8/6/2010 Greater Charlotte Biz
Friday August 6, 110
June 2 010
Managing Knowledge in an Era of Information Overload
By Rich Blank
The Starbucks Example
Imagine for a mom ent you walked into a Starbucks and the barista didn’t know
Current Issue how to make a cappuccino or latte! It’s well documented that Starbucks spends Be Careful How You Sign
more on the education of its employee partners than it does on marketing. And no More Home (Page)
doubt that education, that “management of coffee knowledge and expertise,” is Remodeling Tips
shared through som e type of explicit training clas ses and written material.
Business Fraud: It’s Not
There is also much time spent outside of the classroom,
Going Anyw here
mentoring the barista hands-on and promoting a culture of
sharing tacit knowledge and best practices of making a Fraud Avoidance Tips for
consis tent and quality cup of coffee every time. Small Business Ow ners
Without their ability to manage and share knowledge and Work Breakdow n Structure:
investment in people, Starbucks probably wouldn’t have been Deserving of a Place in your
able to grow as fast, wouldn’t have been able to adapt to Project Management Toolkit
changing markets and customer needs, and wouldn’t have been It’s Time for Home (Page)
able to earn billions in revenue. Starbucks provides a good Remodeling
example of the importance of knowledge management and Ten Considerations When
impact that it can have on the bottom line. Selecting an Auditing Firm
Being audited by the state?
Knowledge Management Be sure your use tax is paid!
Knowledge Management (KM) has been one of those buzzwords that have been
talked about for alm ost two decades, offering the promise of somehow capturing Top 5 Reasons Why
Strategic Initiatives Fail and a
that explicit and tacit knowledge as a strategic as set to leverage to competitive
Way to Make Success
Previous Issues advantage. Some of the drivers around KM efforts include:
• sharing valuable organizational insights
• avoiding redundancy of effort You Have Got to Hear This
• reducing on-boarding time and learning curves for new employees More ->
• retaining intellectual capital due to turnover or aging work force Web Design, Onli ne
• adapting to changing customer demands, environments and markets Marketing, Web Hosting
Microsoft SharePoint is a valuable product to address these objectives.
SharePoint is a fairly simple, highly reliable collaboration platform that connects
and em powers people through online business communities, where they can
collect and share im portant docum ents and keep track of project schedules. The
consolidation of collaboration solutions onto SharePoint helps cut costs through
lower training costs, increased IT productivity and cost-effective maintenance, all
within a governable and compliant platform.
Although Starbucks wasn’t able to take advantage of SharePoint (it didn’t exist
back in the 1990s), it provides a good example for the need to m anage knowledge
as it evolves.
E-m ail is overused and overloaded as a primary tool for com municating, s haring
inform ation and documents, and m aking decisions. Information is all over the
place and exists in m ultiple repositories. Companies don’t know what they know
and don’t know. Knowledge workers expect a Google-like experience within their
organizations but jus t can’t seem to find the information they’re looking for.
Inform ation continues to grow exponentially and end users continue to experience
the daily glut of information overload. Ultimately, information gets filed irretrievably,
deleted or lost.
What can we learn from Starbucks’ success and their understanding that people
and knowledge are indeed valuable corporate as sets that rivals the way we think
about raw financial or customer data?
We can learn that the keys to a s uccessful KM initiative and ultimately a
successful enterpris e deployment and adoption of Microsoft SharePoint lie in the
strategy, the people, the process, and the execution. It is important to have a good
partner for implementation of the platform, one that addresses these specific