Knowledge Management – Building a Sustainable Yellow Pages System

How can I “know who knows” None of us can personally know far more than around 250 folks, but we want our companies to be wise, finding out organisations where it really is easy to locate the proper particular person to speak to. This is why several organisations make “yellow pages” applications, which allow staff to come across and speak to other employees with distinct expertise and skills. Nevertheless, these systems can be fraught with difficulty in their implementation, and usually finish up as out-of-date, glorified intranet telephone directories. This article, drawn from a ideal-selling expertise management fieldbook by its author, identifies ten key steps involved in building and sustaining a productive, employee-owned yellow pages system.

The recommendations beneath are drawn from the book “Studying to Fly – Sensible knowledge management from top and learning organisations” (Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell), and sets out ten crucial methods to generating a yellow pages systems which really works, and has the good invest in-in of its user community – that is to say, its consumers.

1 Preserve a clear and distinctive vision. Be clear about what you are attempting to realize and stay away from compromise. Beware of becoming “all issues to all males” – particularly those in the HR and IT departments! Everybody will want a slice of the action – don’t shed sight of the overarching aim of your technique – making it simple to discover people today that you do not already know.

2 Strive for individual ownership and maintenance. Develop a method whereby only the folks concerned can make and update their entries. This will drive a far deeper sense of ownership across the population.

three Strike a balance amongst informal and formal content material. Encourage people today to share non-function data about themselves in addition to beneficial small business facts. Look at prompting for this with “entertaining” concerns such as: “what was the 1st single that you bought?”, “what is your favourite film?”, or even “what tends to make you delighted?”.

4 Help the photographs wherever feasible. Practically nothing is far more strong and individual than a photograph. It speaks volumes about the person, raises the interest levels of other individuals and generates private ownership of the content. If probable encourage people today to include things like an informal photograph. The security-pass-rabbit-in-the-headlights shots seldom show people in their ideal light! Far better to have a photograph which says a lot more about the particular person and what motivates them.

five Assure that your solution style is versatile and inclusive. Recognize that different people today relate to templates, prompts and structure in distinctive methods. Use concentrate groups to test opinion.

6 Commence with a customer-facing pilot. Essential mass is all essential, so start out with a group of people today who have a all-natural want to be visible to internal buyers. This may well involve supporting functions, existing networks or communities, or even small business places with new leadership.

7 Deliver by way of regional enthusiasts. Centrally-driven push isn?t often the very best way to engage the workforce. Tap into regional enthusiasts and champions if achievable ? they will know how most effective to “sell” the notion locally.

eight Use accomplishment stories as a advertising and marketing tool. Reinforce the usefulness of the expertise directory at just about every chance. Publicize any examples or successes broadly, and early, to reinforce your project. This is a culture alter project, and culture alter happens one particular story at a time!

9 Encourage use, but lead by example rather than edict. Stay clear of mandating the population and use of the understanding directory. Men and women will deliver better top quality content if they feel that they are volunteering the data. At the finish of the day, you can?t ever conscript information – you can only ever volunteer it.
And let?s face it, there is small point in discovering the a single person with knowledge or expertise that you require, if when you get in touch with them on the phone, they are unwilling to talk!

10 Embed into individuals processes. Look for procedure and intranet “hooks” that could initiate and sustain the use of your information directory (e.g. recruitment or induction of new staff, the launch of new networks, any reference on an intranet website which mentions a person’s name can come to be link to their individual web page.


Building and advertising a yellow pages method inside an organisation is a hugely rewarding project – seize the chance with both hands. You are going to will need a network of champions, the cooperation of the IT and HR functions, tenacity and some marketng flair. The measures outlined above need to assistance you on your way. Bon voyage!

PKM Guide is a renowned specialist in understanding management and an experienced practitioner in the leadership and implementation of organisational modify from a persons point of view.