Success starts with knowledge. It’s the foundation of great products, services, and communication, and it’s the key to improving your offering in the market. As an employer, it’s your job to encourage your employees to share what they know, learn what they don’t and collaborate to make your organization successful. Your goal should be to create a system of knowledge sharing and team collaboration that promotes the success of your employees and your organization.
Hewlett-Packard CEO Lew Platt said it best, “If only HP knew what HP knows it would be three times more productive.” If HP, ranked #20 in the Fortune 500 for 2016, is willing to admit that there are breakdowns in knowledge sharing within its organization, then it could happen everywhere. How can we close the gaps?
One proven method is to create a healthy knowledge ecosystem. You may be asking, what is a knowledge ecosystem? A knowledge ecosystem is a living community that grows and thrives through knowledge sharing, reuse, and evolution. They foster the dynamic evolution of knowledge between entities to improve decision-making and innovation through evolutionary networks of collaboration
Wondering how to create a knowledge ecosystem in your organization? Below are the steps to successfully implementing a knowledge ecosystem.
The software that you use to create your ecosystem and share knowledge can only take you so far. You must encourage your employees to use it. Success starts with attitude. Everyone in the organization needs to make an active effort to share their knowledge, build on the knowledge of their peers, and collaborate. As Platt explained, the opportunity to constantly share and learn knowledge is ever present – your organization must also adopt this mindset and strive to proactively share knowledge and learn.
Once you have adopted a culture of knowledge sharing, you need a way to capture all of the valuable information. Here are a few ways you can successfully index knowledge and enable employees to access it for future reference:
- Start documenting current processes for completing tasks.
- Create a list of FAQs.
- Document offline conversations that you think will be useful for later recall.
- Encourage the transition of in-person to software-based meetings.
After the knowledge is captured, create a system of organizing the knowledge to make sure it is easy to find. Categorize knowledge by topic, tag them appropriately, and encourage employees to organize new content to deliver a user-friendly experience.
Now that you’ve captured and organized your knowledge, it’s available for re-access by your team for as long as your ecosystem is in existence. Permanently indexed information allows for a one-to-many approach to knowledge, saving valuable time and boosting productivity.
Maybe you have a better way to complete an already documented process and want to share it with your team. Or, maybe documented knowledge is outdated, so you need to refresh it. Build on the knowledge that already exists instead of starting from scratch to keep your ecosystem relevant and save your team valuable time.
Use your new found knowledge to enhance your offering and/or business processes. The best thing about your knowledge ecosystem is that it can be considered a revenue-generating and a cost-saving solution.
Having 100% knowledge capture is wishful thinking and most likely unattainable with today’s technology. However, you can minimize knowledge loss through the successful implementation of a knowledge ecosystem. As mentioned above, the first step is to adopt a solution and encourage your organization to use it. AnswerHub Knowledge-Driven Productivity (KDP) offers a great platform to build your knowledge ecosystem on.