Successfully implementing knowledge management, which is broadly defined as the identification, retention, effective use, and retirement of institutional insight, has been an elusive goal for most organizations. Some of the smartest people I have worked with have been frustrated by their efforts, not through lack of trying or ability but by the inherent challenges it presents. Now the emergence and impact of social media and the way it democratizes the creation and use of knowledge in the enterprise is forcing us to rethink our assumptions.
The City of Palo Alto is creating social and mobile communities, and collaborating with citizens, volunteers, employees, partners and other agencies to change the way government is delivered.
As of early 2013, there are over a billion active monthly users of Facebook and almost 700 million daily users. People from across the world use this social network to share and exchange stories, pictures, ideas, and more. These numbers suggest a compelling platform that is engaging humanity in a manner without precedent. Facebook and its competitors have convincingly demonstrated that people will share and collaborate with each other, and with strangers, in an inclusive manner not just for fun, but to make things happen. And yet, when most of the working population of those users goes to their places of employment, they use technologies that reinforce barriers to collaboration. Email—albeit an important business technology—primarily facilitates sequential and non-inclusive collaboration. Up until recently, the merits of social networking has had the hardest time successfully penetrating the enterprise.
Posted in Huffington Post on January 16, 2013.
Whether or not you like Google+ or have yet to try it, its introduction continues the important role that a battle of ideas has in shaking-up and bringing new value to the marketplace. In the best outcome, robust competition in any business domain should have at least one benefactor: you, the consumer.
Today, the IT department is often a victim of its success. With technology increasingly at the center of business initiatives, there is an insatiable demand for services. And while most IT professionals come to work each day to be productive and add value, more often than not, it’s an uphill battle to keep internal customers happy. Working either harder or smarter hasn’t necessarily produced the customer satisfaction dividend anticipated. Moreover, it has served to increase expectations of what can be provided and it has continued to raise the bar for IT.
While Facebook and the iPad garnered considerable attention this year — and rightly so — it is the free micro-blogging service Twitter that gets my 2010 accolade for the most important technology product of the year.
Deciding to share ones location using a mobile device is not a new phenomenon. Several geolocation applications, described as those that use system location awareness as its core function, have served this market for some time. For the most part, the value here is that of forced serendipity. For example: if you’re my friend and you decide to share your location and I am in the area, perhaps I can drop by and have a chat. In many cities this is how groups of friends are assembling. Not through a process of phone calls and lengthy coordination—how old school!—no, today for many it’s about meeting up by displaying your location and hoping you are discovered or by you discovering the location of others. Clearly it’s not for everyone and subsequently, to date it has had a relatively niche following.
Since it started in late 2006, I’ve been a registered member of Twitter—the popular 140 character-limited microblogging service. However, I’ve only recently started to use it on a regular basis. I’ve suddenly found it quite useful. Many of the folks I socialize with are confounded by its value; they cannot see why people post the detail of their most inane activities and they are equally baffled by those that read the postings. I do neither of these things and yet I am able to derive value from it. To understand how, I thought it would be worthwhile to briefly outline the reasons why I think it is a rather compelling service.