Thou shalt not let thy knowledge go to waste. If there is one “commandment” 21st century businesses should heed, it’s this: do not hold your knowledge — your organizational, experiential, tactical, strategic, proprietary, hard-won knowledge — captive in the vault of your people’s minds. The right knowledge transfer tools enable you to unlock your most powerful asset — and put it to work for your business.
Tapping Into Your Biggest Asset
The success of your business depends entirely on your ability to manage knowledge. The “right” transfer tools are those that empower you to deliver the right information to the right people in order to achieve business-critical goals. To ensure they do, effective programs encompass the following components:
1. A Strategic Plan. Knowledge transfer fails when it is ad hoc and informal. An effective Knowledge in Motion program is well-planned; it is designed to service a well-understood stakeholder audience with well-understood — and mutually aligned — goals.
2. A Curriculum. By planning with a curriculum mentality, you ensure that your stakeholders have all the information they need. No less, and no more. The program performs a service, for you and for them.
3. Bite-Sized Content. No matter the target persona, humans learn better through “bite-sized” pieces, or chunks. Why? This “chunked learning” technique utilizes short-term memory more effectively by breaking long strings of information into manageable pieces. You can interlink to other pertinent content within your program so stakeholders can learn at their pace and path while remaining engaged.
This has the dual advantage of being both more effective as a teaching strategy and as a knowledge management technique. It’s easier for you to add, update, edit, and remove content pieces. For example, it’s far less time and resource intensive to update a short article that’s out of date rather than trying to weed through a 24-page white-paper for obsolete or irrelevant information.
4. Engaging Content. Your knowledge is compelling; your content does it justice when it appeals to your stakeholders. From attention-capturing headlines to easy-to-consume formatting, each element matters. Think from a stakeholder’s perspective: how will they learn the concept best? Through an article? Infographic? Short video? Align your message with the right medium, and you will engage your audience.
5. An Engaging Experience. Your knowledge transfer program does your engaging content justice when it pulls stakeholders in and encourages them to keep digging, to discover more. Through gamification, you build a robust and complete online learning environment that enables people to engage with information in different ways. They can test their knowledge and work towards milestones and goals; they’re rewarded, intrinsically and extrinsically, and that motivates them to continue.
6. Outbound Communication. Ideally customized, automated communications inform users when there is new content available and congratulates them when they earn a badge or achieve a new level. The goal is to interact with your stakeholders even when they are not in the system. Meet them where they are — and draw them back in.
7. A Dashboard. Who is logging in? What are they doing? How are they progressing? With what content are they engaging? Are they aceing quizzes and earning badges? Your dashboard enables you to see, in real-time, how people are interacting with your program.
8. An Operations Plan. The purpose of your Operations Plan is two-fold: it teaches you how to integrate it into your existing operation considering both your processes and your people. Once in place, the plan addresses how your organization will utilize the program so it functions optimally and leads you towards key goals.
9. A Measurement Plan for Optimization. A well-engineered Measurement Plan not only allows you to track site statistics but to assess the efficacy and performance of your program in relation to your goals. Insights from your dashboard (analytics) and user behaviour (offline actions) guide decisions, such as what new content to add or how and when to interact with individuals. Your measurement plan will likely track financial, time efficiency, feedback survey, and analytics inputs, all of which will be used to optimize your knowledge in motion program and, with it, your business.
10. A Forward-Looking Mentality. What other goals and what other stakeholders can you address? You’ve built the framework; how else can you leverage it? Say, for example, you’ve created an effective employee training portal. It’s had a measurable impact on recruiting, retention, and engagement. What if you modified the goal for the program? Seeing the benefits for your business, you could monetize the program and offer it to other companies. Suddenly, you have a whole new business model — and new revenue stream — at your fingertips.
Just as knowledge transfer fails when it is ad hoc and informal, it succeeds when it is strategic and methodical. A great program combines these components to create an unshakeable foundation on which to grow a scalable, differentiated business.