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Best knowledge sharing platforms for your business

  

In an era where information is a crucial asset, the ability to effectively share knowledge within an organization is not just beneficial; it’s essential for success. Knowledge sharing platforms have emerged as vital tools in this quest, transforming the way teams communicate, collaborate, and innovate.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the essence of knowledge sharing, offer practical strategies to harness its full potential within your organization and explore some of the leading knowledge sharing platforms.

In this blog:

 

Even if you’re not familiar with the topic of knowledge management, you understand that every business has knowledge driving it. 

In the last few years we've witnessed longstanding business models that have thrived for generations being flipped on their head and felt newfound levels of segregation and isolation. We’ve gone from working in the office to working from home and now hybrid working. Technology is the spoke keeping the wheels of most businesses turning, which has led to large investments in the digital workplace. ‘Digital’ is now an integral part of most people’s day-to-day working lives.

Market conditions are set to be dynamic for the foreseeable future with uncertainty being the only known. The knowledge and ‘know how’ of employees will be at the forefront of innovation, problem solving and competitive advantage during these uncertain times. Businesses need to develop strong knowledge management capabilities to create and disseminate knowledge so that they can stay ahead of the game.

A software solution that harvests and distributes knowledge throughout the layers of a business makes sense in this increasingly digital era; no longer a nice-to-have, a knowledge management software solution is an integral component of a modern digital workplace. 

Knowledge sharing is key to unlocking organizational potential

Knowledge sharing is more than just an exchange of information. It's about creating a culture where the collective wisdom of the organization is accessible to everyone, thereby empowering teams and driving business growth. Here’s why making knowledge sharing a central part of your company’s ethos is not just beneficial but imperative:

  • Innovation and Creativity: By democratizing access to information, employees can combine diverse ideas and expertise to innovate and solve problems creatively.
  • Improved Efficiency: When knowledge flows freely, redundant efforts are reduced, and employees can leverage existing insights to execute tasks more efficiently.
  • Enhanced Employee Engagement: Cultures that encourage sharing tend to have higher levels of engagement as employees feel valued and integral to the company’s knowledge ecosystem.
  • Competitive Advantage: Organizations that effectively manage and share their knowledge assets can adapt more swiftly to market changes and stay ahead of competitors.

Knowledge sharing and competitive advantage

A company’s source of competitive advantage cannot be static. External and internal conditions, consumer preferences and competitor offerings are constantly evolving. Therefore, the knowledge and abilities with which an organization creates value must keep pace to remain in demand and competitive. 

Knowledge management capabilities enable an organization to react to changing market conditions, achieve growth and sustain competitive advantage. These KM capabilities need to be integrated in the organization's working practices and routines. This is especially true for organizations competing in fast, dynamic markets. The flow and efficiency of how knowledge is fostered and transferred throughout the organization is critical.

 

Best practices for fostering a knowledge sharing culture

It’s important to foster a culture that promotes organizational learning and knowledge sharing. This means reducing the barriers to knowledge sharing and adopting tools and practices that actively promote it.

Openness and trust are key characteristics that need to be instilled in a culture of knowledge management. Individuals need to be encouraged to share their experiences and expertise. 

Tacit knowledge is often highly subjective and made up of an employee’s insights, intuitions, and hunches. Therefore, an employee needs to feel safe in sharing their tacit knowledge. This can be done through mediums such as brainstorming sessions, group problem solving, mentoring and collaboration initiatives. Tacit knowledge can then be developed into company explicit knowledge via identifying and documenting lessons learnt, best practices and bench-marking of these initiatives. This harvested knowledge can then be fed both horizontally and vertically across the organization.

Proper management of this knowledge means it is available to all levels of the business. It can be used in decision-making, to solve problems and to innovate, which is how good knowledge management contributes to the constantly evolving source of competitive advantage.

Knowledge is disseminated throughout an organization through knowledge management capabilities that are integrated into existing working practices, routines and initiatives.

To achieve this there needs to be an infrastructure in place that allows people to share knowledge within the context in which it is required. Employees need to be provided with the tools to be able to create, store, disseminate, and utilize knowledge and expertise within the organization.

 

How managers can encourage employee knowledge sharing

  1. Leverage technology - implement collaborative tools and platforms that facilitate easy sharing and management of information.
  2. Cultivate a Culture of Trust.  A culture that supports knowledge sharing must be built on trust. Encourage open communication, recognize contributions, and ensure that employees feel safe sharing their insights without fear of criticism or dismissal.
  3. Extend the knowledge culture to daily tasks and routine
  4. Lead by example - leadership plays a pivotal role in fostering a knowledge-sharing culture.
  5. Provide training and incentives. Invest in training that helps employees develop the skills needed to share and access knowledge effectively. Additionally, introduce incentives and recognition programs to reward those who actively contribute.

 

Knowledge sharing platform options

The relationship between technology and knowledge management is similar to the relationship between tools and the mind. For example, the mind uses tools to transfer and explain an idea. Knowledge management uses technology for the transfer and exchange of knowledge. Technology therefore, plays a pivotal role in developing knowledge management capabilities. IT infrastructure enable’s employees to create new and maintain knowledge from existing working practices, routines and initiatives within a range of formats from best practices to how-to videos. Employees can then store, access and reuse knowledge.

If an organization doesn’t allocate investment, time and resource into a suitable knowledge management software solution, employees will still create and reuse the knowledge they acquire. If the knowledge management software doesn’t support employee needs and isn’t properly maintained, then employees will struggle to use it. This results in people putting knowledge in places others can’t find it, recreating other people's efforts and reusing knowledge that’s out of date or incorrect.

 

Top knowledge sharing platforms 

Employee knowledge sharing platforms should make the dissemination of knowledge easier and faster. 

Microsoft SharePoint
Given SharePoint’s wide presence, it makes sense that many companies would want to build their knowledge sharing on this software. To turn SharePoint into an effective knowledge sharing platform, organizations need to integrate the platform with tools that extends the out-of-the-box capabilities of SharePoint such as with more search and filter options, automated information architecture, taxonomy and term management.

Best for: Integration with Microsoft Office Suite
Key Features: SharePoint offers a robust platform for document management and collaboration. Its seamless integration with Microsoft tools makes it a go-to choice for businesses embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem.

 

Confluence by Atlassian

If you’re looking for a flexible project management solution for collaboration, then Confluence by Atlassian is a good alternative but it does not provide wider knowledge sharing capabilities, especially across the organization.

Best for: Software development and project management teams
Key Features: Confluence excels in project collaboration, offering a versatile workspace that's ideal for technical teams. Its deep integration with Jira and other Atlassian products makes it a powerful tool for agile workflows.

 

Slack

Best for: Real-time communication and integration with numerous apps
Key Features: Slack isn’t just a messaging app; it’s a comprehensive platform that enables instant communication and integrates with a multitude of other applications, making information sharing quick and efficient.

 

Trello

Best for: Visual project management and task tracking
Key Features: Trello’s card-based system provides an intuitive way to organize tasks and projects. Its simplicity and visual appeal make it a favorite for teams that prioritize ease of use and straightforward task management.

 

Atlas Intelligent Knowledge platform

Atlas tackles the critical organizational challenge of improving business productivity by unlocking knowledge within Microsoft 365 and other enterprise systems. Unlike alternatives, Atlas auto-tags and consolidates Microsoft 365 and other content, creating a unified business-oriented platform employees use to drive the business forward.

Best for: Organizations seeking a dynamic and AI-powered knowledge management experience

Key Features: Atlas stands out for its deep integration with Microsft 365, information architecture and search capabilities and more recently its powerful AI capabilities, making it a top choice for businesses looking to maximize their Microsoft investment.

 

Google Workspace

Google Workspace, once known as G Suite, offers a set of office and collaboration apps. Many may still prefer Microsoft 365, with comparable power, better security and it comes with desktop-based file storage.

Best for: Small businesses, education and other institutions.
Key Features: Google Workspace offers a suite of tools that facilitate real-time collaboration, from document creation to email communication, all housed within Google’s cloud infrastructure.

 

Choosing the best knowledge sharing platform

Selecting the right knowledge sharing platform depends on various factors like the size of your organization, your existing tech stack, and specific business needs. Consider factors like ease of use, scalability, integration capabilities, and security features.

Effective knowledge sharing platforms should provide:

  • a simple way to create and validate knowledge,
  • taxonomies to organize knowledge, and
  • leverage technology tools such as Microsoft 365 to connect people to knowledge.

Conclusion on knowledge sharing platforms

As we navigate the complexities of the AI era, knowledge sharing stands out as a powerful lever for organizational success. It's a strategic imperative that can significantly impact your company's ability to innovate, compete, and thrive. By fostering an environment where knowledge is freely shared, you empower your employees to contribute to the company's success in meaningful ways, driving growth and ensuring a sustainable competitive edge in the marketplace.

Remember, knowledge is a resource that grows when shared, and your organization’s willingness to embrace knowledge sharing is a critical determinant of its future success.

 

KM blogs, e-books and other resources

For those eager to explore further, a plethora of AI and knowledge management blogs and ebooks are available, providing deeper insights and strategies tailored to various industries. 

Knowledge management blogs

e-books and other resources

 

Knowledge Productivity eBook

A comprehensive guide to: 

  • Making corporate knowledge more visible
  • Overcoming knowledge management challenges from knowledge capture to sharing and application
  • Creating high performing knowledge teams
  • Measuring knowledge success

Knowledge-Productivity-3Dcover

 

Author bio

ClearPeople

ClearPeople

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