People as a service ?

By Bertrand Duperrin posted 07-23-2010 08:58


In one of my former posts I suggested that we may have been wrong trying to socialize people while their primary need was to be able to easily socialize information first and, then only, interact around it.

Since "social", "socialize"  are used to say many things without saying anything precisely I think some definition is needed. By "socializing" I meant making any information socially actionable, ie start conversations, bring people etc...around it without having to get into any other tool, copy/past, explain etc... Making it easy for interactions to start and happen in the context of information is really key to adoption.

That said, I took time to go further in my reflection, questioning it and trying to draw all possible conclusions.

- information has to be socialized because it's in most of cases what stimulates conversations and informal interactions. It's the stimulus, the problem that has to be solved etc...

- Then these interactions need knowledge and knowledge can seldom be found on traditional information systems. Knowledge can be found in people's head, between their two ears and is waiting for the above mentioned stimulus and conversations to surface and be expressed on the tool that hosts the conversation.

- Consequence : managing knowledge is managing people. But what does it imply when it comes to sharing information ? Does it mean sharing people ?

At first sight, when stimuli and conversations have made anyone write his knowledge down on any social platform we can consider that it's shared, regardless of its original owner. But it implies that the owner was available and ready to share what he knew, what is far from being always true.

All we're talking about is bringing pieces of knowledge together, assemble and transform them through conversations to solve a problem or take the most from any information. That means bringing pieces of people or, said differently, that people are shared, being mobilizable for anything that is not their own job, their own duty.

One the reasons many enterprise 2.0 initiatives fail is because people are not shared resources : they can't give time to others, to the business units that don't pay them, to the colleague next door because they are not working or the same project or for the same managers. All our assumptions rely on the fact people are shared resources, even shared services,  what is the only way to make knowledge a shared resource too. And that's not an issue that has to do with technology, adoption, change management but with HR, organization, management and even internal processes and workflows.

So, let's sum up :

- as a stimulus, information has to be socialized

- knowledge has to be a shared resource

- and people shared services

So many things to reivent in terms of work, organization, assignments, rewards and even accounting.

#problemsolving #Collaboration #conversations #socialization #informationsharing