At a party, it’s not rare to get to a point in the conversation where you are unsure of the facts. We can either sit and ponder for hours, or we can pick up the smartphone and find the answer. That’s how it should work at the workplace as well.
Lately, there have been some parties. For example yesterday, when we celebrated the 17th of May – Norway’s day of independence. Then we sat down, after hours of parades and sausage eating and suddenly realized that we couldn’t remember the name of the youngest member of the Norwegian Royal Family. “Magnus-something-or-other” was the closest we came.
Then the solution was, as usual, to pick up the iPhone and search for “the Royal Family” on Google. Not only did we find out that his name is Sverre Magnus, but we also got to see pictures, his birthday, what his sister is called, and so on and so forth. Also the complete list of the royal family gave us new topics of conversation and maybe more answers then we did sought.
And why do I use the blog to share an uninteresting, private Royal-Family conversation I had at the 17th of May? Simply because I every day see how important good search is as a problem solver, and a way to find the answer we’re looking for.
In a workplace, we have lots of information available: both internal information and information through, for example, Google or Bing. How much time do we spend talking about things we cannot find the answer to? Or how much time do we spend sitting alone wondering? Or how much time do we spend digging through old documents, presentations, customer records, and so on.
If we have good internal search at work, we can quickly find answers, find richer answers then we were looking for, and find colleagues that can give the answer to us.
And the search should be as easy as my 17th of May-solution, to grab the phone out of my pocket.
What is your experience with internal search?