Applicant 26: Duane Nicol

Duane Nicol is a 34-year-old Manager, Marketing and Communication with Assiniboine Credit Union ($3.2B) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Synopsis: Sometimes tools are so fundamental to our daily work that we take them for granted. We assume that they will be there, that they will function as needed, and they will produce the desired result. But what happens when they don’t work? 

This is the challenge facing Assiniboine Credit Union. Our intranet site had outlived its intended lifecycle. It depends on outdated software, lacks a dedicated resource to curate the site content, and it depends on a departmental, top-down approach to pushing information to users. It doesn’t work properly, and our employees are frustrated. 

As a modern financial co-operative, our employees depend on quick and fluid exchange of information to do even their most basic tasks. We need an intranet that can consistently deliver the right information, to the right person, at just the right time. It must be intuitive and designed with the end-user in mind and it must have the flexibility and agility to respond our dynamic work environment. 

This is no small task. First there is the review, refining, tagging, conversion and movement of our 3,200 plus pages of content and attached documents. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is trying to design a site that is structured in the way the majority of our employees think. Using the latest techniques in user-centered design and knowledge management, and by working with some of the best intranet development professionals in the industry (, we’ve begun that process. Finally there is employee adoption. While our employees are desperate for something new, there is always fear and apprehension when you replace a familiar tool with something radically different. 

Will we succeed? Launch date is set for November 30, 2012. Vote Duane Nicol as your Next Top Credit Union Exec, and follow us as we undergo an intranet revolution. 

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