Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

A very simple form of expertise sharing was very successful at Company X. We used a process called the knowledge-sharing request, which was an email sent to me with a simple request along the lines of "has anyone ever done this before?" or "has anyone solved this problem before?" or "does anyone know how to do this?" I would forward the message to all consulting managers in the worldwide organization. In almost all cases, several useful replies would be received within a few hours. It was a good example of Dave Snowden's principle that people will almost always help each other at the time of a specific need. Indeed, we had much more success with these ad hoc requests than we did with trying to get people to submit formal project experience documentation.

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