A Harvard Business Review team examined how winning international teams advance in 2020. They found that the Pareto Principle still applies today: at the company they researched, 80% of the revenue is generated by 20% of the salespeople. Lack of knowledge exchange was noted by the team as a major issue, particularly for remote teams. To test that notion, they established a structured knowledge-sharing plan that included coworker sessions that could easily take place in person or remotely. The participating teams increased the company's income by seven figures during the course of 24 weeks.
Your team just won't perform properly if they lack the knowledge necessary to do so. For distributed teams, this difficulty is even more obvious. It happens all the time: people don't know where to look for information, get lost during onboarding, or struggle to perform well because they lack the support they need. For international teams who collaborate remotely across several time zones, this task is even more difficult. Companies must take a disciplined approach to information sharing across teams, time zones, and borders if they want to succeed. The following are some excellent practises that facilitate information sharing across remote teams:
Unstructured data is different from structured data in that the former has been gathered but hasn't been interpreted or formatted, making it far less accessible. Structured data is predefined, formatted, and easy to use information.
The idea of knowledge is the same. Think about the various categories of knowledge:
Structured Knowledge: Information that is simple to record in writing, such as figures for a company's revenue, its guiding principles, or detailed instructions for carrying out a particular task.
Unstructured KnowledgeComplex knowledge that is best learnt by practise and repetition until it is intuitive is referred to as unstructured knowledge. A excellent social media manager, for instance, has an intuitive grasp of your company's voice. Although there are some written rules, eventually it comes down to intuition.
Building an effective knowledge system requires a thorough understanding of the many forms of knowledge, as this influences how knowledge is recorded and distributed.
An invaluable encyclopaedia of ideas that your team may access whenever they want is created by a culture where information is continuously gathered through written documentation. This strategy has two advantages: it reduces pointless meetings and gives your team the vital knowledge they need to succeed. Managers and team leaders ought to set an example by acting in this manner and should make their documentation available as needed. This draws attention to the advantages of documentation and motivates teams to start using it.
Teach your personnel to document every action they take, including creating a blog post, your team's ongoing projects, downloading particular data, and even business objectives. Any information that might be useful to someone (including yourself) should be recorded and placed in a location where others might find it.
A framework for determining if something is worth documenting is provided below:
If the information is:
a routine procedure
something common practise
Something that others ought to be aware of
If there is something that other people are involved in, you should record it.
If you're debating whether to record something or leave it alone, record it. Even if you don't think other people will, they might find it valuable and it might help you streamline the process for yourself. Unstructured data, which is difficult to record in writing, can be shared through one-on-one meetings with team members, written manuals that assist employees develop accurate intuition, or films.
You'll note that this advice does not say to "use documentation tools" or even to "use this particular documentation tool." Finding the best documentation tool for your company is what's important here. Accessibility is the key to successful knowledge sharing. Organize all of your documents in one location to make things simple. The possibility that individuals will contribute to creating a library of helpful documentation rises as a result of the reduction in friction.
Your paperwork should, in general, be kept in as few locations as feasible. Keep everything in a single application if at all possible. Several options
Notion (this is what we use at Panther) (this is what we use at Panther)
If you work on an asynchronous team, other team members will undoubtedly need to pick up some expertise. The key to expediting knowledge acquisition and reducing pointless meetings is developing a procedure for acquiring that knowledge.
Check documentation first: Train your team to check the documentation before asking a question. If the documentation is easy to access and well organized, most questions can be answered there.
Ask a team member, ideally in a public channel: Asking team members for help should not be discouraged; however, prompting them to ask in an asynchronous, public channel prevents meetings and provides a record for others with the same question.
Set up a call as a last resort: Only take up someone’s time if the first two steps aren’t effective or practical.
The key to great knowledge-sharing platforms is their creation, use, and maintenance control over asynchronous, distributed teams. Building a culture of documentation from the top down is what employers must accomplish. Employees should develop the habit of documenting their procedures and develop a quick way to obtain information before wasting anyone's time.