In a rapidly evolving climate, knowledge sharing is a vital part of leadership. It allows for improved distribution of responsibilities, eases staff transitions, and helps team members at all levels assist clients more effectively. Still, it’s often difficult to get information into the hands of people who need it when it’s siloed on individual hard drives, is the result of experiential learning that’s never been transformed into training materials, or gets lost in the flow of conference calls and meetings.
There needs to be a better way – and indeed, a number of companies have committed to improving knowledge sharing infrastructure. With these four tools at the ready, you can help your team shift the status quo so that knowledge sharing becomes the company norm, rather than the exception.
Set An Agenda
One of the biggest barriers to effective knowledge sharing is the traditional meeting format. People turn up, often without a clear agenda or stated goal. If you can’t state the intention of the meeting, you shouldn’t be having one. This is why almost every company should ditch the weekly meeting format and prioritize gathering with key individuals with a set number of tasks and a time limit.
You don’t need any special tools to set and manage a meeting agenda, but if you want one, Do, a task-oriented knowledge sharing program, can help you stay on topic. The added bonus is that Do ties into other important parts of the knowledge sharing process, such as disseminating important notes to other team members.
In addition to skipping the weekly meeting and restricting the ones you have, modern communication practices mean that when team members and clients conference, they may not all be in the same place. Rather, conference calls and video conferencing have become increasingly popular and are much more convenient (both logistically and financially) in the majority of cases.
When participating in conference calls, however, it can be hard to keep track of everything that happens, even if you’re taking meticulous notes, so it helps if your meeting software can help you monitor the meeting, and that’s why you need Dialpad.
The genius of Dialpad is that it not only allows for remote communication, but their UberConference Analytics feature allows users to look over conference call data and track information like call length, number of screen shares, and number of participants. A quick glance at this data and you’ll have a clear quantification of tangible knowledge sharing activities.
Mobilize Your Notes
Post meeting, it’s important to share your notes with colleagues in a way that helps not only current staff members but parties that may be involved with a client or program in the future. Though we recommend that you still take paper notes – we retain information better when we write it out by hand – consider scanning those notes or transcribing them into a program like Google Docs or another file sharing system. You can even take a picture of your notes to upload if they’re clear enough. These programs are perfect for disseminating valuable information.
One of the advantages of using a program like Google Docs for knowledge sharing is that you can easily alter the user permissions over time. That means that when someone is promoted or added to a project, you can give them access to past notes while still restricting those notes where appropriate.
Translate Your Experiences
Finally, when you have the chance to stop and reflect on things you’ve learned in your career, either in the broadest sense or through a particular interaction, take some time to break down that earned knowledge and blog about it. A company blog is a great place to share leadership tips and insights and can help other team members grow in their own roles.
Knowledge sharing is at the heart of growth, but without the right tools, it can be time-consuming and inefficient. Take advantage of the many tech tools available to you to pave the way for smoother transitions and interactions down the road.
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Written by: Larry Alton.
Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur, Social Media Week, CEOWORLD Magazine and the HuffingtonPost among others.