We are all connected.
More so than ever now. Technology is supporting the virtual workforce. Connecting with your clients and prospects in the virtual world. With this, your talent pool of knowledge is becoming more connected. Not only within the internal organization but with external knowledge sources.
We are becoming more "social" one might argue.
The rise of Microsoft Teams, Slack, Workplace by Facebook & ProFinda has been steady. Now it is meteoric.
LinkedIn is now at 690 million members and engagement is up 26%. More conversations and knowledge being shared internally and externally than ever before.
All this knowledge is now searchable, enabling you to connect the dots more effectively.
I recall my time in my previous life when we implemented Yammer as was, across a global organization of 50,000 people. There was an interesting divide amongst those who came on board, and those that didn't.
Those that did, it was a revelation. Previously untapped knowledge and thinking were now accessible. I made internal connections with some incredible people, who, without this virtual or social approach, I would have never met.
This enables better and more informed collaboration on projects, creating a better outcome for the clients. We had differing view points and challenges as we were no longer operating in the same bubble we had been previously. Always seeking the same people for advice and input. Unconcious bias creeping in, one might say.
Through a connected organization or a more "socially connected" organization, you can allow knowledge pools to flow both laterally and vertically. Allowing this to happen will enable new thinking and ideas to emerge, including new client solutions. These may well be based on products and services you already have, they are combined in a different way.
Much like the example cited in the video in the attached article, this is how the Nintendo Game Boy was born.
"Yokoi wasn't a particularly gifted engineer, but he perceived his environment in a way that his more talented and specialized peers were not able to. Because they had specialized so much, these more traditionally talented engineers could only frame their environment in terms of the specific technologies they specialized in. Yokoi, on the other hand, saw how various older — and therefore overlooked — pieces of technology could work together. The result was the Nintendo Game Boy."
How many Yokoi's are in your business, yet you do not know they exist? What is in their knowledge bank which could be hugely useful to you?
Think of your people as nodes of information. You can create internal "social neural networks" by connecting them.
Knowledge, in my view, is not static. It is fluid, elastic, flexible, and liquid. It can ebb and flow through your business. Check out the latest from Elon Musk on all of this.
It is also no wonder LinkedIn acquired Glint, the people analytics business. They are able to give leaders a view on how a business is "feeling" and "performing" with real-time analytics and data.
Imagine being able to run sentiment or intent analysis software over your internal collaborations platforms. This is not new, HP looked at this back in 2013 . Soon this will be normal for any large organization to be able to do this. And expected of them.
There is some interesting reading here about the importance of a connected workforce, in short :
"According to Gallup's 2017 State of the American Workplace poll, 70 percent of employees are not 'engaged' at work and 18 percent are 'actively disengaged'," she says. "This suggests that only about 30 percent of employees feel engaged, connected and enjoy their employment which, sadly, is one of the highest percentages that Gallup has found over the years. We hope to see this number increase going forward as companies continue their efforts to improve employee connection and belonging."
The more connected you become as an organization, the more connected you become.
Are we entering the era of a truly social organization? Catherine Coale believes so.
The question is, do you?
Traditional thinking is vertical, moving step-by-step to a logical conclusion based off of the available data. Lateral thinking, however, is horizontal, putting the emphasis on generating many ideas while de-emphasizing the details of how those ideas could be implemented.