smilelondon 2019: Den Carter talks transformation (but hold the digital!)


With 45,000 employees at the well known aviation company, Den Carter from British Airways was tasked with transforming their internal comms channels. Speaking at the last ever smilelondon, Den detailed the progression of the organisation’s new intranet based on Unily and their new virtual assistant George, who will be making an appearance in January 2020.

His stage presence may have been short and sweet, but it left the audience impressed and keen to know more about his venture. Here we have the presentation slides from Den’s session and the answers to our audience questions.


Q&A With Den Carter

How did you engage staff when presently there is a lot of friction between management and staff at BA?

The answer is that we forced it to be everyone’s landing page as soon as they log on, on desktop or mobile. The question of engagement is ongoing as engagement is an outcome of a strategy, not an event.

Is Unily helping you with the creation of George?

Unily’s content API will power one of the many bots that power George.

How do you plan to communicate George before it goes live? Any successful comms plans developed yet?

Not yet – comms plans for product launches are usually unnecessary if the product you’re launching is good enough to sell itself.

How did you manage sign off, approvals and senior exec buy-in within the time frame of eight weeks?

The eight weeks was the time it took to build the app/site. Procurement, business cases, etc came before that. Exec buy-in was easy because our senior leaders trust us.


With thanks to Den Carter.