SIDENOTE - after this crowdsourcing exercise the next step it to organise the ideas into categories. Each category will be a new forum, our job is to move ideas into the correct forum. It’s great we are coming up with these forums after the fact rather than the prescriptive approach, but there sure is a lot of organising to do after an “idea’s” month containing 400 ideas and their replies. If only our forum had tagging. One forum stream with tags is the way to go.
We will be looking at who can lead each forum, by possibly looking at who posted about each category the most, and if they are passionate. From then on our idea jam will turn into a perpetual idea’s community, not quite the sophistication of Spigit, but at least we have momentum.
Anyway the other day I got a request for a real classic CoP, in that it is about a subject matter many cross-functional people have experience in, but we don’t have a practice or business unit.
A push for it was when the company assembled a team for a project but failed to have the most optimal people in that project, as we didn’t know they existed, and most would not be aware of the talent of these people as their job title does not give it away.
The idea is to link all these people into a common place, so this does not happen again, and so a subject matter space of conversations and documents can be built.
This was not a mandate by management, instead a guy passionate about the subject requested a grass roots way using a CoP to get this off the ground.
I can’t wait to see this CoP a year from now. A senior manager may come across it and think, wow, I didn’t know we knew so much about this topic. This looks like a real viable venture, perhaps we should graduate this to an official business unit ie. a core service offering.
When we look at it like this, online tools like CoPs are very empowering, and can do something for you and the groups career, as well as feed your passion, and be able to help the company be more effective and locate talent.
What was available before our online CoPs…email and the intranet.
Who’s going to know about an email list, it’s not really a place you stumble across, and it’s not an organised portal.
Obviously this group cannot have an intranet page, as they are not official, and if they did they cannot use the intranet page on a daily basis (an intranet page is not a conversation space).
The fact that we now have online social tools that allow bottom-up grass roots effort to emerge is very enabling. These guys can now create a space and say look at us, come join us. If you create conditions by giving people the tools, the talent will surface, people will do the main aims of KM without you asking them.
Without our online communities:
- the findability of these experts would be ad-hoc or non-existent
- the company would not being leveraging the talent pool
- these guys would be frustrated that they can’t engage, consolidate, and be known so they can work in this role in good projects
- we may miss opportunity to create a possible new venture
…all because the common knowledgeworker doesn’t have the power tools, and are not given the time to create portals that may prove popular, and even the next business success.
I think it’s important to listen to knowledge workers and give them tools, as they deal with the business at ground zero daily, and may have an idea to revolutionise what can be done.
It’s a win-win really.
A middle manager may say they don’t want their people wasting time on other things, but allowing this may just help the business be more progressive and adaptive. I think senior managers and middle managers need to be on par that it’s OK for people to spend some time on stuff that is non team related or better still even complementary to team work.
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things”- Peter Drucker