I went to the Kred London Influencer Summit last night. What a fantastic time. Met a lot of Twitter connections I had not met before.
— Robert Fransgaard (@fransgaard) March 27, 2013
I also ran into an old colleague of mine from Capgemini, Inyk, and we got talking about the connections I retain within Capgemini.
Today Inyk sent me this interesting article on the subject: Coming out: can you bring value to an organisation after having left it? And it got me thinking about what value, if any, I still bring to Capgemini, even now where I work for one of their competitors: IBM?
Examples of my relationship with my previous employer
- I left Capgemini on good terms.
- Capgemini in general have a view that people who leave are potential future re-hires with new experiences they can bring back to the company (they don’t display the same sense of betrayal the author of the article Inyk shared has encountered).
- I am part of their official Yammer Alumni group, which I hardly ever visit.
- I maintain relationships with ex-colleagues on both Twitter and Facebook.
- After meeting a talented mobile SME, who recently moved to London, the first people I connected him with was ex-colleagues from Capgemini.
- Capgemini ex-colleagues remain loyal readers and retweeters of my blog posts.
- Emmanuel Lochon, Capgemini’s global head of marketing, sent me a Linkedin message about the new Capgemini website going live, which I responded with both direct feedback and tweets.
Does this mean it is the people I am retaining relationships with rather than the company? Ofcourse! But it is the employees who are the company. As such they are the point of contact with the company. What they say and do is the corporate message.
It is vital the employees are up-to-date with any corporate messages as they are the voice of the company. But it is equally important that the employees are not forced to relay these messages or even rewarded for doing so.
For example Emmanuel’s Linkedin message about the new Capgemini website is relevant to me because I was involved in early stages of the project. Had I not been, his message would not have been relevant to me.
Am I still a Capgemini advocate? Yes, I am. So I do think I still provide a value, but it is driven by a mutual relationship and an understanding we are competitors.
Do I champion all my previous employers?
While I’ve left all my previous employers on good terms, and while I retain personal relationships with ex-colleagues at all places, I don’t actively engage with the brands themselves. I think this is because when I have involved myself with their digital content, I have had no response. A one-way relationship is really not a relationship.
Do you still represent your ex-employer?