Social Networking for Knowledge Sharing

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Knowledge Management > Best Practices > Social Networking for Knowledge Sharing

Social Networking for Knowledge Sharing
Dilip Khanal, CEO, Nepal, Member
All of you know the value of Facebook and Twitter these days. Have you ever thought of such social network within the organization where all can share their work related knowledge and also share personal feelings. It works wonderfully as it is not dependent on organizational hierarchy. Japanese enterprises have successfully done this. But, it works best with a few dedicated persons' voluntary contribution and the organization's moral support for such endeavor.

Conditions for Establishing a Social Knowledge Network within a Firm
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
In 'Handboek Communities (p. 46-52, in Dutch) a number of conditions for establishing a social knowledge network within a firm are presented that could be useful:
1. Have an open culture (be as transparent as possible and be honest about things you don't want to disclose)
2. Be prepared to share (start with giving in the conviction that you will eventually get back more from the community)
3. Management involvement (show it is important)
4. Be flexible (internet and audiences are unpredicable, so adapt your project continuously)
5. Accept and use critics (even when they seem/are unfair)
6. Be realistic (only a low percentage of people is willing to actively participate, but for them the fact that lots of passive followers are there is relevant. Take a long term view. Communities are not built overnight nor can you change your company quickly).

Conditions for Social Networking
Dilip Khanal, CEO, Nepal, Member
The editor has offered some basic conditions for planning a social network. I fully agree with him. Furthermore, social networking planning needs a close understanding of the potential participants. It is always important to start with few expectations. Experiences reveal that younger people are more inclined to share and their participation in the initial days is crucial. Gradually, elderly people join the net and start sharing.

Conditions for Social Networking
Charles Nonde, Consultant, Zambia, Member
@Jaap de Jonge (Editor): The sentiments expressed by you and Dilip are true and valid. However in the organization am currently working for, there is an alternative platform called 'teamworks' being used.
I must say that it has not received the interest as expected, despite there being an extensive promotion and trainer courses being offered by the administrators. I just wonder how the points shared can help ensure that everyone is using the same platform so that work related matters are done in a pulsating medium like that of Facebook.

Diagnostic and Persistent Effort Might Be Useful
Dilip Khanal, CEO, Nepal, Member
@Charles Nonde: you shared what's happening in your organization. Has anyone tried to diagnose why people are less interested in team works?
Reasons might be multiple like cultural, organizational or motivational.
I worked with one organization where staff believe in accepting anything from seniors. I motivated them to express their inner self. It took me five years to change their behavior. Now, management style is changed and top management takes feedback from staff for improving the organization. That was impossible five years ago.

Creating a Social Network Within Organizations
MERY, Student (University), France, Member
I think that to set up a 'Facebook' into an organization, we must first institute a knowledge strategy so as to have a common framework, a common methodology. And why not the "participative design" so as to involve all the human resources, top, middle and lower officers in elaborating such strategy (Shaw and Edwards 2005).
So, not only the data processing tools (Facebook for instance) is key, but also the organizational and human ones such as motivation, the recognition of the dg, the involvement of all the human resources...
Setting up a face book into an organization will only be a good idea, if we combine all these 3 components.

Special Interest Group Leader
Lloyd Lawrence

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