Sneak peak at IDEO’s take on Knowledge Sharing

Next Wednesday, at Web 2.0 Expo New York, IDEO will be unveiling their internal knowledge sharing system, The Tube. ThoughtFarmer is a critical component. Here’s a screenshot:

"The Tube", IDEO's intranet
Screenshot of the “Spaces” component of IDEO’s intranet, powered by ThoughtFarmer

Yesterday I spoke with Gentry Underwood, the project manager for IDEO’s Knowledge Sharing project, about his presentation at Web 2.0. Gentry brought up a key distinction between IDEO’s take on Knowledge Sharing and traditional Knowledge Management: It’s not about being more efficient. It’s about being more innovative.

Not that their knowledge sharing platform detracts from efficiency; far from it. In fact, some of the tools they’ve created are models of efficiency. For example, The Tube‘s project resourcing interface allows them to request, say, a graphic designer or anthropologist from October to December. A list of available people appears. They can drag timeline sliders to see how project dates impact the available resources. They can optimize the settings and assemble a project team on the fly.

But efficiency doesn’t lead to breakthroughs. Innovation does. So the main thrust behind IDEO’s Knowledge Sharing platform is to provide a set of tools that lets employees communicate and collaborate at scales and distances never before possible.

Gentry will be accompanied by Doug Solomon as they present in New York on Wednesday, September 17th at 9:00am. If you’ll be at Web 2.0 Expo, you’ll want to make your way to room 1A23 & 24 for their session, “Knowledge Sharing By Design”. And if you’d like to find out more about ThoughtFarmer’s role in it all, Gordon Ross will be in New York all 3 days of the Expo.