyone up to speed, two of these initiate action action and response, and the last one is more of a treatment of an included feature than an integration.
Bot 1: Salesforce
Whenever a lead is added, a record updated, or even better, a deal closed, our Salesforce instance publishes a brief summary to the (private) channel where our customer-oriented conversations take place. It's a great way to be able to check in on activity and be informed of progress in key relationships.
Bot 2: Jira Cloud
We use Atlassian's Jira for many of our teams to keep track of tasks and also to clearly delineate the connections across teams towards product releases and updates. We set up dedicated channels just for the Jira Cloud bot to feed information into because we learned that we have so many updates happening that it can overwhelm a channel where other, more human, discussions are taking place.
Action 1: Polly
There are probably quite a few polling tools available for Slack - and Slack may have their own by now - but we have found Polly to be the one we use for everything from planning events to getting feedback on product designs.
Action 2: Explain Everything
Whenever we need to visualize a discussion we just jump into a collaborative whiteboard. We use Explain Everything's built in voice chat because it's right there and automatically kicks in, though I guess we could also use Slack's built-in chat too, especially if video was important.
Treatment: Add Reaction
The 'Add Reaction' button for Slack messages is useful to add some color and demonstrate engagement without needing to type anything. You can see it in the screenshots from the other integration examples. This is incredibly helpful for asynchronous discussions. At the leadership team level, we have a shared understanding to use certain reactions to indicate a state of a message having been 'read' though not necessarily agreed or disagreed to. This way, the author of the post can know if the message at the very least was seen since often in the course of a few hours, any channel can become a longer scroll of text. This is especially true when working in multiple time zones. The ones below are 'OK' ones to indicate this.
"There is a saying in the teaching profession: whoever is working the hardest is learning the most. Too often, it’s the teacher.
If you don’t want people to be passive “on the job,” then you cannot allow them to be passive during the training for the job."
Our most recent column piece on EdSurge applies the ideas from Make Yourself Clear to Education Technology businesses.
I used this feature for the first time with purpose today and it was really helpful. I had a short audio recording on my desktop, I inserted it, and then dragged it to the timeline to have it be part of my recording.
I had a great time being a judge for the final pitches from Teachers College Innovation Awards 2019 which took place at TC's Academic Festival. The entire event was a great celebration of the work happening across departments at the college, and my department (Math, Science, & Technology) hosted some great parts of the program, including the Innovation Awards.
"Move as the line moves – a formula for happiness and success? Not quite. But it won’t hurt to think about what computers are good at and what humans are good at, make peace with the fact that the line in the sand will constantly shift in the years to come, and then work to make sure that the human part of yourself, your team, your company, even your family, shows up – by default – when it’s going to make a difference for a relationship or transaction."
One of my favorite parts of this new integration is being able to drag files from my computer (images and documents) right onto a collaborative whiteboard canvas initiated from Slack.