MARCH 2014 / NO. 1

The four barriers to interactions

“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, pride and arrogance”, Samuel Butler
Most localities have a few individuals who know many people across social and professional boundaries and facilitate networking amongst them. These people are called ‘connectors’.
“It is amazing to see how the strategic intelligence solution of MI7 discovers and visualizes these new connectors in and beyond your sectors of industry and across the globe”
One of the most fundamental barriers that employees face across organizations today is how to improve the daily interaction between knowledge workers. Organizations around the world struggle to crack the code of improving the effectiveness of managers, marketers, sales people, strategists, scientists and others, whose jobs consist primarily of interactions – with other employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders – and complex decision-making based on knowledge and judgment. Knowledge workers spend some 50% of their time on interactions!

Communities of Practice

The power of MI7 allows organizations to create Communities of Practice to benefit from one another’s advice, featuring online tools, using social-networking, sharing information-knowledge-intelligence, and sharing analysis tools during work in progress and beyond that too. Knowledge workers face four barriers to interactions:
  1. Physical and technical barriers: these go hand-in-hand because of the lack of effective tools for locating the right people which can make collaboration difficult
  2. Social and cultural barriers: rigid hierarchy can prevent the right people from engaging for important knowledge sharing and collaborative problem-solving
  3. Contextual barriers: sharing and translating knowledge obtained from colleagues in different fields such as departments, divisions or business units
  4. Time barriers, or the perceived lack of them. Valuable interactions fall victim to time constraints. This must be avoided

What are the benefits of collaboration?

Imagine that the average salary of a knowledge worker is € 50,000 per year. This implies that € 25,000 is spent on interactions. We can estimate that the interaction productivity of this knowledge worker can be improved by 50%, meaning a minimum increase of € 12,500 in effectiveness. This is an impressive Return on Investment (ROI)! How long will organizations continue with static intranets, email overload, and time-consuming meetings, and continue spending a further 30% of their available time in collecting data and information?
Doing nothing might seem the easy way out. However, this is often an invisible mistake, a sin of omission rather than of commission. To act requires courage!
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do”, Nassim Nicolas Taleb

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