The biggest challenge is something that I’ve written about which is this notion of moving from a mindset and approach that focuses on knowledge stocks to knowledge flows. Most companies today believe, and with some justification since many large companies have succeeded enormously, that the best way to create value is to develop proprietary knowledge and protect that knowledge from access from other people and deliver efficiently the value of that knowledge into the marketplace.
That, I suppose for the company as whole and then within companies you often hear the statement that knowledge is power and if you have knowledge, don’t give it away because that’s your source of power within the company. I think that that mindset is out of date when you have a world that’s so rapidly changing, anything you know at any point in time becomes obsolete at an ever increasing rate and so if all you do is protect the knowledge you have you will end up under more and more pressure. And the only way to succeed in that kind of environment is to find ways to connect with other people who have different knowledge and find ways to work together so you can create new knowledge and learn faster by working together.
It’s a very different mindset, it requires sharing knowledge. You can’t just connect just to get access to other people’s knowledge if you’re not offering some knowledge in return. Those kinds of interactions are unlikely to be sustained for very long, so from my experience it goes to the most basic assumptions we have about what’s required for success in business.