"Think of the challenge of connection productivity as one of tipping the scales at the individual level. On one side of the scale is the cost to the individual of participating — the time required, the hassle involved if the system is cumbersome, and so on. On the other side is the payoff to the individual — new ideas gained, shortcuts learned. Progressive companies, searching for better ways to spread tacit know-how, need to find ways to tip the scales by decreasing the cost or increasing the return. Or both.
One promising approach is to designate hubs or cross-pollinators to synthesize input and provide relevant, timely output. These individuals act as bridges or connectors at critical intersections, charged with gathering pertinent information and transmitting either warnings or signals of opportunity rapidly across the organization.
Millennium, the Takeda Oncology Company, has designated a small group of scientists to act as knowledge intermediaries and brokers. Rather than continuing to struggle with getting preoccupied researchers to take the time to share lessons from their experiments, the knowledge intermediaries are charged with summarizing the findings and submitting them to a shared internal data base."