Last Updated Jun 20, 2008 9:20 AM EDT
Even the US Central Intelligence Agency has fired up a knowledge-sharing wiki called Intellipedia, which recently celebrated its second anniversary. According to the CIA:
Intellipedia has grown into a valued repository of information that allows employees in any position (from analysts and engineers to librarians and HR specialists) to quickly learn about a wide variety of topics and issues important to the Intelligence Community and US Government. It also offers a powerful location for individuals from across the world to capture reporting as a crisis unfolds.But Babson College's Tom Davenport throws a little cold water on the notion that Intellipedia will solve all the agency's problems, and suggests that no organization should rely on just one tool when it comes to knowledge sharing.
One of Davenport's readers hit the nail on the head: information sharing is more an attitude than a technology. Writes "Mike":
The problem isn't a lack of technology, but a lack of fundamental appreciation of the power of sharing information. The intelligence communities are so used to protecting information, all information, that the concept is foreign to them.Unfortunately, businesses often display that same attitude. Information is power, and many executives only share data and knowledge within the organization on a need-to-know basis.
What has to be learned is that information is most powerful when it is used throughout an organization to inform decisions, not held close like a poker hand.