August 9, 2016 Comments Off on Knowledge-A-Thons

Imagine a colleague learnt a technique that would save her 12 minutes per day (or one hour per week).

That adds up to 48 hours per year for a period of 3 years (average employee retention rates). If she costs the organisation $70 per hour, that one tip is worth $10k+.

Now imagine she shares that tip with the rest of the team and it spreads to 10 other staff. That one tip is now worth $100k+.

These are the kind of sums what makes building a community of practice within organisations so appealing. It’s the kind of maths that makes training or reading a book so important. Single tips multiplied by years, costs, and staff members become huge cost savings.

And the crazy thing is most teams spend almost no time even looking for these sorts of tips.

Staff members might spend their own time reading blogs and books looking to serendipitously pick up an idea or two they might one day use. We have plenty of hackathons to build new products but no knowledge-a-thons to build new knowledge.

Imagine the tremendous value that would accrue to those that deliberately and proactively sought out exactly the ideas that would have the biggest impact.

Make a list of where people spend most of their time. Now proactively look for tips that would save time or improve performance in each of these. Make it part of the team’s goals at the organisation to improve the way they work by 5% each quarter. Give them the space to do it too.

Now document each tip and set a weekly 15 minute webinar hosted by a rotating colleague each week to share what they have learnt to save time or improve outcomes. It might be new tool, a great idea, or an entire new approach.

Make it a challenge if you like. Solicit ratings each week. Keep a score table of how useful each tip has been.

Make being better and more efficient an ongoing mission for your team.

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