Did you ever think “let go of the past” and “focus on what you can control” could apply outside your personal life? PwC’s strategy+business takes you through the steps of your reboot. To find the principles, click on the elements image below:
I remember how eight years ago I was explaining to one of my clients the benefits of having an online platform that could be easily updated by his sales force, used by both client facing and back office and act also as a sales platform for anyone accessing the internet. It was an innovative idea, custom made but the word “social” had nothing to do with it. Technologies have come a long way and we often hear the word “social” sticked to some other ones such as “knowledge sharing” or “business benefits”. Nowadays, by not reaching the full potential of the existing knowledge sharing system, companies begin to suffer the same effects that the Alzheimer disease has on human brain, as we’ll see shortly.
According to McKinsey’s “Social economy” report, the social technologies today look like this:
- over 1.5 billion networking users globally;
- 80% of online users interact with social networks regularly;
- 70% of companies are using social technologies; 90% of them report business benefits from such technologies;
- knowledge workers spend 28 hours per week writing, searching and collaborating inside the company.
However, their potential is somewhere here:
- between USD 1 billion and USD 1.3 trillion could be unlocked by social technologies in four sectors;
- twice potential value from better enterprise communication and collaboration;
- 20-25% potential improvement in knowledge worker productivity.
During the last few years, I understood that knowledge management comes in fact to maintain the organization’s brain, to keep it active, to develop it so the organization is able to work and innovate. I observed that organizations with dysfunctional knowledge management begin to suffer the same effects that the Alzheimer disease has on human brain: intellectual abilities are lost, even reach inability to think abstractly, the coordination is limited, and they have trouble performing daily activities. Since the evolution is similar to an organization’s brain, I named this disease Knowledgeheimer – click here for details on this concept.
How do we treat these symptoms?
McKinsey’s report shows that two-thirds of this potential value lies in improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises. The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28% of the work week managing e-mail and nearly 20% looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. But when companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35%, the time employees spend searching for company information. Additional value can be realized through faster, more efficient, more effective collaboration, both within and between enterprises.
The amount of value individual companies can capture from social technologies varies widely by industry, as do the sources of value. Companies that have a high proportion of interaction workers can realize tremendous productivity improvements through faster internal communication and smoother collaboration. Companies that depend very heavily on influencing consumers can derive considerable value by interacting with them in social media and by monitoring the conversations to gain a richer perspective on product requirements or brand image – for much less than what traditional research methods would cost.
To reap the full benefit of social technologies, organizations must transform their structures, processes, and cultures: they will need to become more open and non-hierarchical and to create a culture of trust. Ultimately, the power of social technologies hinges on the full and enthusiastic participation of employees who are not afraid to share their thoughts and trust that their contributions will be respected. Creating these conditions will be far more challenging than implementing the technologies themselves.
In 2011, economic uncertainty continued to impact the security programmes of many organisations. The effects of a recovering economy converged with strong confidence in the efficacy of security programmes to create an environment in which security practices are often weakened. As a result, organisations have become vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated threats to information security, with potentially harmful consequences to businesses across industries and across the globe.
I believe we all understand that information security can make or break the success of business goals and competitive advantage. As a result, many of the organisations today are taking a hard look at what’s needed to design, implement and manage an effective information security programme, one that addresses today’s evolving business practices and heightened security threats.
PwC, in conjunction with CIO and CSO magazines, carried out a global survey of more than 9,300 security and business executives from February 1 to April 15, 2012. The survey examined how executives viewed the scope and efficacy of their security policies, strategies and technologies. To gauge how you stack up against your peers, you may use their custom tool to benchmark your organisation’s security profile. Once you have entered your responses, you can create a customized PDF file that explores how your views compare with others, with insights from PwC’s Security Advisory team.
I recently came across a study on Risk Management with some interesting results:
- Almost 64% of Risk Masters (organizations moving toward risk mastery) indicate that their risk management capabilities provide competitive advantage to “a great extent”.
- Almost three in every four Risk Masters consider the risk organization critical to reducing operational, credit and market losses.
- Risk Masters integrate risk management capabilities across the organization.
- Risk Masters are more likely to concentrate risk management in the hands of a chief risk officer. This suggests that Risk Masters more readily acknowledge the importance of having a C-level risk executive as an influential part of top management.
- Risk Masters from their peers is their commitment to creating and infusing an awareness of risk exposure and the means to mitigate risks – as well as more detailed tacit knowledge and training – across the corporate culture.
- Risk Masters emphasize the importance of making risk management part of everyone’s daily responsibilities.
The chief risk officer for one global energy company concluded: “A high-quality and efficient risk management function is among the top strategic goals of the company, ranking second only to growth and profitability.”
At the end of the 90’s, KM challenges were addressed through technology-based solutions. When you told someone about KM, they would reply with a tool or a software-driven initiative; usually a corporate-wide one. It took a few years to find out that an IT project would not solve the need of knowledge and would not necessarily improve knowledge sharing culture within company.
Later on, KM was perceived not along with IT but rather with HR. To comply with both, a key message soon became that organizations have to acknowledge people over technology as the active protagonists in knowledge-sharing. And now we come to the next step: processes. KM later was associated to managing processes and understanding the knowledge flow. So, where does KM fit in at the end? Does it need a separate entity? Should it be part of something else?
After reviewing a large number of situations, reports and statistics, I see that there are two situations:
- KM is perceived as a response to a strategic need (especially after the downturn) that often even remains unidentified. They call it somehow else but they are trying to manage knowledge flows, have a knowledge-sharing culture and even build some IT if necessary. As KM is not defined, it’s not even called that way.
- Top management perceives KM as something they “must do” to be ahead of competition. They say they are engaged to harmonizing knowledge-sharing processes across the organization but the exact reasons why they are strategically implementing KM is still not very clear. As KM is defined, it is established as an individual separate entity from other organisational structures.
So, again, where does KM fit in? Any experience is different but here might be similarities we can work on to better understand how this is developing.