More and more people use YouTube to search for information each day. There is always an altruistic soul who has produced a 'How to..." clip online to demonstrate the intricacies of performing a particular task.
How to build a Rocket; How to Climb a Mountain; How to build a Nuclear Submarine; and yes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity made easy! Squidoo hosts millions of dedicated pages from devotees of all manner of pursuits who provide intricate wisdom about their passions. Using multiple devices, apps, widgets, networks, hotspots and the list goes on, people can access ‘rightsize’ pieces of information and wisdom to support the successful pursuit of whatever it is they are taking on. When will it be the norm for all organisations to emulate how we can behave in our personal lives, in our professional lives.
A recent article in AFR suggested that in Australia we only allow 20-30% of the workforce use their smartphones for work. An extraordinary statistic! We could have 80% of our workforce not even hooked up to the biggest knowledge asset that has ever existed. Yet we try to create them for ourselves. Businesses still reach back to the past to strive to develop ‘books’, SOPs and manuals and bury them in company file structures or shelves. We develop process architecture that is charted and displayed on walls that people never look at and org structures that struggle to escape from HRIS databases. We send broadcast emails to everyone in the company, when you could talk to them face to face. SOPs and the like are vitally important, but they need to live and breathe. How can we continue to pursue outdated ways of servicing the customers that are our employees and ignoring the opportunity for the elusive productivity dollar uplift.
Right now the most popular apps are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Take out the traditional fear of people wasting time updating their fav TV shows and photographing an amazing artwork on the top of their coffee and this as a behaviour is about people in conversations with each other. Whether leaving a message for later consumption or live conversations via text, IM or video message this is people seeking counsel from others about all manner of things. Years ago this was called knowledge management and we talked about huge searchable database, but now its just life. How do we redesign the way we provide connectedness between our employees and the ‘rightsize’ information and wisdom they need to lift performance?
There are companies out there with progressive leadership that are seeking to provide their workforce with access to each other in real and practical ways using all manner of technology. But the key to their success is leadership drive at the very strategic level and their willingness to take ownership of something new. Too many times have I seen great ideas grow and then wither because organisation couldn’t accomodate the new approaches alongside the historical accountabilities.
Their is an enormous opportunity to shift practices to more productive, simple and commercial sensible ways of working through applying innovation and design to the way we work. If you are already, may the force be with you. If you aren’t, shout out we can help.