IT is not about the tools

Life Jacket Zone
Image by: Eric Ziegler
I love Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0).  I love the thought of helping people share their knowledge and collaborating better than they have in the past.

Just over two weeks ago, I presented at KM World (with one of my colleagues from work).  As I started out my presentation, I said, "I feel like I am in the minority.  There are just not many IT people at this conference.". I saw many heads nodding in agreement.  After seeing this, I went on to say, "I believe you will find our presentation refreshing and the message you will hear is not the typical IT message."  I believe that we did meet that statement, based on the great questions we received and the great conversations we had after the presentation.

Which gets me to the point of this blog post.  During the presentation, I offered that my company used a specific tool.  Even though I did offer it during the presentation, during the question and answer period, someone still asked which tool we used.  I regret my answer in both situations.  The reason I even offered which tool we use is because in every presentation leading up to ours, I heard people ask again and again, "what tool do you use for Knowledge Management or Collaboration?"

So what was wrong with me stating which tool we use?   Two reasons.  1) our presentation was not about the tools, it was about how we have nurtured collaboration and sharing, and 2) because I didn't give a caveat to my statement.  I should have added onto the end of my statement, "While the tool we use is XYZ, the tools is irrelevant.  The most important thing is what we are trying to accomplish. The goal is for people to share and collaborate."  

So I just want to reiterate what I was trying to get across at the beginning of the presentation.  IT people can think about the people, the culture, and the process.  IT people don't have to just focus on the tools.