Whether documenting or jotting notes, a lack of thoughtfulness often exists when capturing and sharing information.
As a result, ideas, thoughts, and essential bits become scattered across the virtual workplace, from Zoom calls to Slack messages. While individuals move from one connection to another, they lose valuable insights because they aren’t thinking about how their actions are restricting the scale of information. Workplace interactions bring about complexities that could benefit from the slightest shift in process. Consider what the results could be if people were thoughtfully communicating with one another.
“All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”–Baruch Spinoza
In the workplace, thoughtfulness is paramount but not guaranteed. To frame the conversation, when you feel like you have an idea to contribute, what’s your next move?
- Email, “Hi Esteban, check out this link to get some inspiration per our meeting earlier (link URL).”
- Slack, “Check this out — (link URL) you might find some inspo.
- Shared Note, “What I appreciate most about the architecture of these homes is how the room views face inwards towards the pool. Southeast Asia’s indoor/outdoor living space is inspiring to me; check out some examples — (link URL).
Two of the three above examples happen every day somewhere in the workplace. One and two are only partially helpful to Esteban (the subject). Can you guess why?
- The subject has little to no context for why you sent the article. Cognitively you’re asking the subject to read the article, deduce why you sent it, and think for themselves what might be inspiring about it without understanding your thought process.
- Email and Slack content aren’t easy to find at a later date. If the subject has to remember to get back to your request to derive inspiration from an article, they may not endure the burden of finding your message.
However, managing shared notes in a Bundle called “Ideation” will serve you and your teammate well because the documenting of notes requires intention, and the assets are easy to find.
Let Knowledge Be Your Guide
Elders of the old days used to pass down culturally relevant stories by oral tradition. Today, much of what we learn is stored on databases and accessed via the world wide web. Multimedia and text are the vehicles by which we download information into our brains. Prioritization is necessary to form lasting impressions that allow us to recall knowledge quickly. Subconsciously we are determining if insights are mission-critical or not.
Taking these insights and applying them in a new environment requires a capture tool and a strategy that scales. A face-to-face conversation is often a valuable and efficient way to transfer knowledge, but it is not scalable. What about a digital call with 1,000 people? Yes, it scales to a degree, but it isn’t a sound strategy unless recorded.
Creating a record is the first place to start; it’s an asset that the system and people can use to reference a source of truth. Guiding people to knowledge helps bridge the gap in understanding. And doing so without impediments promotes intelligent action.
To learn how to manage knowledge, read, How You Can Increase Output While Decreasing Input.
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