What Creates a High Performing Organization

by Sharlyn Lauby on April 15, 2012

Sharing.

That’s right – Sharing. Not sharing staplers or a filing cabinet drawer. I’m talking about sharing information.

I was reading the ASTD research study “The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations” for a presentation I’m putting together on social learning. The report talked about the primary uses of social media in the workplace and it really focused on collaboration as the “thing” social media does exceptionally well.

But here’s what captured my attention:

High-performing organizations are more likely to use shared workspaces and wikis than low-performing firms. Workers at high-performing organizations are also more likely to say that social media boosts collaboration and improves knowledge sharing.

Basically high-performing companies share more knowledge. Having more knowledge makes the company smarter and therefore, perform better. When you add social media tools enhancing the sharing of information…well, everything seems to just fall into place.

social media, sharing, information, high-performing, knowledge, technology, customer service

There’s a lot of conversation about how people “must” be on social media. That it’s “absolutely necessary” for your professional career. The truth is no one can convince you to be active on social media. That’s your decision alone to make.

And, I’ve talked for years about the strategic marketing advantage companies get when they build a presence on social media. It can help with brand awareness, customer service and recruiting.

But now, correlations are being made between an organizations’ overall performance and their ability to share information.  Organizations might currently have great mechanisms in place to share info. What if they can be improved via social media? Would your organization place a value on getting better information quicker? And how would the company feel if their biggest competitor was sharing knowledge in a better, faster way?

I’ve always thought that high-performing companies were the ones that continuously transformed themselves, as in Peter Senge learning organizations. Is it possible social media is part of that transformation? Can employees leverage the sharing of knowledge on social media to achieve personal mastery and therefore the company will learn faster and perform better than its competitors?

In this fast paced, tech savvy society, how will high-performing organizations keep their competitive advantage if it’s not with speed and technology?

Image courtesy of Simutis [Nancy Newell]

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