If you’ve ever answered the same question about a report over and over again, you have experienced firsthand the repercussions of not having a knowledge sharing strategy. Best-in-class insights teams are realizing the benefits of knowledge sharing and implementing knowledge sharing strategies and insights platforms to share research across their organizations.
Many of our customers have seen amazing results since launching their insights platforms. Not only are their teams working more collaboratively across departments and sharing information with agility, but their users also report saving 15-20 minutes every time they search for information. And while the technology an insights manager selects is important, the strategy and processes implemented are what will ultimately determine their success.
The kick-off of your knowledge sharing strategy may be the most important step. Here are a six things the pros do.
Customize the Look and Feel
First, insight managers should establish branding for the insights platform. Create a logo, change the colors, and white label the community so it matches the brand.
Why does this matter, you ask? The first thing users will (probably) say when you introduce your insights platform is, “Seriously, another tool I have to use?” This may even be a department’s first interaction with the insights team. They may ask, “So what would you say you do here?” Crazy, we know!
But there is hope. Familiarity increases likeability. If you create an environment that blends in with your existing culture and reinforces your brand, your colleagues are more likely to engage with it.
Influencing change without backup is difficult. This is why insights managers should bring in executives to engage on the insights platform. This is particularly critical before and after the launch.
Employees pay attention to what executives do, and if they are sharing knowledge, others will follow suit.
We also find employees and executives enjoy the opportunity to interact more. Insights Platforms can flatten organizational hierarchies so everyone can communicate more effectively. For example, one customer who is a Customer Insight Manager convinced their CEO to post a video once a month, which is a great way to pull people back in regularly. It’s a win-win! The CEO can communicate information across the company, and employees communicate directly to the CEO through comments.
Host a Launch Event
The final ingredient to a great launch is hosting an event. Change management is an ongoing process, so generating some excitement and fun is an excellent strategy to diffuse resistance.
A powerful way to shift the focus and make the first interaction fun is by using food, music, prizes, and games. Some of your stakeholders might not be familiar with everything your insights team does and the breadth of research you produce. This is a great opportunity for them to learn more about your job and be connected to all the amazing data that can empower them on a daily basis.
We spent a lot of time discussing the launch, but best-in-class insights teams also establish an ongoing strategy to maintain and increase engagement in their insights platform. You could establish recurring educational programs, which introduce new tools and re-establish processes. An occasional fun campaign can also bring users back. The key is continuous learning and fun to keep users informed and engaged.
Measure (and Measure Again)
Here is where insights managers naturally shine when it comes to knowledge sharing. As the masters of research and data, it’s not surprising to see our pros actively measuring the results of their knowledge sharing strategies. Obviously, they leverage analytics and reports to gauge success, but the pros don’t discount qualitative data. They regularly send out surveys and conduct interviews with users to determine what’s going well and what can be improved.
Apply the Feedback
Much like other departments use your insights data to drive focused action, the best insights managers take action and apply feedback to improve their knowledge sharing strategy. Are employees still not finding the research they need? Maybe there need to be some structural changes in the technology or an increase in user education. Whatever the action, make sure to follow up with the individual and let them know how you are applying their feedback. It will bring them back to the platform and reduce resistance.
Insights teams are the core of many organizations. By applying these insights manager pro tips, you can not only empower employees across the organization with your research and help them be successful, your insights team becomes strategically relevant. Driving change at your organization and turn all the insights you curate and manage into action.