Objection #5 is one of the most heard objections. Very famous. “If you let everyone post how do you know it is accurate? What if it is not and the receiver acts on it and something bad happens? It is certainly not as accurate as the training department getting information from the SMEs and delivering it to the employees.”
Answer: Uhhhh, says who? First of all, if you let everyone post anything how do you know it is accurate? You don’t. Plain and simple – you don’t know that. So how can you trust it? How can you trust an email you sent to someone is returned with the correct information? How do you know if, when you ask a question of someone over the cube wall, that they are not wrong? You don’t. You have to trust it. Same here.
I guess that is taking the pessimistic view of it, but really, let’s think about it.
I recently heard a story about a company who was looking at putting in these type of tools. There was one person who was, for the most part against it and had this concern. She didn’t think that the information on there would be accurate if they let everyone post instead of the SMEs (the experts). Leaving the meeting she walked by some cubes where she overheard one person describing an HR policy to the other person that was completely incorrect. And the second person took it as gospel.
She suddenly realized, 1) How many times does this happen and I don’t know about it? 2) If they asked this question using the tools we were talking about, more people would be able to respond and the right answer would surface; 3) The SMEs would have seen this and could have made sure that the information was correct. Instead of information going from SME -> Trainer -> employee, it goes right from SME -> Employee. No middle man.
That is for Black and White. What if the matter is more of opinion? Many people can chime in and give their opinions and decisions could be made more accurately because of the quality of information they received.
Alright. I know Wikipedia is not the greatest comparison to using a wiki in an organization, but here is one of many studies done on the validity of wikipedia. And the principle still applies in organizations as well.
What have you seen?