HR Administration

2011 Game Changer: Lisa Lyssand

By Susan Ladika

Sep. 29, 2011

When BroadVision Inc. wanted to work on changing the culture of the company, it turned to social media and global human resources director Lisa Lyssand to get the job done.

Lyssand, 38, was put in charge of spurring interest among employees for the company’s intranet system, BroadVision Connect, and getting them to embrace it.

That move was crucial, says BroadVision president and CEO Pehong Chen, because the Redwood City, California-based company has almost 300 employees scattered across 20 countries. In today’s work environment “the notion of a workplace has to really become virtual, otherwise you can’t build a corporate culture,” he adds. “More and more companies face that challenge.”

To build a strong, successful, competitive organization, companies need to be willing to bring talent onboard, regardless of where they’re located around the globe, says Chen, who nominated Lyssand for a Game Changers award.

Before BroadVision Connect, employees in other parts of the world tended to “feel like stepchildren,” says Lyssand, who joined BroadVision in 2005.

She wrote blog posts to spur interest in the use of internal social media, and drew up guidelines to help employees stay within the company’s legal, technical and social bounds.

Employees can use BroadVision Connect to respond to blog posts Chen writes, compose their own blogs, interact with employees in similar job positions around the world, collaborate on projects, view HR policies and procedures, and take part in training courses.

BroadVision also has used the intranet to help identify employees’ strengths, sometimes using the information to redirect their career paths. In one case, a technical writer showed an interest in project management and is now a lead project manager. The intranet “encourages our employees to flourish,” Lyssand says.

Chen says he’s impressed not only with Lyssand’s HR capabilities, but also the fact she’s “willing to take risks to move the organization forward.”

Susan Ladika is a writer based in Tampa, Florida.

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