Wednesday 1 July 2020

How G2 got knowledge sharing to work

Here is a very interesting article from G2 about how they finally made knowledge sharing work, after failing twice.

The article, by Deirdre O'Donoghue, is a very interesting read. They tried to introduce structured knowledge sharing three times, and only succeeded at the third attempt.  What was different about that lucky Third Time?  Please note, the article is only about knowledge sharing, which as we know is just one component of Knowledge Management.

Firstly - what failed?

Lunch and Learns failed. 
I am not a great supporter of lunch and learns (see my article "Lunch and Learn? No thanks, I am trying to give it up") and they did not work for G2. As Dierdre says,

"People wanted knowledge shares to be standardized – not random. They also didn’t like sacrificing their lunchtime for learning. Instead, employees wanted to see that G2 leadership valued knowledge sharing enough to take time out of the actual workday".

Friday afternoon "sharing time" failed.
"A few of these sessions were successful because people came eager to learn and share. But Friday afternoon is a difficult time to focus, and everyone, including me, shifted focus from sharing work knowledge to sharing what their weekend plans were".

Finally, what worked? 

The solution that worked for G2 was a regular schedule, within office hours, of  knowledge sharing sessions, and a site where the shared knowledge  (in the form of presentations) could be found and referred to later. According to Dierdre, this works because it is;

  • Consistent. A consistent timeslot, a consistent format, a consistent length of presentation. 
  • Relevant. "Ensure that you aren’t just trying to fill the knowledge share time. Instead, really focus on what would bring value to the team. "
  • Transparent. "After the presentation ends, the work doesn’t stop. Create a space using knowledge management software for employees to access the slides after the presentation. That way, if they need a refresher, they don’t have to wait on someone else for the information. They can easily click the link to re-learn pertinent knowledge".

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