March 24, 2012
100, 500, 750, 1000? If you were fortunate enough to be employed by a large company for a long period of time maybe you do know 500 people. Maybe you moved around and held various positions in a number of locations and you know 750. Let’s say that you are a natural “networker” as well and you know 1,000 people. Wow! That would be pretty amazing. When a challenge confronts you or when you need to bounce around some ideas around you have this incredible internal network to leverage. Lucky for you.
Now how many people are at your company in total? 5,000, 10,000, 50,000, more? So even though you know about as many people as a person possibly can, you might not have access to 90% of the company. Their knowledge and wisdom is shut off from you. This is where social networking can help.
By participating in groups focused on business, and posting your status (“what are you doing?”) you will be able to interact with the entire company. You will be amazed how when you post a simple statement such as "Working on the ABC project, leveraging the XYZ tool" that out of no where people you never met will jump in. "I worked on something similar to ABC, watch out for....", or "I used XYZ tool, let me know if you need any help getting up to speed".
You will see only flashes of this early on, because there is a real culture shift that needs to occur. The staff at large corporations are not comfortable telling everyone about their challenges or even what they are working on. We are conditioned to keep that “in the department”. But this transparency can transform 100’s of departmental islands across the company that are trying to "figure it out on their own" into one company that is working together. Social collaboration can help tap into the skills, talents and resources of a global workforce.