You don’t have to go it alone to sell KM inside your organization. There are many avenues available that let you take advantage of outside help when you’ve run out of ideas (or steam!) and need to regroup or re-energize. These include joining and participating in KM communities, using industry analyst reports, and interviewing your peers in other organizations.
During my career as a KM practitioner, I’ve learned a few secrets of networking to support continuous improvement and promotion of a knowledge management strategy. In Part One of this two-part series, I addressed how best to interview other KM professionals who are “doing KM well.” Here’s some advice on another way to take advantage of extra help—by working with an outside consultant.
Three steps to retaining the right knowledge management consultant
When selecting a consultant, use the following approach.
Ask the consultant to tell you three stories describing:
- How they helped an organization in need of their expertise
- How they developed and continue to improve their expertise
- A lesson they learned along the way
Then ask them to provide you with three lists:
- The names of clients and colleagues who can provide testimonials
- The names of other experts they respect in their industry
- The top opportunities and challenges for their industry
Finally, read, listen to, and/or watch the following:
- Articles, blog posts, and books they have written or co-written
- Interviews, presentations, podcasts, and videos they have given
- Similar content from the other experts they respect in their industry
If the three stories the consultant tells are relevant to your initiative, talk to the references provided. If they offer glowing testimonials, then take a look at the content provided. If it is compelling, then you can proceed to hire the consultant.
Lucidea has published my latest book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program, which includes additional information on networking methods that help you continuously improve and promote your KM strategy, and much more. I hope you will find the book compelling and relevant, with useful advice and insights drawn from my career as a KM practitioner.
The user interface is the knowledge management system point of entry providing navigation, search, communications, an index, a knowledge map, and links.
Best KM search engines enable searching for sites, documents, files, lists, content, and answers to questions, plus ability to search on text or metadata
Knowledge managers use taxonomy, folksonomy, metadata and tags to classify content so it’s easily discoverable through navigation, search and links.
KM leaders should base strategy on user input to determine needs to address. Conduct surveys to capture challenges, opportunities, and suggestions.