Endless possibilities

To get ideas - engage the wisdom of crowds, in ways you've never imagined possible. You can see this idea in action on del.icio.us and technorati.com.

Kathy Sierra from creating passionate users blog remarks on "The wisdom of crowds" ..."the wisdom comes not from the consensus decision of the group, but from the aggregation of the ideas/thoughts/decisions of each individual in the group."

Assigning order to a chaotic process. People in businesses and corporations are starting to use social software, virtual communities, and rich learning environments to relate ideas, stories and information to each other. These virtual communities help employees spot new business opportunities before the competition does, create a meeting place, be open to radical opportunities, break down silos, support experimentation, enable managers to represent the customer vis-à-vis their own organizations, and help everyone move forward.

The problem used to be that information was a scarce resource. On the flip side, most employees did not need to know much about the organization to do their job.

Keeping up with rapidly changing times. In the new millennium, yesterday's Employees have been replaced with today's Professionals - they need uncluttered information, both internal – regarding the company, and external - regarding the competition, trends in the industry, etc - to solve problems, meet challenges, and do their jobs. The conundrum is that today's Professional needs help with ideas and information yet has no mindspace (time and attention) to sift though the clutter.

On a counter intuitive note, everybody needs a good heap of CLUTTERED INFORMATION to tinker with in order to invent new ideas.

With external information, the central challenge of intelligence gathering has always been the problem of "noise": the fact that useless information is vastly more plentiful than useful information. With more information available, it is harder to discern what information really matters.

With internal information or the lack thereof, the main challenge for today's professionals is trying to figure out how their daily work activities fit with what the organization is trying to achieve. Most employees do not read 10-K's, annul reports, or much about business objectives, goals, etc. This causes a disconnection on what needs to be done. What's more, plans change faster than people are able to grasp them.

Serendipity anyone?

With employees using socail networking software and virtual communities, they have a better opportunity for chance encounter and better cooperation across departments.

Since most companies struggle with the "silo syndrome" employees from different departments tend to keep to themselves, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. A social network or virtual community lends itself to chance encounters among people who don't, but should, know each other.