Three factors position today's organization for building a strong and vibrant knowledge network. First is our historical human predisposition to share knowledge where it serves mutual interests. Second is the widespread acknowledgment that access to the most current knowledge is now a requirement for success. And third is the diverse and sophisticated selection of tools available for exchanging knowledge through electronic networks.
Organizations that naturally converse and share knowledge among their various cultures will find the migration to the online environment less difficult than those that must adapt both their communications habits and their leadership practices. Most of the companies cited in this book as good examples of knowledge networking practice have already embraced the internal sharing of knowledge as a core value. Those that haven't would be wise to prepare carefully before launching online networking efforts. This preparation takes place on two dimensions:
Strategy, where the practice of knowledge sharing must be woven into the long-range goals and cultural evolution of the organization
Planning, where answers to initial design and budgetary questions clear the way to approval, funding, and implementation of the pilot phase of the project
Even organizations that emphasize the free exchange of knowledge among their cultures may be disrupted by the movement of important conversations to the online environment. ...