Silo’d information kills in a small organization. Problems grow deep when “the owner is the only person who can do that.” If you don’t find a way to extract the tribal knowledge that builds in your teams’s heads, you’ll find yourself limited in your capacity to grow at some point when it hurts the most.
To overcome this roadblock:
- Hire appropriately – Hire people who are willing to share and who aren’t afraid of others having knowledge. You’d be surprised how many people believe that knowledge is power and by holding back, they feel they have job security.
- Communicate frequently – Have whatever frequency of meetings that makes sense in your organization to share and inform each other. These don’t have to be drawn out painful plunge into hell meetings. Try a unique spin like doing a standing meeting where each person gets the “egg timer” for 3 minutes. They must share and download what they’ve discovered this week, etc. during their 3 minutes. When the buzzer goes off, DONE. No exceptions.
- Use Software – I can’t tell you how great collaboration software is today. Try Basecamp and just see how addictive it can be to share information in a place where it’s available to everyone. Software allows you to create your own company intranet and store key documents and materials in a common accessible from anywhere location where EVERYTHING is highly searchable.
If your company has a culture of hoarding – you may need more help than this 300 word post. But I’d recommend you get a Basecamp subscription on your own and start using it…then like a subversive, start inviting people slowly to it. Watch the culture change slowly as others see the power of sharing.