Everything is faster. The way we consume information, the way we digitally access information—even the way we talk is faster than a decade ago. We have access to an abundance of information and yet the old knowledge management problem is still the same: how to get the right information to the right people at the right time.
While some businesses are adding a social networking component to their existing systems, others see it as a risk. They worry that giving employees the ability to share and consume freely will distract them from focusing on what’s important. This is where they’re wrong. Here’s why:
- Conversation is still the best form of knowledge transfer. We are inextricably bound to social: storytelling, conversation, and discourse. It is our most natural way of learning. The old way of managing knowledge—databases, data mining, document repositories, directories etc.—is simply not enough. But, let’s dive deeper…
- Social Increases Learning – It’s not just a matter of getting the right information to people—people need to engage with it to learn. It is the social context of the scenario that sparks interest and informed responses, and ultimately drives the best answer.
- Social Helps Us Make Decisions Faster – Think about all those times you needed to ask a colleague a question or gather everyone for a meeting before you could decide the next step. Social networking facilitates decision making across all the right stakeholders. Take for example, I just uploaded the latest version of a video to Box.com from our private social network. From there, I also posted a message to our marketing team asking for feedback. Wherever they are—Box.com, their email, the network or even their mobile device—they should be able to weigh in so I can make final changes before it goes to press.
- Social Connects Employees to the Right Experts – For some decisions, we don’t need to involve everyone, but we do need to know who is the best person to involve. For example, I just entered a purchase requisition that needs final approval from legal before we’re ready to launch our new pay-per-click campaign. Rather than try to find the right person in legal to ask them for a status update, I simply post a question in the context of the procurement system and the right person responds. It’s really about connecting people in the context of their workflow.
- Social Harnesses Collective Knowledge Sharing – Beyond the in-context, knowledge sharing, private social networking provides a stream of insights from employees, increasing innovation and better business outcomes.
Discover more ways social facilitates 21st century knowledge management.