“Knowledge is definitely more and more accessible.” You’ve probably heard that many times. That’s true, and it works for the corporate environment as well – companies today cannot ignore the fact that knowledge is also in the hands of employees from now on.
But organizing and sharing knowledge in a corporate environment is complex. Especially when this was originally done by humans for their personal purposes.
For the past years, many of our clients have used Scoop.it as part of their knowledge sharing solutions and there are two major questions we’ve discussed with them: “ Why should I start a collaborative knowledge sharing program” and “How do I get started?”
Here’s our take on these topics.
Why should I start a collaborative knowledge sharing program in my company?
1. Knowledge is no longer in the hands of the experts – it’s everywhere
We’re now into an era of hyper-specialized corporations where every single job requires a strong level of expertise and let’s face it – knowledge dissemination cannot be controlled by a certain elite anymore. Companies should therefore leverage their employees’ knowledge by helping them store, share, categorize and disseminate it to the largest possible number. The aim is that companies can maintain a “common minimum knowledge level” so everyone can carry on with the same amount of information.
2. Knowledge in companies is constantly “moving”
Here’s another thing. Professional workers now move from a company or team to another way more often. And the knowledge gets lost in the process.
That is modern companies’ new curse. And it cannot be beaten without setting up a long-term monitoring system where every co-worker can share its knowledge and expertise.
3. Sharing knowledge increases the company’s visibility and credibility
Knowledge is power – having a deep understanding your competitors, industry, and trends is the foundation of any successful knowledge sharing activity. In the meantime, we are seeing a part of this activity progressively moving outwards: today, more and more companies establish their credibility and thought leadership through sharing employees’ expertise on social media, blogs, newsletters and so on.
Companies now understand that they’re more than a simple brand, logo, or product. They are experts on a range of topics. And this is definitely an asset in marketing.
How to set up a knowledge sharing program?
1. Collaboration is key
If you think that corporate knowledge sharing is a specific job and is the responsibility of specific people in the company (market intelligence analysts, for instance), you’re wrong.
Sure – organizing, setting up, and disseminating content may be the responsibility of one specific department, but at least, submitting content should be of everyone’s concern. Your knowledge sharing program, therefore, must be collaborative to make sure everyone’s knowledge is included. Of course, it’s necessary to define roles in the platform and grant different levels of access, based on the sharer’s position in the company.
2. Distribute content where your readers are
Traditional knowledge sharing platforms tend to forget about readers. Or they simply force them to consume content on the actual platform.
Don’t forget – we live in a hyper-connected world where tools are multiplied.
Therefore, offering content where the readers already are is vital if you want to integrate it smoothly into their day-to-day activities. Don’t make it look like a burden for them.
Lots of knowledge sharing projects are cut because of this – instead, make sure the readers are taken into account at the conception stage of the project.
3. Share to the largest number and do not neglect security matters
Security in knowledge sharing is a core topic – some pieces of content are pretty sensitive and aimed at being shared internally only. Other forms of content, however, can be shared with the world without any problem. Defining the required level of privacy for each audience is essential and it has to be done prior to choosing a software. Then, the platform must address security concerns in a very easy way if you don’t want to lose your readers.
4. Automate content monitoring but keep content selection human
Automating content monitoring is definitely a thing today. Lots of algorithms, search engines, and alerts help employees discover relevant content without having to make long and painful research. Automating 100% of the process would be a mistake though – algorithms, as powerful as they can be, would fail to tell you which pieces of content are key. On the other hand, an expert would be quick to cherry pick the best content among automated suggestions.