At the presentation for the Toronto Knowledge Workers group, one of the participants asked (and I paraphrase): “How large does an organization have to be to take advantage of expertise networks?”.
Reaching back in my memory, I remembered having a similar discussion about ‘virtual organizations‘ when I was doing a workshop for the Association for Creative Change in Organizational Renewal and Development (ACCORD) a number of years ago.Ã‚Â My observation at the time was that the participants attending the workshop came in two groups — small organizations wanting to understand how to use virtual organization structures to look big and big organizations wanting to understand how to use virtual organization frameworks to look small. An interesting contrast.
With this in mind, I thought about the same kind of contrast we see in expertise networking. Large organizations embrace some of the concepts associated with expertise networks and expertise management primarily from an internal point of view. But small / medium organizations (like ours) use expertise networks to expand their reach and to embrace expertise that may be external and to assemble capabilities on a project basis to help when needed. We use our expertise network to allow us to reach out to many different associates to assemble project teams for client work.
In sum, any organization can use these concepts effectively.