If you love Valentine’s Day in all its glory, you might want to skip this paragraph. I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Part of it has to do with my spouse, who would rather get flowers on a random Thursday than on a day that advertisers remind me to do it. Part of it has to do with the pressure to consume – flowers, candy, fine wine… you name it. But, holidays like Valentine’s Day serve an important purpose. They force us to stop and recognize a relationship that we are in. To affirm that someone we love is still important to us. And to see how far we have come since we met, since we married, since last year.
If there is a flaw in the way that most of us have run knowledge-sharing programs, it’s the lack of an over-commercialized holiday. You don’t take time out on a regular basis to see how far you have come. You continue the steady progress that delivers real value, but don’t celebrate it.
Part of the reason you don’t celebrate relates to the way that you measure your programs. If you are a fan of knowledge-sharing practices like KCS (or if you have read our Measures, Metrics and Madness white paper), you know that organizations generally employ two types of measures. The first are measures on activities – the behaviors and practices that show that the team is embracing knowledge sharing (or not). You are careful to say that these measures shouldn’t have explicit goals. You should watch their trends as activity measures are leading indicators of your future success. The second type of measures is outcome-based measures – specific organizational goals that your vice president (or director, or general manager) deems important.
What you don’t have with these measures is an objective reminder of the effort that the team has made to make knowledge sharing part of how they do their work. Maybe you do a good job celebrating our successes right after the knowledge-sharing program launches, but most of us don’t over the long-haul. Knowledge-sharing practices have become part of how you do your work. The activities are trending in the right direction, but you aren’t achieving a lot of firsts anymore.
If you don’t feel inspired, then how do your executive sponsors feel?
You need a knowledge-sharing program day. You need to stop and take stock of how you did this year and how you can build on its successes. But to celebrate, you need to know—objectively–how our program is doing. Trends in activities aren’t enough. You explicitly don’t want to put goals on them. Organizational outcomes often shift from year to year and sometimes can’t change very much (as in the case of very high measures, like in organizations who value customer satisfaction and score in the high 90% every survey).
If you feel like you need your holiday, Klever has a benchmark for you. Individuals can take a complimentary Klever Assessment to uncover your own perceptions about knowledge sharing readiness and aptitude in your organization. It was developed by Klever to gauge knowledge-sharing practice readiness, drawing on more than five decades of experience in knowledge management programs and the experiences of dozens of companies. We also benchmark organizations with a customizable tool and offer insights into where your organization is and how you can build on your progress.
Tell your organization how well your knowledge-sharing program has done this year. Share some love with your team and get some back from your entire company!