I personally feel that social networking is difficult to try and sell to the majority of employees. As our text states in Chapter 6, “2.0 tools must prove their value in employee’s eyes.” (O’Dell & Hubert, 2011) I have shared in a previous posting that the company I work for has a social networking program for the entire company which is a great tool, but it seems like the same people use it. On any given day I can go to the site and see the same people engaged in conversation. It almost turns into a Facebook for some of the users because they are on it for almost any question they can come up with. This appears like it is taking time away from their day that they could be working on other projects and not going back and forth in conversation. In following some of these conversations, it would seem like they should schedule an “off-line” meeting to discuss in great detail the specifics of the conversation since it is becoming extremely detailed and not exactly relevant to others.
Another disadvantage of the program is that it takes time to learn and employees usually fall to the method that they are already using to gather knowledge. For example, if an employee has a question about a project issue, they generally go to someone within their own division for help. If they would post their question out on the company social networking site, they may gain the knowledge of multiple global employees who have dealt with the same issue. Perhaps, if they had this knowledge it may help them even more than if they just went to the person they know from their division because they could get a new point of view from someone outside the division. The concept of being able to connect to a worldwide group of experts on a topic is fascinating to me. I love the idea that I can reach out to a group to help me solve a problem. I also enjoy helping others so if there is an idea that I can share or a lesson learned on my part, I would be happy to share this as well. But not everyone shares my enthusiasm to connect and learn.
Reading the success stories in our APQC hand out this week makes me believe that emerging technologies can truly advance companies in developing a working knowledge sharing program. The success that Accenture and Hewlett Packard (APQC, 2011) had with applying Sharepoint for their knowledge management programs makes me believe that this is something that my organization could benefit from. Even though Sharepoint seems like an antiquated system, it is what my organization has to work with to capture our knowledge. The benefit is that we already have it and the majority of our employees know how to use it. I believe it just needs to be updated, cleaned up for easy access and then shared with the employees who would benefit from using it.