Knowledge Management - Creating A Sustainable Yellow Pages System

How can I”know who knows” None of us can personally know more than around 250 people, yet we want our businesses to be smart, learning organisations where it’s easy to find the right person to talk to. However, these systems can be fraught with difficulty in their implementation, and frequently end up as obsolete, glorified intranet telephone directories. This article, drawn from a best-selling knowledge management fieldbook by its author, identifies ten important steps involved in generating and sustaining a successful, employee-owned yellow pages system.

1 Maintain a clear and distinctive vision. Be cautious about what you are trying to achieve and prevent compromise. Everyone will want a slice of this action - do not get rid of sight of the overarching goal of your own body - which makes it simple to find people that you don’t already know.
2 Strive for personal ownership and upkeep. Create a procedure whereby only the individuals concerned can create and update their entries. This may drive a far deeper feeling of ownership throughout the population.
3 Strike a balance between informal and formal content. Encourage people to share non-work info about themselves in addition to valuable business information. , “what is your favourite film?” , or perhaps”what makes you happy?” .
4 Support the photos wherever possible. There’s nothing more powerful and personal than a picture. It speaks volumes about the person, raises the interest rates of others and generates personal ownership of the content. If possible invite people to incorporate a casual photograph. The security-pass-rabbit-in-the-headlights shots seldom show people in their very best light! Better to have a picture which says more about the individual and what motivates them.
5 Ensure that your product design is flexible and inclusive. Realize that different folks relate to templates, pushes and construction in various ways.
6 Start using a customer-facing pilot. Critical mass is all important, so start with a group of individuals who have a natural desire to be more visible to internal clients. This may include encouraging purposes, existing networks or communities, or perhaps business areas with new leadership.
7 Deliver through local enthusiasts. Centrally-driven push isn?t always the perfect method to engage the workforce. Tap into local enthusiasts and champions if at all possible? They’ll know the way to”sell” the idea locally.
8 Utilize success stories as a marketing tool. Reinforce the viability of the knowledge directory at each opportunity. Publicize any examples or successes broadly, and early, to fortify your project. That is a culture change project, and culture change occurs one story at a time!
9 Encourage usage, but lead by example instead of edict. Avoid mandating the people and usage of this information directory. Folks might provide better quality content should they feel they are volunteering the information. In the conclusion of the day, you can?t actually conscript knowledge - you can only ever exude it.
And let?s face it, there is very little point in finding the 1 person with experience or expertise that you require, when you call them on the telephone, they are unwilling to speak!
10 Embed into people procedures. Search for process and intranet”hooks” that could initiate and sustain the use of your knowledge directory (e.g. recruiting or induction of new staff, the launch of new networks, any reference on an intranet site which mentions a person’s name can become link with their personal page.