CIO magazine has an interview article on enterprise wikis with Ross Mayfield from Socialtext, but don’t think you will just come away with wiki knowledge, this article has some of the best quotes on why KM 1.0 has failed.
This is explained so perfectly from the workers point of view…before you get into KM 2.0, if you want to begin to explain to someone what’s wrong with KM 1.0, these quotes will do the job:
“The way organizations adapt, survive and be productive is through the social interaction that happens outside the lines that we draw by hierarchy, process and organizational structure. The first form of social software to really take off to facilitate these discussions was email.”
“Most employees don’t spend their time executing business process. That’s a myth. They spend most of their time handling exceptions to business process. That’s what they’re doing in their [e-mail] inbox for four hours a day. Email has become the great exception handler.”
“Unfortunately, what it means is all the learning disappears because it’s hidden away in people’s inbox. It’s not searchable and discoverable…”
“So at the edge of your organization, there are all kinds of exceptions that are happening. If you handle them appropriately, you can adapt to where the market is going. You can adapt to the problems you have in your existing structures.”
“…the greatest source of sustainable innovation is how you’re handling these exceptions to business process.”
I met Ross back in 2002 or so, at a meeting in Palo Alto. He has been ahead of the curve on this. Wikis help move tacit information from inside people’s heads and in their inboxes OUT, so that others can see, interact and innovate this into new knowledge. Blogs can do something similar. Wiikis are good for many-to-many conversations. Blogs are good for one-to-many dialogs. But both require more than software. They require an understanding of what people actually do each day. Something many businesses do not have a clue about.