How well does your company use social networking internally, for people to pick each other’s brains most effectively and access the full breadth of the organization’s collective intelligence?
If the answer is not very well, take a look at Tata Consultancy Services, which has over 198,500 IT consultants in 42 countries.
Some thoughts from K. Ananth Krishnan, TCS’s chief technology officer:
- “If you’re dealing with a particular problem and you need help, you go into our social platform and you just ask. You type in a question saying, ‘This is a problem I’m having. Has anybody solved this before?’ And you might get five responses in 30 seconds from people who have done exactly what you tried to do, and they have their solutions. Of course, three responses might say one thing and two might say something totally different. So you still have to use the intuition and the judgment.”
- “I find that Gen X and the Gen Y people are actually good at this. Better than older people like me. We might get stymied by what to do next, but they seem to be able to kind of figure out okay, I’m going to go with what these three people said.”
- “I [recently wrote a blog post] on the ideation process. There are a lot of things that I as the CTO of India’s largest software company should be looking at. Obviously, I don’t have the bandwidth to look at all of them. So I’m asking my readers to help me find out what am I missing. What are the three things they feel I should be paying attention to? Hopefully I will get a few hundred responses, and then I and my staff will go through and make sure that we pick the top three from there. I do this quite often to supplement what I’m reading from all the other sources of information. The kind of insights that our business leaders might need for creating a new service offering or going after a new market or whatever, many of those get validated by this softer data.”
Krishnan’s comments come from his interview “The “Unstructured Information” Most Businesses Miss Out On,” a conversation with MIT Sloan Management Review editor-in-chief Michael S.