SharePoint is about Sharing, as Demonstrated by New Belgium Brewing & beremedy – SHARE 2013 Keynote

I just got out of this afternoon's keynote presentations, and let me begin by saying that here I thought there wasn't a way to outdo Scottish bagpipes….

Today's afternoon keynote sessions were kicked off by Tye Eyden, Communications Climate Influencer for New Belgium Brewery.  As you might've read in one of my earlier posts, I was definitely pumped to see Tye speak (and not just so I could imbibe in a free Fat Tire or two).  Let's just say that I was NOT disappointed and that the CAN-demonium was all I had expected and more….

First and foremost is the company philosophy behind New Belgium Brewery (NBB).  As a 100% employee-owned company, the Fort Collins, Colorado-based company operates based on an Open Book Management-High Involvement Culture.  Their culture is centered and guided by a simple equation: Participation + Transparency + Authenticity + Accountability.  From this, they have adopted a simple and enviable corporate philosophy: "To operate a profitable brewery that let's love and talent manifest." (I know what you're thinking, "you had me at brewery!")

So here we have this sustainable, grassroots organization that's named after the founder's bike trip in the '70s throughout Belgium…. so where does SharePoint come into play?  As can be imagined, a company that is focused on "People, Planet, and Profits" definitely values the same collaborative, cooperative, and communicative ideals that Microsoft SharePoint supports.

That said, WHAT can SharePoint be?  Well at New Belgium, it is how they foster collaboration and maintain a social workforce that is not siloed.  And day-to-day operations?  How is SharePoint used there?  According to Tye, SharePoint is (both figuratively AND literally) NBB's "MotherNet."  On a daily basis, as Tye presented, SharePoint is used for a broad range of collaboration and communication functions, including:

  • The Ultimate Beer Ranger Competition;
  • List forms;
  • Sabbatical Video Library;
  • Out-of-the-Box Discussion Boards; and
  • The MyBC Site for job postings.

What was really clear from Tye's presentation was that, as opposed to what we may think, SharePoint does NOT have to be a cumbersome monster that's impossible to tame – it is possible to keep it simple and fun!  So while they're busy having fun, how do the folks at NBB get work done?  Tye's secret to success is easier than you may think, and utilizes (with a few exceptions) all out-of-the-box SharePoint capabilities such as content types, lists, and business applications.

To close, Tye really embodied the spirit that I have gotten really resonates at NBB – Think big picture and don't be afraid to challenge the process!  It's not necessarily the early adopters that make big things happen; but rather the early ADAPTERS.  Those who are willing to experiment and take risks, while also learning from successes and mistakes, are those that are able to enhance themselves and their resources as well as finish on top.

I know what you're thinking – what could possibly follow-up Fat Tire, Shift Ale, and free bikes for employees after a year of employment (no joke!)?  What about people who "See the need" and "Be the remedy?"  Our next speaker, though not here to speak about SharePoint per se, had an even greater cause to discuss – helping those in need.  As the founder of beremedy, Blake Canterbury began his non-profit company in 2009 with a simple concept – We all want to help other people out, but we don't always know how we can help.

Founded on a simple ideal, beremedy took social media and did something that no one else had been doing – Connecting Those in Need with Those that can Help.  Based in Atlanta, Georgia, beremedy leverages the power and speed of Twitter and Facebook to spread the message of those who are need.  Named "One of the 3 Best Twitter Usages Worldwide" by CNN, beremedy, in Blake's words, is "NOT your grandmother's non-profit."

Guided by the quotation "To reach people no one else is reaching, you have to do things no one else is doing," Blake has built a large network with thousands of followers who have been aiding the needy in Atlanta for four years and counting.  So why present here at SHARE 2013?  Not only to raise awareness; but also to make a big announcement – beremedy is going national!  The recently launched campaign on is in its last day and is just shy of the seed money needed to launch this amazing cause in areas across the nation, including Bamboo's hometown of Washington, D.C.  As Blake said, SharePoint IS about Sharing, so why not join the movement?

In Blake's words, "Here's something that can be average, let's make it epic!" What do you say fellow SharePointers and SHARE conference attendees?  We have one more day left of this conference, let's see what WE can do to make it epic!



Our keynote speakers discuss SharePoint and how to lend a hand with conference attendees!

Want even more SHARE Conference 2013?  Check out the complete series in the links

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