Harald Borner, global head of talent at SAP points out that they have every conceivable technology tool to collect and share knowledge, and help people find out anything they may need to know … but none of that counts if people aren’t motivated and skilled to access and make use of it. He also points out that there can be too much of a good thing – lots of discussion groups, Wikis etc etc get going but people just don’t take part. Seems most are too busy responding to the direct work pressures they are under.
Thorsten Huebschen of Microsoft admits we are still not at the point people can instantly find what they want – even inside M’soft! Also, they are working to find ways of capturing information from the ‘long tail’ of people who know small but potentially very valuable information. [‘long tail’ as originally used refers to very low-volume products in an extensive product range, but I get what he means]
A bit of a disagreement, though – Philip Evans snr VP with BCG offered that customers can tell you what they want, so it’s important to be close to them … but this morning’s speaker, head of Innovation at Deutsche Telecom emphasised that customers often have no idea what they want or what they would do with it until it is actually available. A big, big issue in info-coms of course, but also true at a less intense level in slower-moving markets.