Within the blogs, I am starting to see discussion on why people don't use collaboration tools (or LMSs for that matter). The big question is WHY?
Dave Pollard did a little experiment in August 2006 trying to get people to help him edit a Writley document. Sadly, he gave the process a failing grade.
Shawn at Anecdote and George Siemens at elearnspace both add their 2 cents regarding the reasons for the failure of collaborative tools. So the question in my mind is....with what we have to work with, how can we encourage adoption of these tools? Especially since the buzz in knowledge management and training circles is COLLABORATION.
All three bloggers hint at something that came to the fore for me when I started blogging - fear.
How many of us have risked answering a question at school (elementary --> grad school)? How did you feel when you found out you were wrong?
In the corporate world, how many of us have had ideas stolen by others? How did that make you feel?
How many of us have had a great idea only to be told how stupid it (and, by extension, you) are?
Is it any wonder that we all hesitate to collaborate? Particularly in a corporate environment?
We are essentially asking our end-users to put themselves out there with no net, no reason, and no reward. In most organizations it is in the best interest of the individual to keep their ideas and knowledge to themselves. That individual's information is what makes them valuable. Why in the WORLD would they want to share if sharing means idea theft and potential downsizing?
I had to fight through ALL of these emotions when I started blogging.
- Will I be accepted or rejected?
- How much criticism will I get?
- Will others discover that I am a phony and realize that I have absolutely no clue of what I am talking about?
I am sure that I personalize things more than others. Still - if I am feeling this, certainly others go through the same thoughts when they put themselves out there for others to view.
And maybe THIS is one of the key factors that prevents collaborative tools from being adopted by an organization. How do you get people to work through the fear?
The picture above is from Frank Wright. It is part of George Washington University's collection.