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.