What to do when you can’t "Google that" at work


Back in 2012, a study by McKinsey Global, found that the average worker spent 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail, and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.

Now in 2016, organizations are catching up and realizing that the way their people search for answers it’s not cost effective. Constantly reinventing the wheel costs money. A question that comes up in Business Unit X may well already have been resolved in Business Unit Z. This never ending cycle of asking questions, losing time not finding answers, and repeating the cycle is slowing down business and opening the door for competitors to steal customers. It’s time for a change in the way organizations find answers and share information.

Seeking expert answers it’s nothing new. Sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, Ask.com, and Wikipedia have been around for a while, and although the information they provide is seen as having a level of reliability, the truth is that their information it’s not truly vetted by an expert in the field, and it’s hundred percent volunteered by the person answering it— Wikipedia has a page about the ‘Reliability of Wikipedia.’ We also have Google, ever present to answer any imaginable question, but once again in most cases this information it’s not reliable, and it’s up to the reader to trust it or not. For example, this guy doesn’t trust Google, and says you shouldn’t either.

Inside Organizations

When we refer to the enterprise, searching for answers in the internet it’s not how organizations find information relevant to their business. You can’t Google “Where can I find an updated list of our customers” or “Who should approve my expense report.”

The reality is nothing beats having reliable information; a trustworthy resource to make your life easier at work — or anywhere. This need continues to exist at every level, and new sites keep coming up to provide answers to the masses. Most recent examples of companies trying to get expert answers to consumers include Clarity, an on-demand business advice site. The site allows people to find experts in a particular field, and for a fee you can ask the expert any questions you may have related to a particular topic. This is great for entrepreneurs seeking business advice, but what about employees in organizations? How do they go about finding the answers they need?

Expert advice is also needed inside organizations, and the experts are already in place answering questions everyday, but in the most time consuming, least cost effective, and most disruptive ways.

In our next post:

“How to start finding the right answers, at the right time for sales,  IT,  business operations and other teams within your organization.”

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Chelsea Levengood

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