Google Wave, collaboration and HR

by Sakib Khan on August 14, 2009

google_wave_logoGoogle Wave, Google’s latest offering is indeed creating quite a wave in the technology world. Armed with groundbreaking and innovative features, the Wave is set to alter the conventional communication practices.

If you haven’t heard about Wave yet, here is an abridged version of the keynote presentation.

At first glance, Wave might seem like yet another social media dashboard, but that will be a big mistake. For starter, Wave is not just a product, it’s a protocol and it has all the potentials to replace the traditional email protocols like IMAP, POP3 or SMTP. It could indeed be a killer app.

But having said that, Wave is still in development phase and none can say for certain ultimately how much impact it will make. However what we do know is, it will be open source and given the large fan base of Google, it may very well be the de facto standard for net based communication.

So what does it have to do with HR?

Well, one of the key issues that HR will have to come to terms with in coming days is workplace collaboration. Organizations becoming flatter, businesses spreading around the continents and there is an increasing need for  organizations to be flexible, adaptive and agile in the face of uncertain business environments. To survive and thrive in such unpredictable territory, greater collaboration among employees, employers, shareholders, customers, suppliers and various stakeholders is imperative.

But creating a collaborative culture is not a walk in the park. It’s a continuous journey that demands major shift in the mind-set of all concerned and new ways of managing work. And for that to happen, it requires necessary tools – tools that enable collaboration.

And this is where Wave comes into play. The importance lies not only on Google Wave as a tool, but also the benchmark it sets. It introduces a new way of collaborative communication that is real time, flexible, robust and readily accessible – something collaborative work culture thrives on.

But as I have said already, Wave is still in development phase and not yet available for the masses. The good news is, Google has announced to send out 100,000 invites from September 30. So if you want to be part of the early testers of Wave, sign up here for updates.

Additional resources:

Google Wave and HR.

Google Wave – What does it mean for Recruiting?

Google Wave for Recruiting? What are the possiblities?

A video demonstration of using Wave for recruitment

Michael Specht talks about Google Wave and the Enterprise.

Steve Boese talks about Shareflow – another collaboration tool that gives you a feel of Wave.

And if you still want to delve further, check out PyGoWavea rudimentary open-source Google Wave server.


Sakib – I think you are right to assert the need for HR departments to be at the forefront in the efforts to facilitate and enhance workplace collaboration efforts. The important thing for HR and HR Technology people will be to match technology solutions with the desired business outcomes. Not all collaborative tools are the same, they all solve problems differently, and only a deep understanding of the business issues can lead to the correct technology application that ultimately derives the greatest benefit. Excellent post, Sakib.

by Steve Boese on August 14, 2009 at 11:04 pm. #

Sakib – This post shoes exactly why Google Wave and HR should become fast friends. I can’t wait to see the roster of companies that are early adopters. ~Karla

by Karla Porter on August 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm. #

[...] found Sakib Khan’s blog about Google Wave, Collaboration and HR as a great starting point for researching, if Google Wave can be used in HR [...]

by MASTERING WAVE » Wave and HR on August 15, 2009 at 12:45 am. #

Steve, and I think this is where people like you can offer the best solution. You know about technology, you know about HR and thus perfectly poised to suggest apps that matches organization’s need. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks Karla. Yes, I am also waiting to see how fast companies adopt Wave and how do they use it. It’s exciting!

by Sakib Khan on August 15, 2009 at 10:33 am. #

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