Why do most companies keep recreating the wheel?

Wordpress Content Management System

I had an interesting conversation at a presentation yesterday at one of my clients where we were working on performance management improvement. The topic of knowledge sharing came up. Various managers, staff, and field techs keep coming across similar problems and resolutions, yet it doesn’t get shared. I’m curious how other organizations “institutionalize” or “formalize” knowledge sharing beyond the weekly/monthly group meeting. How does this information get stored as part of the organization’s history?

An easy recommendation I’ve making to my clients to immediately start down this path is to just starting using a Content Management System internally like a blog – such as WordPress – to collect, store, and circulate knowledge. Easy to use and set-up and every person within minutes can learn how to add information.

Anyone else have experience with companies using a structured approach to knowledge sharing without spending thousands of dollars on expensive software?

I find in many of my entrepreneurial clients, those in the 50-150 person range, have no formal tool to collect knowledge and share it with other employees, new employees, and customers. Everybody is an isolated silo. Even though three of our staff have faced this same exact issue before, let’s allow the new guy to stumble through it again, recreating the wheel, and making the same mistakes we know will happen.

This sounds so dysfunctional that information is not shared other than the occasional “lunch-n-learn”, staff meetings, or the rare group training (in which we forget 90 percent of what we’ve heard and learned within 48 hours).

I am recommending to all my clients that have a workforce and client base with the following needs that they immediately implement putting wordpress on their website and using it both internally as a knowledge base, and externally, as a marketing engagement tool for clients:

  • Success stories to share with all employees and clients
  • Problems and their resolution
  • Feedback on projects
  • Updates for clients on projects
  • Client understanding of your solutions
  • Case studies
  • Technical Training and Updates
  • Product Information and Updates
  • Project Collaboration
  • Sales Call Reporting – beyond the information in your CRM system
  • Field Tech/Customer Call Reporting – beyond the information in your CRM system
  • Company Newsletter
  • Self-paced on-line training


The list is endless when you start including downloads for video, audio, mobile updates from the field off ipads and smartphones. Layer on top of the internal value you get: Imagine the ability to interact real time, improve communications, and engage at a deep level with your existing and potential customers.

There are other more rigorous and expensive solutions. WordPress could be the least expensive (it’s free – and quickest method to implement a knowledge base immediately) You always have the option to scale it up and transfer the content to another system in the future. Your IT professionals can quickly master how to support the software and your staff can be easily trained. You can also outsource the support of your wordpress installation to an expert, for a very low monthly fee (this is my approach).

I can’t think of an easier solution to get a knowledge base up and running within days, and start to see the immediate impact.

I am conducting a research project for companies interested in launching a knowledge base that can be used internally and externally for marketing. I will take the first 10 companies to raise their hand and I’ll walk them step-by-step through the launch and management of their knowledge base using WordPress. I will do this on a complimentary basis to form the foundation for my research project. Shoot me a note if you’re interested in being part of the initial research group.

This new service and direction comes from our observation that one of the greatest challenges in most companies in building high performance teams and organizations is a lack of knowledge sharing among the management team in how to do it. Training is one element of the solution (most managers and executives don’t have equal training), and the other primary failure point is a lack of sharing of specific past experiences and “details”on how to do it.

Barry Deutsch

Employee Engagement – A Few Resources

Let’s continue down this path of Employee Engagement. Here are a few additional articles you might want to read regarding employee engagement:

We talk extensively about Employee Engagement in our Vistage Group Presentation “You’re the Person I Want To Keep”. Our experience over the last decade is that very few companies actively implement programs, activities, and process to embed employee engagement into the fabric of their organizations.

If you don’t start doing it NOW – what’s the risk as the economy starts to improve and more employees start to look to see if the “grass is greener” somewhere else?


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Navigating around the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

Navigation around the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

In this blog post, I’ll describe how to navigate around to some of the key areas on our Vistage Leadership Community Portal Site.

We’ve already discussed in another blog posting the tabbed content of Best Practices. You can read about the tabbed structure of this site by CLICKING HERE.

At the top along the header you’ll see four links for “home”, “contact us”, “meet the experts”, and “why am I here?” These are links on our website that help you to navigate the site and provide additional information.

The home link returns you from any tab of information with blog feeds, such as the managing sales tab, back to the home page of the blog on best practices.

The contact us link provides you with a contact form to send a quick message back to us.

The Meet the Experts Page gives a short background on both Brad and I, and all our guest blogger experts.

The Why Am I Here Page provides a precise reason for reading the blog, using this site as your “portal” site for information, tools, tips, techniques, and discussion on hiring, retention, leadership, managing sales, and social media. You’ll also be able to see the more active Vistage Community Members who have established a very strong reputation for the quality of their unique content and blog frequently with great value and advice.

At the bottom of every page are 3 columns of information. First, is the Recent Posts column which lists the last 10 recent posts. Second, The featured posts column lists blog articles that we consider to be the best content posted on the blog (check back often since the posts in this column change frequently). Third, is a series of links to our LinkedIn Discussion Groups for Hiring and Retention, Vistage Chairs for leveraging social media to find great members, Vistage Members to build and enhance their business through social media, and Vistage Speakers/TAs to engage to market their services and engage with their clients more effectively.

On the sidebar (which only appears when you are on the home page/blog article listing), you’ll find a search box to locate information based on your search term. Below that you’ll find a list of blog articles that are specifically for managing your interaction with this portal, including how to navigate the site, the tabbed structure of content, and how to share information you find useful with other members of the Vistage Community.

Moving down the sidebar, you’ll see the ability to find articles listed by category, by series, and by tags (hot topics). Below that is a listing of the key blog posts for how to use this Portal site for information and learning.

Barry Deutsch