Creating an environment for the effective capture and absorption of communal knowledge requires a knowledge transfer strategy.
Employees rarely consider documenting their knowledge as a task worthy of their focus. Overcoming this barrier is the trickiest part of executing an effective knowledge management system that promotes knowledge transfer.
To develop a internal communication strategy that emphasizes knowledge transfer, start by asking these questions:
- Does our company have an existing place to capture knowledge? If so, who participates authoring the documentation?
- What types of knowledge do we capture? Many organizations only focus on the capture of processes and similar types of explicit knowledge.
- How often do employees consume the knowledge documentation? Are there expectations or trainings that encourage the review of this material?
- When new hires enter the company, what are their questions? After several months, what knowledge gaps do they reference? Is there a formal onboarding process that walks them through a knowledge base?
As you assess the answers to these questions, do you feel reassured that knowledge is well captured and engaged with by everyone across the company? Probably not but be reassured you are not alone. Most companies struggle with knowledge transfer, especially horizontal knowledge transfer.
Horizontal knowledge transfer is knowledge that moves between colleagues and between teams that sit evenly in their organization chart. This is opposed to vertical (or top-down) knowledge sharing where knowledge flows from executives to management to employees (and ideally back up the chain of command).
As you consider solutions to integrate into your knowledge management strategy, make sure to avoid the dinosaurs of knowledge management systems:
- Anything that looks like a wiki or a word processor is not a system built for 2020 and beyond. Employees will not take the time to read dense articles. They need just-in-time knowledge that comes in small, digestible chunks that are meant to be shared across systems.
- Anything that looks like a social news feed is good at building organizational awareness but does not suffice as a knowledge base alone.
- Anything that hides knowledge on the premise that the system will serve the right knowledge to the right person at the right time is placing a lot of faith in the mechanics of that system.
The answer is to look for a software solution that blends the best of these experiences. It’s time to re-imagine knowledge transfer across capture, consumption and sharing for the world of cloud computing and distributed teams and remote work.
To break down this knowledge transfer solution, here’s what to consider:
- Incentivize. Can the system encourage authoring knowledge? Will it ask and listen for tacit knowledge? Can the system get ideas and feelings that go beyond documenting processes?
- Capture. How easy is it for an employee to add knowledge to the knowledge base? Is the authoring user experience integrated into our existing systems and tools? Or does the user have to learn a new tool and open it every time to add knowledge?
- Organize. How will users search and find knowledge? Is the only manner navigating a folder system and search bar? Or can users follow a thread of related materials?
- Present. How is the knowledge presented? Does the knowledge sit in extensive articles or wiki pages organized in a tree structure? Or is the knowledge more digestible and hyperlinked across ideas?
- Connect. Does the knowledge management system do more than simply document? Does it cultivate communication and transfer? Or is it only a destination as a knowledge base?
We are only aware of one system in the world that meets the needs described above. That’s GetCommit. Our vision at Unitonomy is to develop GetCommit as an entirely new knowledge transfer experience that’s designed to bring people closer together. We have rethought what a knowledge base means by starting with the people. How do we build connectedness between employees? And how do we connect everyone to information and knowledge?
For your knowledge management strategy, consider the key differences of the GetCommit solution to:
- Incentivize. Ask questions to employees to dig into their minds. GetCommit leverages a buddy system to incentivize knowledge sharing. Colleagues swap responses to occasional prompts. These prompts capture rich details ranging from decision making to tacit knowledge. The outcomes include developing each person’s sense of alignment, accountability, belonging and bonding.
- Capture. Enable effortless authoring of knowledge from any existing tool your organization already uses. We call these “commits” where any piece of information or knowledge can be captured from inside any other system. It’s as simple as forwarding an email.
- Organize. Provide seamless and automatic means to organize knowledge. In GetCommit, when the user performs a commit they define where the information goes. All company information and institutional knowledge gets preserved in a collaborative content management system called GetCommit Repositories. These repositories are shared, organized areas to network knowledge.
- Present. Each repository consists of hyperlinked blocks of knowledge assets. No more hunting across platforms. No more asking colleagues for that one thing you need. Information is connected by relationships to match human information processing. This leapfrogs knowledge bases, wikis, announcement feeds and other outdated knowledge management software.
- Connect. Forget self-service, GetCommit knowledge management software provides active engagement that breaks down silos. Knowledge discovery is successful because of the added layer of engagement and active participation.
All-in-one solution for information management and knowledge transfer: GetCommit
If your organization is filled with knowledge workers, then you better be sure your knowledge-creating company has a great knowledge management strategy. A knowledge management process doesn’t require a chief knowledge officer to implement. Just seamless knowledge management software with a dynamic knowledge base.
With GetCommit, your organization builds connections between human beings, improves transfer and develops communication muscles. GetCommit is here to help everyone connect the dots between knowledge, information and people. This is how you begin changing your work culture.
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