A water cooler has long been a metaphor for where you get the real scoop of what is going on around an office.  With the growth of social technologies, the water cooler has been digitized.  Savvy employees know where to find an answer when they need it.  The problem is that not everyone is digitally savvy.

What can an organization do to overcome this obstacle?  Below are some tips.

  • Encourage your employees to be entrepreneurial learners not enterprise learners.  Entrepreneurial learners are able to navigate “the ever-moving flows of activities and knowledge, ‘because in this new world of flows, participating in these knowledge flows is an active sport.’ Furthermore, in this new world of constant flux “learning has as much to do with  creating the new as learning the old’.”
    “[E]nterprise learners” simply follow the course that has been set for them.”
  • Be an information DJ.  “Buzz happens because we’re “information DJs”: we take in information and enjoy it but at the same time we also think about whom else might like it as well. With our social media and other technology, often this effect is intensified. As we share it, we often get rewarded for this behavior because if we’ve shared information on say, Facebook or Twitter, our status is elevated — something most of us like. The seed to a meme begins with our mentalizing about others we know, preparing us to direct information to the right people and in such a way to tap into their intrinsic interests.”
  • Develop a system for storing, cataloging, and retrieving information (e.g., an LMS or LCMS).
  • Reward the employees who contribute actively to the LMS and who share their skills and knowledge. (H/T Topyx)