Intranet Design!?

Hello, i’m new!
I currently work as an Intranet Developer/Designer…and i have a problem…because it’s my first job working with INTRANET’s and it’s somewhat complicated. My boss, wants me to be creative, and change stuff around, yet he insists i keep the icons (19 of them to be exact) because the emplyees at this organization have truble finding this…if i were to design a menu with sub-menus so would remove all the icons from the screen. Over-all i need some guidance…anyone everworked with or currently does work with INTRANETS could please give me some helpful advice to a newbie…what are things i should be looking for and what should be expected from an INTRANET…examples would be helpful…!!!