Forget transformation programs. Forget culture change.

In order to get out front and win the benefits of KM, it comes down to 3 small habits.


I’m not against these noble goals and concepts. They are big and exciting! And, they trip a lot of people up before anything can happen in the way of knowledge management.

Every organization, it seems, is either fighting for survival or growing so fast they don’t have time to catch their breath. Transformation is sexy. Culture change is compelling. And yet, so often it seems they are talked about as a destination.

Effective information sharing requires three, very simple actions made habit and assimilated into the work each person does every day. Adopt – or induce adoption – of these three easy actions and the culture will change. The organization will transform. And quickly, too.


The holy grail we’re all looking for is knowledge when we need it. That is, I want information that is:

  • easy to find
  • easy to consume
  • accurate

When this occurs

  • productivity increases
  • on-boarding time gets shorter
  • customers get better service
  • employee engagement gets stronger
  • staff turnover decreases
  • self-service grows into a force multiplier
  • products become more customer centric
  • NPS and customer satisfaction scores go up


Here are the 3 simple habits that, when they become part of your organization’s DNA, information will flow, and you will find the holy grail. If you can enable the members of your organization to establish these 3 simple rules of thumb, benefits will flow and abound.

1. Search – before they do anything else. Before they ask someone else. Before they create a new entry in a knowledge base. Search. Early and often.

2. Create/Update as You Go – as they are answering a question. As they are solving the problem. Before they close any tickets. Capture the words the person they are helping uses to describe their issue. Update the knowledge article if it is out of date. Improve the information they are working with. Take responsibility for the information they come across as they work. Don’t wait till later – make the changes or create the knowledge entry AS THEY GO.

3. Count Each Use – as they use a knowledge article, associate it with the call or ticket or case they are working on. Link it to the incident. Use a proxy, like rating the article 5 stars or giving it a thumbs up. We need to be able to count how many times each particular knowledge entry solves an issue or answers a question. This is a valuable source to help prioritize where to spend resources to make the most frequently occurring questions and issues disappear from our workload through automation, self-service or bug fix.

Habits are hard to form – especially ones that are good for us. And the members of the organization who need to adopt these easy rules of thumb will find many reasons why they think they cannot get on board.

The key is that you can help your organization begin to adopt these habits now. And the beauty is that as these simple actions take hold, the transformation will occur. Start small and start now and the culture will follow, and you will have found the way to get out front of the KM curve.

What is holding you back from getting started with KM in your organization?

What tactics work for you when you are forming a new habit?

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