In today’s networked world, organizations that wish to reap
the benefits of material improvements in efficiency must set up
a new model for managing the collective intelligence about their
organization. The first step is grasping the concept of centralized,
Collective intelligence about an organization is traditionally
stored in the brains of its employees, and in static documentation
such as policy manuals, procedures, and marketing declarations.
In most cases, both employees and customers have to rely on the
recall power of other people, since finding and absorbing what is
available in static records is often inefficient.
In today’s competitive environment, organizations who can
quickly deliver intelligence to their employees and customers have
a competitive advantage. First, it is far easier to train employees
on how to find information than how to retain information. Second,
digital intelligence allows an organization to create self service
transactions with the marketplace. Conversations about the organization,
completing transactions, or capturing the marketplace have become
electronically enhanced, so that the message reaches further and
costs less in investment and resources.
Until now, most efforts to digitize intelligence have been limited
to one department or situation at a time, without an overall strategic
foundation for all organizational interaction. A web site reaches
out to the marketplace, intranets are designed to reach in to employees
and examiners, and data processing systems store intelligence about
processing transactions. New concepts about self service are forcing
the coordination of these different sources, to give customers a
better insight into why and how they should do business with one
organization versus another.
Organizations that take a strategic approach to centralizing and
digitizing all corporate intelligence can achieve gains over organizations
that use a piecemeal approach. A strategic approach often involves
redesigning and setting new goals for resources, tactical approaches,
and the long-term view of the company. Obviously this is not an
easy task. Start by evaluating against the following standards:
- The Content: How much corporate intelligence has been collected
as digital intelligence?
- The Flexibility: Can the intelligence be delivered in a way
that responds directly to the situation at hand?
- The Network: Is the intelligence centralized so it can be used
at all customer contact points?
- The Usage Rate: Is the intelligence presented in a way that
it is trusted, so that it is actually used?
These standards require plans for how to build and judge content
that represents the company’s vision, policies, procedures,
and marketplace value. Content must then be organized so that it
can be delivered in response to variable situations and conditions—like
an interactive conversation, rather than just reading a book. Networks
need to be developed to have the greatest possible reach, and testing
and monitoring tools should be in place to evaluate and guarantee
usage. Tools and resources will be required to make this strategy
a reality. Every day new resources enter the market that help organizations
move forward on these concepts.
What about your organization? Do you still rely on information
that is static or stored mostly in the experiences of your employees
and leaders? Can you afford to rely on intelligence gained through
historical methods that are more expensive to use than what your
competitors are using?
Randy Karnes, CEO
(800) 327-3478 ext 101