Google has just announced that it will begin offering a new service: A kind of Google wiki, in which search users write material and upload it, to become part of the Google information base. This is long-awaited, because it extends Google’s powerful vision:

Make all the written information available, all the time, anywhere, to anyone.


Now Google wants to add to “written”, the adjective “unwritten” or “tacit” as well – knowledge in people’s heads, but not written down. By asking people to write down this information, Google is extending its vision. 

The founders of Wikipedia say they do not feel threatened, because the Google wiki will be more like a blog than a Wikipedia. Time will tell.  

But a key message for innovators from Google’s planned wiki is this:

Most of the time, great innovative organizations do not know what they know. Because their creative people are so busy creating, they never take time to document what they are doing and how they are doing it. Much of this valuable information is later lost, when the innovators leave or retire. 

Does your organization have a wiki? Can you set up one? Can you persuade your developers to document what they do while they are doing it? Don’t wait for Google’s wiki. Build one of your own. You will find it is a powerful tool for building the new generation of innovators.