Social tools for networks

Effective knowledge sharing is what many organizations do not do well, or as Lew Platt past-CEO of Hewlett-Packard said, “if only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive”. But HP will never know what the employees of HP know, so wouldn’t it be better to let the workers share what they know in the best way possible? That’s the key benefit of personal knowledge management, in my opinion. If each person can better manage knowledge creation and capture, then it becomes easier to share it.

For example:

Social bookmarks let me tag and search a wide array of bookmarks and by making them public they are shared with others, but through no extra effort on my part.

Writing this blog gives me a knowledge-base of my thoughts which become articles and presentations but in being public I find others who can add to my knowledge. I also make available information and perhaps knowledge that is useful to others.

By posting on Twitter I answer questions, share links and opinions and get to know others with similar interests, with the same effort as chatting in the office but with a much broader reach. On the Net, chance favours the prepared mind.

Just providing access to knowledge creation and capture tools is a relatively easy first step in moving the organization to Enterprise 2.0; an essential step in working in complex networks versus complicated markets. During the initial implementation of these tools, there is no need to talk about collaboration. Many Web 2.0 tools can be sold on their value to the individual. Let collaboration emerge from the individual practices of workers, most of whom want to do a better job anyway.

The powerful aspect of most Web 2.0 tools is that they are designed for knowledge-sharing as well. However, collaboration is difficult with the imposed barriers to communication created by Enterprise 1.0 IT policies. The major obstacle to social learning (and working) today is the IT department and it’s time that management takes back control of information sharing. This post was inspired by Dave Pollard’s practical guide to implementing Web 2.0 which gives more information on how to accomplish this.

2 Responses to “Social tools for networks”

  1. Dan Pontefract

    Exactly why I am espousing the creation of CALO – the Collaboration and Learning Office, which is a cross-functional representation of IT and Learning people, forming a dual-purpose role for the organization: collaboration and learning.

    It’s getting there …


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