A Simple Knowledge Sharing Ritual

It was wonderful when someone I knew said to another recently “That’s knowledge management, making knowledge explicit. I learnt that from Pauline.” Pauline is moi!

This person is an employee at the a local hotel here in Singapore. Recently, she started a practice with her group of staff. Each day, one staff member got to share in about 5-10 minutes a topic of interest just before roll-call which happens at the start of a new shift. The staff get to pick the topic and the day they would like to do the sharing. The topic could be on anything of interest or an incident they considered useful for others to learn from such as how to check-in baggage, how to deal with “weird” guests, where to buy foreign magazines, what Deepavali which is a Hindu festival coming up in October is all about, and so on – in short, topics that would help them deal with their guests better.

What was really nice though is she told me that the staff were excited about making the “presentation” as it was not something they typically do. They were a mix of housekeepers, concierges, bell-hops, front desk staff, etc. Some really took extra efforts to prepare what they were going to say.

I liked this simple, easy and light knowledge-sharing ritual. No painful documentation, no sophisticated collaboration tool, just a couple of words every day about topics that people wanted to talk about and others could learn from.

While “making it explicit” is not the end-all or be-all of KM, I am glad that she got at least this bit of the iceberg, and to me, it was just the sweet beginning.

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