What’s the use of an internal knowledge management tool?
I lost my belief in internal knowledge management software. Most companies that use them (we @insites suffered from it as well) are disappointed.
This is how it goes: your IT team looks at different high end software solutions to help the knowledge manager. The software is most of the time pretty amazing and can basically do almost everything you need to have for the ultimate form of knowledge building. The IT guy & the knowledge manager go wild during the demo.
Then the software is bought and a big roll out plan throughout the organization is prepared. That’s the moment of frustration because the teams aren’t using the software. That’s the problem with most great software: you need people that are willing to use it. Policies are being communicated to force the teams to work with the software. And so they do but with a minimum of effort.
At the same time: these teams are sharing and creating content on different social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Slideshare are packed with relevant knowledge. Strange: your employees are very willing to look for content to share with their external network, but are not willing to do it internally.
Why? Because sharing content outside of your corporate walls gives you more added value. Your relations, clients and future employees can see all the great stuff you’re working on. You receive more relevant feedback from the external stakeholders than from the internal ones, who take your knowledge more for granted.
The solution? Why not share and store all relevant knowledge of your company on public social media. Your team members will be more than happy to share it. The external effects will be bigger than ever.
The role of the interal network? Very functional: you keep all HR documents and forms that employees need, some manuals for tools that you have. But let’s keep the relevant content public.