I also just got done reading Wikinomics How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams. I wasn't sure what to think before I read this article. I'm still somewhat new to the world of wikis and I'm just getting my feet wet in this area of technology. I was surprisingly inspired by this article. I even thought that it was revolutionary.
I didn't know much about the Geek Squad before reading this. I now have a lot of respect for Robert Stephens. I think it's very smart of him to adapt a new way of collaborating by listening to what his agents were already doing. According to Stephens, "While I had my head down doing this in preparation to open the wiki's floodgates, the agents had self organized online in probably the most effective and efficient collaborative that's already out there." They were communicating through an online game and now that online game is encouraged as a form of communication through out Geek Squad.
My boyfriend is a bartender who plays World Of Warcraft everyday. He has a guild that mainly consists of his coworkers. He has told me that his manager sometimes just logs on to ask him to come into work early or if so and so had been on the game today because he was looking for him. It's interesting how online gaming can encourage communication about many other issues other than the game itself.
The thing that really made me happy about this article was the concept of bottom-up innovation. I think that Gil Dennis' ideas were revolutionary for a corporate environment. Dennis understood that his employees had knowledge about the customers that the market researchers could not produce. He started a forum for his employees to contribute their ideas on customer insights. I would have to imagine that this also created a new level of trust within the corporate environment and helped the employees feel valued and possibly take more pride in their job.
I worked for Hennepin County about ten years ago and the part of my job that I enjoyed the most was referring clients to different social service agencies that could help them with what they needed. I wish there were wikis like this back in those days. I had a mail box that letters would get dropped in and when clients needed help with something I had to pull out a paper file and go through them looking for something that could be of aid. It would have been so different with wiki. I could have collaborated with my coworkers and organized something that would have been more helpful for the workers and the clients.