A real success story
I would like to start this post asking you one question: What makes the difference between human beings and animals?
It is difficult to answer. We are not the tallest, the fastest or the strongest animals, but we have dominated the Earth. So, is this our uniqueness? We are able to change the wildlife habitat, to manipulate other forms of life or even travel into outer space. How did human beings become the most successful animals on the Earth?
There is a combination of two important human features that makes possible this story of success: our capacity to accumulate knowledge throughout our lifetime and how we transmit this accumulated knowledge.
The human race has accumulated a great deal of knowledge, far more than any one person can learn. Much of this information is stored in books, documents, films, hard disks, the cloud … In fact, many of the problems we face every day has been already solved by other people in the past, we just need to find what they did.
In short, the human race’s story of success is based on this human collective intelligence and how we share this knowledge.
A culture of distrust drives to failure
Now, let me ask you more questions: Does your company build a culture of success? Does your boss encourage you to share valuable information with your colleagues? Does your organization provide access to previous projects or business cases? If your company does, congratulations.
I have seen many companies that put employees in competition. They don’t play as a team. This corporate culture promotes suspicion and distrust among colleagues and doesn’t encourage people to share their experiences, successes or failures. Finally, the company as a whole loses.
A study by Deloitte found that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success, and most executives ranked having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success.
Building a culture of success
Every organization needs to take advantage of the accumulated knowledge, what is essentially the knowledge of individuals working in its organization. Therefore, it is necessary a system that reaches all employees and allows the creation of new and value-added knowledge.
As global marketing manager, I created some virtual spaces to promote the exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices between marketing teams located in different countries. I noticed that exchanging information was quite important for my colleagues, not only because of the value of the information itself but also because they felt that they were listened to, respected and valued. In my opinion, this sense of belonging made them work better and they became willing participants. Gallup tells us organizations that double the rate of engaged employees, among other factors, win an average of 147% higher earnings per share.
You may think that this kind of virtual spaces is expensive but it is not. In fact, we are talking about a place where people can share information or discuss different topics. Have you got a Google or Yahoo account? If you have one, you can create from now a group and invite people to join it, you can store information in your Google Drive account and provide access to your colleagues. You have already a technical structure to support collaboration and allow access to information.
The most important thing is to define which kind of knowledge you want to share as well as what that knowledge is for. The purpose must be very clear and understood by everyone in the organization, by this way they will feel confident in using it as well as discovering and adding their own content.
Build a culture of success can bring real advantages to every company:
– Keep employees longer and maintain the intellectual capital of a company
– Save time, money and resources by not reinventing the wheel for each new project
– A faster learning curve for new employees
– Global access to an organization’s knowledge
I finish this article with a quote from Isaac Newton:
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Do you want to share your experience? Please, write your comments below. It will help everyone!
POST WRITTEN BY
A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands reputation and visibility on a global level.