Some of the most sophisticated information analysis, exchange and monitoring agencies are using social networking software to make their information gathering process stronger and more meaningful. According to the article CIA, FBI push 'Facebook for spies' at the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency bosses are encouraging their staffs to use a new social-networking site designed for the super-secret world of spying to exchange information. The social networking application is called A-Space.
As the article states:
The goal of A-Space, like intelligence analysis in general, is to protect the United States by assessing all the information available to the spy agencies. Missing key data can have enormous implications, such as an FBI agent who sent an e-mail before September 11, 2001, warning of people learning to fly airplanes but not learning to land them.
"There was the question, 'Was that a dot that failed to connect?' Well that person did this via e-mail," Wertheimer said. "A-Space is the kind of place where you can log that observation and know that your fellow analysts can see that."
Now imagine what "dots" in your organization are never connected? What new product is under development in your R&D department that would fit the exact need expressed by a customer just a few days ago? What new sales technique was just used to land the big account that is similar to 40% of your prospective clients? What new training method or other new piece of information is currently lost in your organization because they are lost in an email?
Social networking is a powerful learning and collaboration tool...not just something to do "socially." As a learning and development professional or any other professional, strongly consider creating a social network within your organization. It will collectively raise the ability of the entire organization to "connect the dots."
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