The odds are very good that you’ve dealt with this before. It may have been called Knowledge Management. Maybe it was part of the last big rollout of your Intranet. Or maybe it was those “TeamSites” that you started using, with or without official approval. Whatever it was called, the problem that was to be fixed was poor collaboration among employees. However, the problem was never really fixed.
And now many organizations are back to assembling task forces and steering committees to take a look at their collaboration issues. Despite it being a punching bag for executives because it lacks measurable ROI, this is something that companies are finding is harder and harder to avoid. Why? Because…
- Globally distributed employees can’t poke their head over a cube to ask for help
- Millennial-aged employees have radically different expectations and needs for how they interact with their colleagues and share information
- Retiring workers and flex-force employees are taking their knowledge with them
- Intellectual Property is winding up on the cloud as employees proactively seek their own solution to the collaboration problem
Our experience shows that more technology is not the answer. Over the years, there has been a lot of investment made trying to fix this problem; and the reality is that a majority of organizations would come to a grinding halt if email and the shared drives were to both disappear at once. The trap is thinking that yet another software product in the mix with a compelling user interface and a catchy, or recognizable, brand will be the panacea. Without a doubt, your problem is with your processes and your organization’s culture.
So what do you do? Get in front of the issue and understand both what your employees want and how they do their job. They need to be supported in the ways they work and incented for good collaborative behavior. Only with this full understanding will you be ready to go out and find the solution that meets your requirements.
Read more about making your Intranet your company’s hotspot in my article, “Migrating to the Next Generation of the Intranet” at http://www.acquitygroup.com/articles/nextgen-intranet