What is your company’s greatest asset? That’s a question we often hear – and it has a tried and true response: the people involved in the business. Your employees.
Adi Klevit, CEO of Business Success Consulting Group discussed this question with the founder of The Playbook Builder, John De Luca. John had a different answer than what you often read in business texts.
His response to “What is a company’s greatest asset?” is Wisdom.
This response allowed Adi and John to delve into a deep well of knowledge that covers company culture, knowledge retention, thriving through uncertain economies, and more.
Listen to the interview here, and read the article below to gain a full understanding of why John De Luca states that “wisdom” is a company’s greatest asset.
Wisdom is an Asset in any Economy
Business owners, article-writers, consultants, and entrepreneurs all talk about the people in their businesses being their greatest asset. While your people are extraordinary and valuable, it’s what they know that’s such an asset to your organization. If an individual leaves the company, gets sick or takes a sabbatical, institutional knowledge goes right out of the door.
It’s the same principle when a business owner considers selling their company or even when they are trying to hire people to take on the actions the business owner does. For example, a rainmaker CEO who is the best salesperson around will have an incredibly tough time getting off of the sales line. They might have to hire an entire sales team to attain the same sales the CEO can get.
This leaves that CEO mired in one area of the company when they need to think about the big picture. It also makes it almost impossible for a CEO to take a vacation or get a medical procedure without the sales tanking.
In this example, it is not that the CEO is hiring terrible salespeople. It’s that they are not sharing their years of experience and learned wisdom with their team.
When one considers wisdom as a company’s greatest asset, they can see how this asset affects every aspect of a business, from the availability of mentors to the company culture. If wisdom and institutional knowledge are valued and preserved within the company, then coaching, mentorship, well-documented processes, and more will not only be valued but will be part of the fabric of the business.
How to Draw Out Wisdom
Business owners, executives, and everyday employees are not hoarding knowledge. They are just doing their jobs and, by the nature of how the world works, acquiring specialized knowledge and skills along the way.
So, how does one draw that knowledge out so that it can be understood by others in the company? Here are five ways you can make knowledge retention and sharing part of the company culture.
1. Set up a system for sharing knowledge.
Most businesses do not have a knowledge transfer or knowledge-sharing system. We discussed this in the article titled Is Your Vital Business Information in a Silo.
Building a process for sharing knowledge includes:
a. Creating a space where the knowledge can be shared in a searchable, easy-to-access way.
b. Giving employees time to record their specialized knowledge.
c. Making a process for knowledge sharing. This could include step-by-step instructions on what type of knowledge is important, what to do with the information once it’s been recorded, and directions on how to record the knowledge.
d. Provide excellent examples. Have the executive team record their own knowledge and share it with employees as part of initial training.
2. Set aside time to extract crucial knowledge from an employee or CEO.
Getting started is one of the most difficult parts of building a knowledge-sharing culture. Partner with someone else so they can talk you through the various anecdotes you can share and the knowledge you can provide. Doing this with someone else will help you sift through all of the information to find the most valuable nuggets that you can share with your team.
3. Build processes and procedures.
Create processes and procedures for everyday actions. This will bring everyone in the team together and provide a natural opportunity for them to share their knowledge and supply vital information.
4. Acknowledge contributions.
As you and your team build a knowledge base, be sure to acknowledge the vital contributions each team member gives to the overall project. Not only will these acknowledgments spur them to continue the work, but it will also show that you value their information – and that what they know is important.
5. Be a leader.
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to build knowledge-sharing into the culture is to ensure leadership participates. Often, when a business rests on the back of one CEO, it feels as if there is no time for knowledge sharing or discussions which extract vital nuggets from a CEO’s mind. However, when you are busiest, and your fingers are in all of the pies, the best way to extract yourself and get back to doing your best work is to begin this knowledge transfer process.
By building a knowledge-sharing system, you can take a step back from the everyday and work toward your 10X goals. If you are always involved in every aspect of your business, your company will have little to no opportunity to grow. Knowledge transfer and systematization support business growth in the short and long term.
If you have big goals, now is the time to tackle this vital piece of company growth.
Are you ready to tackle knowledge transfer and building processes? Tap into our expertise! Contact the Business Success Consulting Group team today.