As noted in PwC’s thought leadership titled; Building a Social Enterprise, it took 156 months for television to reach a worldwide audience of 50 million, but only less than three years for WhatsApp reach that number. The concept of knowledge management was introduced more than twenty years ago and has been widely accepted since.Many companies realized the importance of the concept and they recognized that knowledge was an asset that could be managed to achieve competitive advantage.However, according to a friend working with Sharp Electronics in Japan, many companies still struggle to optimally benefit from it. Effective knowledge management is more important than ever as huge demographic shifts threaten the conservation of company knowledge. According to a study conducted in Australia two years ago, there was a consensus that Baby Boomers are retiring while Generation Y workers including your blogger, with their tendency to change jobs often and their independent way of working, are coming to dominate the workforce.Only fools would argue that social media hasn’t changed the way people behave and interact. In my case, social media platforms have allowed me learn and engage in exchanging ideas with each other and even views on sporting activities. Contador Harrison a Los Angeles Lakers fan, Daniel Hursey, his friend based in Miami, Florida who supports Miami Heat and Kansas based Alice Ngambi, Cleveland Cavaliers fan exchanges on twitter is a testament that social media doesn’t need to stay outside the office to interact and exchange views.Leading companies have implemented social technology on top of their existing knowledge management to enhance their use of knowledge, which is often referred to as Social Knowledge Management. Traditional Knowledge Management is considered to be an extra duty, taking time by its approval process, and based on what a company thinks important. Social one can engage employees because they provides a platform for sharing knowledge in a more free form and casual way.A friend of me used to remind me that content becomes people-centric, freely distributed, and driven by what’s actually important to employees, making Social Knowledge Management more efficient and self sustaining.
Social technology reinforces Knowledge Management because it unlocks the limitations of traditional Knowledge Management and provides collaboration tools optimized from existing social media capabilities.Whenever I talk with Somocon Group of Companies CEO Juuso Vuorinen, it is clear that Knowledge Management is about culture and change. It requires management support, incentives and recognition. In Finland, research has shown that gamification boosts participation in Knowledge Management by engaging staff with rewards.That is as a result of using game-design techniques in business environments to engage, motivate, and inspire workforces and customers. It is the integration of game elements into the concept that needs behavior change and such elements should be easy to understand, have immediate feedback, be rewarding and be fun. In Sydney Australia, there is a company I know all too well where collecting points to win prizes, leader boards or simply recognizing status in social community. Once Social Knowledge Management elements and mechanisms are understood, the next step is to ensure successful adoption and implementation. As Generation Y including Contador Harrison occupies more than half the workforce, employers need to find tools to address their lifestyle and working behavior. Integrating social media platforms into business models can reach these workers quickly and broadly. Social media penetration is astonishing by looking at the numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp, Foursquare and Google Plus among others.Companies are facing more complex and unstructured problems that require new combinations of skill sets and more timely response times.The best solution available would be to tap into the benefits of mass collaboration, collective intelligence, and immediate response times through social technology.