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Making internal collaboration work: why effective knowledge management within enterprises requires replacing e-mail

From comes this interview with Don Tapscott, an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, spoke with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland in September 2012.

Some insights from the interview:

“How do we get beyond e-mail to these new social platforms that include an industrial-strength social network? Not through Facebook, because that’s not the right tool. But there are tools now: wikis, blogs, microblogging, ideation tools, jams, next-generation project management, what I call collaborative decision management. These are social tools for decision making. These are the new operating systems for the 21st-century enterprise in the sense that these are the platforms upon which talent—you can think of talent as the app—works, and performs, and creates capability.”

“You need to have a new collaborative suite where, rather than receiving 50 e-mails about a project, you go there and you see what’s new. All the documents that are pertinent to that project are available. You can create a new subgroup to talk about something. You can have a challenge or an ideation or a digital brainstorm to advance the interests of that project. You can cocreate a document on a wiki. You can microblog the results of this to other people in the corporation who need to be alerted.”

“We’re in the very early stages of these collaborative suites transforming the nature of work. And that’s kind of understandable. Lots of companies have made attempts and have failed, because they didn’t take the time to try and understand what makes a good diffusion strategy.”

“Typically, there’s some customization that’s involved. And you need to develop a strategy where senior management is clearly endorsing this, encouraging this, and using the technology themselves so that others will. These are big cultural changes. They’re often received with coolness or worse, mockery and hostility.”


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