We waste time orchestrating work, instead of actually working. We fiddle away mornings and afternoons joining meetings that lead to nothing. The old fashioned rules of thumb at the office need a major update, as the race to be more productive is approaching a dead end.
The way we work is “terribly inefficient,” Timothy Morey and Roberto Veronese say. “There are some obvious moments when this inefficiency is exposed.”
The average information worker spends two hours per day searching for information, an additional 1.5 in meeting, while another hour is lost scheduling meetings, studies carried out by software companies such as Doodle and Atlassian have shown. We waste another two hours reading and sending emails, a McKinsey & Company paper shows.
By adding the numbers, we end up with 6.5 hours per day lost with planning and talking and not actually doing our job. “Information work needs its version of the automation that enhanced the productivity and output of individual craftspeople in the industrial revolution,” Morey and Veronese say.
A solution: Knowledge management
They offer three solutions to this problem. One of them involves creating more adaptable software, able to guess your next step. Another idea takes into consideration a better use of sensors to monitor both the environment and people.
The third solution aims for a better knowledge management. “People join and leave organizations so frequently that institutional memory is fleeting,” Morey and Veronese say. “In larger firms, different groups of information workers may tackle the same problem without being aware that others are doing the same.”
Communication and collaboration need to be at the core of every modern business. Companies should offer quick access to information, this being a necessary, but not sufficient condition to enable productivity.
“Offering knowledge multipliers to information workers—such that they are armed with information they did not even know would help them—should be the ambition of those interested in moving beyond the baseline,” the article says.
Software tools make knowledge sharing work
Team leaders who foster knowledge sharing and help their colleagues make better use of information have a decisive resource in today’s working environment.
However, supporting knowledge sharing and actually making the process work are two different things. Software tools such as Quandora, our Q&A platform that provides quick access to your company’s experts and know-how, are ready to help. Team members can ask a questions when they stumble and get the answer from their colleagues. Prior to that, they can search in the database as this issues could have been addressed in the past.
“The most valuable assets of the 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, whether business or nonbusiness, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity,” Peter Drucker said in his Management Challenges of the 21st Century.
Diminishers and multipliers
There are only two kinds of leaders today, those who want to be seen as geniuses, and those who transform people around them into geniuses, Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown argue in their Wall Street Journal bestseller Multipliers.
The difference between them is that geniuses makers use effective organizational learning and knowledge management.
In today’s digital workplace, we all need to be almost geniuses in order to succeed. Help building geniuses around you and…
… Happy Knowledge Sharing!