Tribal Knowledge & An Expanding Workforce
You are a part of a fast pace business environment.
Your company is growing rapidly and you are beginning to experience the pain associated with aligning the company vision with an evolving business strategy.
Tribal knowledge becomes increasingly more difficult to retain as your workforce expands.
Your Workforce Is Expanding, How Is Your Communication?
Start-ups and lean businesses alike benefit from close quarters communications, Marketing can glance over at Sales and with a single nod everyone understands what is required of them and what steps are required to accomplish the next task.
What happens when you move from 4 people in Sales and 1 in Marketing to 25 in Sales and 10 in Marketing? How about 25 to 200 in Sales?
Suddenly what could be simply considered Tribal Knowledge can now formally be referred to as Institutional Knowledge. The impact of poor communication or bad information can, and will, adversely impact your company’s ability to execute.
You see, as a body of proprietary information grows and communication channels multiply organizations become faced with the realization that standardized practices become critical in order to execute initiatives effectively. Said another way, information, and by contrast communication within an organization can be, and often is, the source of pain, frustration and even worse, failure.
Suddenly, a simple question presents itself.
“How do I build a system that not only houses this data, but also tracks its use, administers alerts associated with required training and even incentivizes healthy competition among those using it?”
Job Performance & Centralizing Data
Centralizing data critical to the performance of job functions as a single source of truth for everyone in your department can be tedious, let alone your organization as a whole. You know however, that materials and collateral exists, for the most part, already. Today these items can be found on disparate computers owned by varying employees and silo-ed shared drives hidden behind different network portals throughout the your organization.
Playbooks, job aides, reference materials, product manuals and strategic white papers begin to pile up. Work loads become saturated and what once was simple has now become hard.
Bloated and disorganized data repositories can further complicate communication both internally as well as customer facing.
So Here Is The Solution!
- Aggregate your Institutional Knowledge into a single source of truth.
- Reposit your resources and collateral (both internal facing and external facing).
- Conduct an audit of these materials and abstract the theme that presents itself across all pieces of content.
- Then, confirm that it aligns with the company’s mission. If it does, congratulations, now all you have to do is manage its dissemination in a way that encourages effective communication.
Technology like LMS’s and other communication systems become a critical piece of this. Additionally, centralizing systems via integration will promote a full, 365 degree view of the company and how it performs on all fronts.
Leverage technology to capture your companies Institutional knowledge. Grab everything you can with your Senior Subject Matter Experts and use it to inspire, create, persuade, encourage, and ultimately engender a culture that is responsive to thoughtfulness and rewards research, training and coaching!
What are your experiences with communication and an expanding workforce? How are you leveraging technology for better communication? Let us know! Leave a comment below and let’s discuss this growing trend.
*Image courtesy of CO3.biz