Positioning Knowledge Management (KM) in organizations is primarily a cultural issue. We all know for a fact that KM initiatives collapse when they are not people focused. So when we try to engage them in KM activities we need to think outside the box and build on diverse aspects that will convey community branding and value generation.
At my company we are working on a campaign to refresh our KM model and help the new workers to become part of the Knowledge Culture. So whilst I was doing some research on the topic (trying to find examples of creative and engaging campaigns) I happened to come across the marketing campaign launched by Camera+.
Camera+ is a paid application available for Iphones that integrates diverse elements and options that enhance the photos taken by our Iphones and allows us to rapidly share them with other users. In 2012 it already reached over 6 million downloads.
I happen to be a vivid fan and explorer of the effects of social media in knowledge sharing and generation. Thus when I read about Camera+ ´s marketing campaign I felt identified with some of my efforts regarding KM engagement and thus translated the actions proposed by Camera+ Creator Lisa Bettany into handy tips for KM.
Here are the end results:
-Create a contest: Get people to start participating and reward participants. Make them visible to the organization. Everyone wants an audience and likes to be identified as experts.
For example in my company we organize “knowledge marathons” where we propose a series of topics aligned with the company´s strategy and we ask people to research on those topics and to contribute articles emphasizing innovative aspects. We give away different prizes, ranging from trips abroad to handy tools for the office and household. Also, the best contributions become part of our Knowledge Book which is published every year. This type of contests generates blasts and this is exactly the buzz we need for KM
-Allocate KM resources strategically: don´t wait for people to start using KM; bring it to them: for example if we are aware of a new project that is about to open, start by providing the project team with pasts experiences and other “knowledge nuggets” such as norms, manuals, publications, videos regarding methods and technical experiences, etc. It’s all about finding the “knowledgeable moment”.
-Create a loyal following through engagement: If they love it; they will do it. Make KM fun; don´t make it a hard and common experience.
-Wow people: Research the features people want: For example if we open a Forums or Wiki space and no one uses it, it´s normally because people don’t relate with it. Unfortunately sometimes we don´t connect with our marketing chip and end up proposing tools and actions that derive directly from our KM books and guides but it doesn´t necessarily guarantee success.
-Get people to join in right from the start. Ask them what they need and align KM with user feedback. In my company we have appointed a KM committee which comprises of diverse experts in the organization. They are my right hand in KM. Before launching any initiative I consult it with them.
-Fix bugs and boost performance: How are you gaining user feedback? Do you conduct surveys or interact directly with workers? How do you really become aware of the KM culture? How do you know what´s working or not? Start using worker feedback in order to enhance KM processes.
-Align your actions with the Company´s strategy: As I mentioned earlier, everything we do in KM must be aligned with the company´s strategy and culture. It´s easy to get carried away since KM is such an exciting topic. However in order to build engagement let´s engage the people at the top first. Get their feedback and approval. Finally KM actions must be reflected in their personal objectives so their alignment is vital. For example I remember once we fixed lessons learned objectives directly without consulting the business line managers. It didn’t turn out so good.
In fact when we began our KM model more than 10 years ago, our initial model came out of the CEO´s office and was communicated to the rest of the managers and workers. Although the CEO participated in the development of the strategy, the rest were left out of the process so there were many aspects that we didn’t cover and finally ended up creating resilience when we started developing the KM activities.
Finally, KM doesn’t have a unique recipe in order to generate engagement. Thus Knowledge Managers must look for diverse alternatives and explore diverse fields in order to really connect with our internal clients.
To check out Lisa Bettany´s Marketing tips click here
Knowledge Management Systems