Does knowledge seem to vanish from your organization as quickly as Game of Thrones (GoT) kills off main characters? While almost everyone agrees knowledge sharing is important, it can be challenging to motivate employees to dedicate the time to produce quality documentation and share organizational knowledge.
This topic was addressed by Derek Drawhorn at UT Health Science Center during our user conference this past May. Derek discussed the key to successfully capturing knowledge sharing is by creating high-quality documentation. He argues the key is not just the right software, but the right motivation. Now how does this relate back to GoT? Knowledge management and GoT dragons are one and the same. What could be more motivating than that? Here are three reasons why a knowledge management solution is basically your personal GoT dragon.
Neither Are Slaves
Do you remember what Khaleesi says when her recently “traded” dragon starts to misbehave? Don’t worry we do. She says, “A dragon is not a slave,” and then instructs the dragon to attack its new owner.
Like dragons, modern knowledge management solutions are not a slave to folders. For as long as there has been a file folder structure, there has been confusion around how it should be set up. If you can’t find information when you need it, there isn’t a whole lot of motivation to share knowledge. And one of the biggest struggles leaders face is motivating their teams to document. Why take the time to create something no one will ever see?
Millennial employees are particularly frustrated with the folder structure. Think about it. Outside of work they use searches to find everything they need. A knowledge management solution with robust search features is ideal for helping millennials stay engaged. And if they can find what they need, they are more likely to care about the quality that goes into it.
Both Are Worth Their Weight In Gold
Dragons are crazy valuable. Khaleesi found one dragon was worth an army of 8 thousand unsullied.
According to McKinsey, employees spend 20 percent of their time looking for the information they need to do their jobs. That’s one full workday a week. Now imagine the average employee’s salary. How much does one wasted day per week cost the company? How about a month? Or a year? Sorry, we’re starting to sound like your CFO. Knowledge management software saves your team time and increases productivity. Pretty much every team is spread thin, and it’s a challenge to justify the need to hire additional staff. But knowledge management software can help make your existing team more productive.
They Show Up When You Need Them Most
It took a little time, but Khaleesi’s dragons have been much more consistent than they were in earlier seasons. For a while they were moody teenagers going through their rebellious stage. But in season 5, Drogon showed up for the mother of dragons in a big way and saved her from the Sons of the Harpy.
Knowledge management systems also take some nurturing. They require a thoughtful setup, change management strategy, and ongoing cultural reinforcement. For example, the customer we mentioned earlier, Derek Drawhorn, doesn’t approve a project’s completion until the documentation is done. And not “done” by the employee’s standard but completed to the point that it would truly be valuable to the team. After some TLC a knowledge management platform performs time and time again. For example, whenever a sales rep needs a case study for a specific audience, HR needs to share frequently requested policies and procedures, or an IT rep needs the new user setup checklist, it’s invaluable to access shared information.
So if your team is using a wiki or intranet to share knowledge, you’re setting your team up for failure, kind of like when Stannis went up against the Bolton’s and got his butt kicked. The key to getting employees to use knowledge sharing software is a robust search engine that is thoughtfully set up and culturally reinforced.
Any team with a strong knowledge management solution will be walking through the office as confident as Khaleesi on a dragon. Also, we’re as excited about season 7 as Tyrion Lannister when he sees a full barrel of wine.