An Everest. A jungle. A marathon. For many business owners and executives, the idea of reining in the collective knowledge at their organization sounds like a Herculean task or an impenetrable obstacle. The truth? It’s not.
No one is saying that knowledge management is easy breezy, but the good news is, you and your colleagues are already doing – and mastering – the toughest half of knowledge management. What about the other half? We’ll share four easy tricks to get you capturing company knowledge today.
First Things First: You’ve Already Mastered the Hard Part
What’s the hardest part of knowledge management? Acquiring knowledge. Learning takes time. Effort. Repetition. But as experts in your industry, you already have the “knowledge” part of “knowledge management” in the proverbial bank.
You and your colleagues create, move, and transfer knowledge all day, every day. You’re:
- Writing emails and proposals
- Giving presentations and hosting meeting
- Creating manuals, brochures, and other materials
- Asking and answering questions
- Giving advice
- Optimizing processes
Generating the knowledge is the hard part—and you already do that with your day-to-day activities. Knowledge management is about making that knowledge go the extra mile for your business. Here’s how to get started.
4 Easy Ways to Start Capturing Company Knowledge Today
So your daily activities generate knowledge – but how do you leverage it? It all starts with capturing knowledge at its source: you. Try these four simple tips, and you’ll already have started to record your knowledge – which means you’re one step closer to being able to organize and mobilize it.
1. Record. Anything and everything verbal. This means your phone calls, meetings, and presentations. Just hit record and make sure the quality of the recording will be high. Later, you can get these recordings transcribed, and use them to make content.
2. Store. As you draft, send, and receive emails, organize and store them for later use. It’s that simple. Your emails are full of valuable information – but only if they haven’t been deleted and you can find them when you need them. (Hint: use the label or tagging feature in your email software.)
3. Compile. Anything and everything – if it contains valuable information, don’t let it get lost in the archives. Make sure to store and make available your PowerPoint decks, pitches and RFPs, training, reports, proposals, and any other documentation. When it’s transposed into the larger network, your staff and colleagues can make use of it too.
4. Organize. Find a software or folder system to house your categorized knowledge in a way that is easily accessible to key employees. At All Roads, we use our own Knowledge Mapping System, a proprietary software, but you may choose to use Mind Mapping software or even a shared folder directory to create a navigable and searchable knowledge repository.
If knowledge management sounds like a hurdle you can’t face, take a deep breath. It’s actually not as challenging as it sounds. Generating the knowledge that runs your business is the brunt of the labor – and you’re already doing that (with aplomb!) To really get your knowledge working, all you have to do is create a system to capture and document that knowledge. From there, it’s easy to transform it into useful, goal-driven materials.