This is the seventh in a seven-part series based on The Mozilla School of Management in which I’m applying Mozilla’s principles to wiki collaboration (parts 1,2,3,4,5,6 of the series).

Shut up
Getting the most out of people, and winning their loyalty, is sometimes just a matter of listening to them– very carefully and all the time.

How this applies to wiki collaboration:
Most enterprise collaboration and knowledge management software is geared to only the functions necessary to the bottom line. This makes it attractive to the bean-counters but not to the people who will actually use it. Here again, the wiki is different because of the absence of rigid structure – besides just having wiki pages for project, meetings, etc. people can also have pages for personal profiles, blogs, even to organize a lunch outing! These pages are a gold mine for peoples’ ideas, opinions, and progress on their work. You’ll probably be better informed about your people & projects than ever before, and you can offer feedback which shows them you’re listening and taking them seriously.
Furthermore, profile pages can be useful as a standard place to find contact information, peoples’ biographies (for leadership and public facing employees this is a great way to always have the most up to date bios for trade publications, conferences, etc.), and can be a great place for them to keep links to the project pages they’re working on.
For more on how to effectively introduce a wiki in your organization, visit Wikipatterns.com.

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