In this post we introduce two of our most popular, effective and complementary platforms of knowledge management – Konnect and Communities.
Konnect is our in-house developed social software that blends content management with Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogspot and Twitter type features. It’s viral, thriving and emergent.
Typical “search” scenarios end with documents, expertise databases, scraps of information left in blogs or looking under the hierarchical constructs created by the organization. Konnect enables these typical content searches across blogs, discussions, documents, project repositories and expertise databases and also organizes them by relevance. What it does alongside is, find people who may be able to help, in the network. A Mindtree mind’s network is people who they mention explicitly, in addition to the communities they are connected to, by choice. So, they could be senior technical architects interested in visual design belonging to our “Open Source” practice. They would possibly be members of the user centric design community, technical leads community, open source community and definitely the leadership community. Their search will include people who have expertise in their network. We believe that connecting them to the right people will lead to a much richer conversation than reading flat files or even watching videos.
In essence Konnect helps us connect people with content, other people and networks of people. A passionate team created this platform, one of the best we could afford. However, all this wouldn’t have been of much use without vibrant communities in place.
In a recent speaking opportunity in Bangalore, we opened a debate on what should become an organizational priority to deploy effective social and collaborative systems – should we focus on culture, processes or technology first. At Mindtree our experience clearly has been “culture first”. It takes a few months to put a technology solution in place. It takes a year or more to operationalize processes. But it takes more than five years to set a culture in place.
Communities help us build a listening and dissenting corporate culture. It’s this culture that forces us to improve and innovate. It’s this culture of improvement and innovation that drives us out of bed to make our workplace better.
This combination of communities and social software works very well for us. However they didn’t magically snap into place. It’s been a conscious effort on our part to nurture the communities, but that’s the subject of a later post.