Google Instant: Time to Address Knowledge Management

On 9-8-10 Google launched their “Google Instant” feature.  Whether the new feature becomes “revolutionary” or not is still to be seen, but it’s certainly causing a bit of a stir.  By and large, the folks on the bullhorn have been Search Engine Optimizers (SEO’s) and Online Advertisers.

With a background in SEO, I find myself less interested in how other SEO’s respond to the change, but rather how the everyday user adapts to it.  Though the issue is ripe with grand claims as to exactly how lay-users will adapt to “Google Instant,” I’ll refrain from making any such gestures.

That said, I am fairly certain of a few simple truths that surround the issue:

1.) General Google users will continue to find the information they’re looking for. Google will acutely make sure of that.

2.) Users will find this information, but now they will likely find it more quickly, and in greater quantity and quality.

And most importantly…

3.) Users will quickly adapt to the new service.  Period.

Finding Knowledge and Experts Instantly in Your Organization

While these are not terribly ambitious observations, in and of themselves, they should hopefully provoke a sense of introspection, specifically with regard to how knowledge is distributed, accessed and leveraged within your organization.  And in taking a deeper dive into that thought, begin assessing the external modes of knowledge; particularly how it is brought into the organization, and how it is disseminated outward.

For an organization that hopes to build or sustain an innovative environment, an evolutionary mindset and regular self-examination process around how knowledge is handled should be core tenets of such an environment.

Change will always bring some element of aversion, particularly when dealing with long held company practices and procedures.   But when this aversion relates to your company’s most integral asset, its knowledge, that should be your queue to dig in, ask questions and start evolving

Opportunities and Risks With Instant Knowledge

As Google Instant will prove, the average 18-year-old Google user will adapt how they gather knowledge with greater effectiveness and dexterity than most professional organizations.  In the not too distant future these users will be entering the workforce; possibly even being hired your company.

If they aren’t allowed to build on their knowledge and skills with the fastest and most efficient means they know, they won’t stick around long, and more than likely neither will the company that held them back.

And if that isn’t an arresting thought, it should be.

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