“Before lifting a Black Hawk helicopter off the ground, the pilot goes through a lengthy written checklist…When I flew Blackhawks in Iraq, I didn’t dream of trying to memorize this list. That would’ve been dangerous.” – Chris Cancialosi, organization psychologist, entrepreneur, and former Blackhawk pilot.
What if you were a pilot in training and your mentor reeled off an endless list of pre-flight checks? Could you remember them all? Could you pass that information on to the next trainee? To even try could put lives at risk. Yet too often, organizations rely on memorization and verbal instructions to transfer knowledge. Even if lives aren’t in the balance, the success of your business, and those who depend on it, is. What if you found a different — better — way to put your knowledge in motion?
Growing Businesses: You Have a Knowledge Transfer Problem
As your business grows, people and departments managing various functions – sales, marketing, customer service, production, human resources – need to work as a cohesive team to increase market awareness, drive sales, enhance your offering, and build your capacity. As the CEO, president, or other high-level executive, you drive demand while simultaneously expanding your capacity to supply.
To ensure this happens efficiently and seamlessly, every element of your business requires knowledge transfer. Without a strategic knowledge transfer process, you’re essentially relying on word of mouth to conduct business. Just as a pilot conducting his pre-flight check from memory is absurd, so is running a business and simply hoping every person has the right information at the right time.
Inefficient knowledge transfer creates pains that can be felt throughout your business. If, for example, your employees don’t understand the requirements of their positions, know how to use specific systems, or have access to the right information, onboarding, training, and change management are all going to be protracted – and painful – processes.
If your customers don’t know how to use a product, they’re going to be constantly calling to complain. Or worse, they’ll be so frustrated that they don’t call at all. If your salespeople don’t have product information, they cannot adequately address prospects’ concerns or overcome objections. If potential recruits don’t know you’re hiring, or don’t know what your culture has to offer, you’re not going to secure top talent. The list of ifs goes on and on.
People need knowledge and when you don’t provide it, they become confused, misguided, inefficient, and frustrated. But it doesn’t have to be that way at your company.
Imagine that instead of all those ifs, you had certainties:
- You know what every key stakeholder has to know in order to help you achieve your business goals.
- You provide bite-sized, easily-digested, and easily-retained pieces of content to deliver this knowledge to them.
- You utilize an easy way to manage your knowledge. Some processes, products, and services change slightly over time. Some will be wholly new. But your knowledge management system enables you and your leadership team to manage that new information easily and in context.
- You offer a well-designed online environment that enables key stakeholders to access the information you know they need.
Now fast-forward a year and imagine the impact of these certainties on your key stakeholders:
- Prospects. They find your content online or are referred by engaged clients. When they hear you speak or have an in-person experience, they can corroborate that information. All of this happens because your knowledge is out there working for you.
- Salespeople. These professionals use your website and packaged informational content to ensure that each prospect and decision-maker is fully informed. Prospects then log into your exclusive portal and experience an informational environment unlike anything they have seen from your competitors. Additionally, your sales team knows what each prospects knows and what they care about, and they use these insights to drive sales interactions.
- Customers. You have the best online customer care system in your industry. Your customers are fully informed, and therefore fully engaged; this is the breeding ground for brand evangelists. Your logged-in portal provides them with all the information they need, and it provides you with the insights necessary to drive upsells and cross-sells.
- Recruits. Your public website is informational; it’s different and better than anyone in your industry. What a great first impression. Recruits see your knowledge, and they believe that you are the industry authority you know you are. Your employer brand is thriving.
Further, potential candidates can log into your Employee Education Portal before their first interview, enabling you to evaluate their engagement — and empowering them to see if the job, and your company, is right for them. The result: better fits, no more failed hiring attempts. You secure the right people and onboard them efficiently.
- Your Team. They are fully-informed and equipped with all the knowledge they need to do their jobs. With your gamified system, quizzes, courses, and exams, you know what they know – and you can hold them to it. You can see who is certified and who has more learning to do. Adding new knowledge pieces is easy, so everyone can access to up-to-date, relevant information. Training is far more effective and far less time-consuming.
Imagine exactly what key stakeholders need to know. That’s real insight. Imagine delivering that knowledge when they need it. That’s a differentiated service that no one else provides. Imagine knowing who has absorbed the information you provide, so you can manage interactions with them more effectively. That empowers you to scale. That’s the result of your knowledge in motion.