The Hunt for OpportunitiesBy Jay Forte | Posted 2009-05-13 Email Print
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1. Improve the movement of, access to and use of information. IT departments can create powerful internal or intranet environments that serve as a repository of organizational information that’s available to all employees.
In addition to providing meaningful employee, product, process and other critical daily performance information, the creation of organizational wikis (a shared knowledge base) allows all employees to contribute, learn and have access to the best, most current information. This encourages idea generation, idea sharing and knowledge acquisition, and provides the organization with great information to use in its hunt for opportunities.
2. Create online discussion groups and develop internal social networks. IT can connect employees to each other and to topical discussions, problem-solution groups, and other idea and solution teams. It can develop and maintain idea-spawning grounds to solicit and summarize ideas, report on progress and encourage innovative thinking. Enabling employee connections is a critical way that IT can drive idea generation and opportunity thinking.
3. Capture, summarize and assess information. Technology’s power and value lie in its ability to successfully manage and process large volumes of information. IT departments can work with other groups to capture key performance data, assess trends, define patterns, search for problems, and report successes or missed opportunities. This data can then be used by teams throughout the company to improve efficiency, develop new products or services, improve customer relationships and invent opportunities.
Organizations that continually hunt for opportunities have strong control over the collection, assessment and use of information. Enterprises that have strong, interactive and responsive IT departments are constantly supplied with information, can easily discuss events and can connect with others around the world.
IT sets the stage for all employees to be connected with each other. Management can then encourage and direct employees to use these tools to constantly add value, share ideas and focus on improvement.
Today’s workplace is a collaborative one, in which each department must play its part in accelerating and encouraging opportunity thinking. The more an enterprise works together to present, discuss and assess information, the more it will have access to the best information available to maximize its performance. That will facilitate an organization’s success and may also help it invent the next great product or service.
Jay Forte is a consultant, speaker and author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition. He uses his years of research and training to help organizations inspire exceptional employee performance.