New information technologies have clearly changed work habits and behaviors over the past few years. As they redefine relationships between employees internally, as well as those between the company and its external environment, they are now making collective intelligence the new normal.
In such a context, knowledge sharing has taken on special importance for businesses and has assumed new forms to which any company that aspires to remain competitive must quickly adapt. For managers, this is a new challenge to face.
If it’s only been a few years since the division of labour and the specialization of tasks was still the norm, the “Digital Revolution” triggered by the widespread use of computers and the internet has changed things dramatically. This indeed evolved in a model where the possession of knowledge or a specific skill was often perceived as a sort of power or even as a guarantee of continued employment. That was especially noticeable in industrial units, where everything was quite often organized around the individual abilities of each link in the production chain. In this type of organization, knowledge sharing was rather limited and very often took place within the classic skills transfer processes. Often this is found in the context of the departure of a senior employee or the arrival of a new one. Of course, there was also training, seminars, and other meetings but all that generally responded to a specific program, or need.
Today, things have changed. And we only need to take a look at our own daily operations, even outside a professional context, to notice it. Indeed, new media seems to have significantly altered the general perception concerning the sharing of knowledge, or more simply, of information. The personal use that we make of it through social media is also a good illustration of this trend. Likewise, the widespread accessibility of knowledge through multiple current data carriers is very much involved in this systematization of knowledge and information sharing.
In the era of the smart factory and collaborative work, making knowledge accessible is essential to companies’ competitiveness. However, certain standards must still be respected. Indeed, trade secrets and limiting access to certain information remains relevant. These concepts are just taking on new forms in line with the new challenges imposed by a highly dynamic digital environment in which new approaches are regularly developed.
To make the most of the increasing flow of information and knowledge to which businesses are subjected today, the concept of knowledge management, which was already present to a certain extent, has thus become even more important; properly managing and capitalizing on knowledge has become a major challenge for the efficiency of current systems. Meanwhile a new challenge has arisen: identifying, pooling, distributing, and securing knowledge in line with each company’s specific requirements. This involves establishing clear policies in this area, as well as using the appropriate tools.
One of the major challenges facing knowledge sharing 2.0 is related to the high mobility of employees and the constant availability of information. Today, being able to access knowledge anywhere at any time is indeed an imperative for many managers. In this context, new knowledge-sharing strategies must incorporate certain solutions.
"One of the major challenges facing knowledge sharing 2.0 is related to the high mobility of employees and the constant availability of information"
The first one that comes to mind flows logically from the requirements of collaborative work: a collaborative platform. The goal here is a multifunctional, multiplatform, application-based solution that all employees can easily handle. This is the case, for example, with Poka, the collaborative platform designed for professionals in the manufacturing sector. Incorporating various features, it facilitates the collection of data and procedures, their organization, and their accessibility according to predefined standards. Ideal for training and sharing, this type of application is accessible via computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Other solutions such as the virtualization of workstations and the establishment of an intranet are also some of the new tools that offer HR directors adequate responses to the need for knowledge sharing in the current environment.