One of your employees develops a business model or framework. You decide that you would like to make it available to your colleagues (and, where relevant, to clients and business partners).
But you soon get stuck: you find that the company’s existing processes and systems for creating and sharing intellectual property and knowledge are clumsy and inefficient. Models can only be created locally and shared via email, and there is no central location for storage and access.
Not ‘best’, but common practice
You are not alone in your frustrations. Every company has existing, or to-be developed models and frameworks that would deliver significantly more value if effectively captured, shared and reused across the business.
Instead, due to a lack of processes and tools for collaboratively creating, storing and sharing intellectual property, this valuable business information and documentation often tends to sit in unstructured silos on local machines. This results in the loss of tacit and explicit knowledge, the underutilization of valuable intellectual property, and a recurring theme of recreating models and frameworks that already exist.
Effective knowledge creation, capture and sharing
So, as a business that generates models and processes that are your intellectual property and knowledge, how do you create, capture, share and reuse this information?
Existing best practice guidelines recommend that you:
- First, create a protocol that, by consensus or mandate, requires your people to continuously capture and share their models and processes.
- Then help your people by providing consistent tools that enable them to map, model, capture and document business requirements, processes, diagrams, models, organisational charts, methods and transition plans, as well as create templates, methods, frameworks and best practices – all in a shared space that can be accessed by your people, clients or partners.
- Third, use the tools to gather feedback that allows your people to continuously optimize and adjust your models and frameworks.
- And, lastly, educate and train your staff on the benefits and positive outcomes from your approach. This requires ongoing communication.
Models and processes that fit into this mode of working support include T-maps, organizational charts, target operating models, operational processes and bespoke models and methods.
From theory to application
Using the above guidelines, a consulting firm, for example, could mandate all employees to work from a platform that allows them to collaborate and share while working on a project.
This allows best practice to be packaged and reused, both internally and on new client engagements, post-delivery.
In short, for business models and processes to be maximized, companies need a consistent approach for creating and sharing information that is coupled with a platform that enables this to happen. Changing your way of working is never an easy task, but through a focused approach to implementing the above guidelines you will get to a point where you wonder how you ever worked the ‘old way’.