The problem of assumed expertise: title and tenure are often treated as a proxy for the skill sets of individuals within organizations, making it difficult to fully leverage the collective skill set of the employee base
*In stark contrast to the Web, where the lack of an overarching organizational structure ensures that all expertise is “emergent” (or earned), in most corporate settings an individual’s expertise is “assumed,” and closely linked with their formal title and/or seniority.
*As a result, individuals with a specific talent or skill set that does not align with that implied by their title and/or tenure are, at best, denied the opportunity to contribute and at worst, penalized for dabbling in other areas.
*This segregation is particularly pronounced when it comes to so-called creative skills, where a form of “creative apartheid” can ensure that only specific individuals in the organization (marketing, R&D) are allowed to contribute.
*Legacy of organizational structures (where centrality of the task trumps centrality of the individual) leads individuals to use title and tenure as a short-hand for skill sets, and to ignore and/or discount contributions from unconventional sources.
*Affinity bias leads individuals to more highly value the contribution of individuals with backgrounds similar to their own.
*Create a shadow online community within the organization (a la Second Life), in which individuals can participate in discussions and/or collaborative problem-solving exercises, via an alias or alter ego, thus allowing them to shed the constraints implicit with their current title.
*Create specific incentives for cross-functional collaboration.