There is a phrase that goes ‘The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts’. Not often is it used in a corporate training context, but today, it has relevance. Making sure that different employees are aligned and have the same goal in mind is super important in delivering a successful product.
Knowledge alignment in an organization ensures that all teams in a business move in a unified way with a common direction, based on established goals and criteria – giving it a greater advantage over its competitors.
The Time Has Come to Take Knowledge Alignment Seriously
It’s important that all departments and teams within a company are united in their understanding of the product and operate with the same common voice.
Sales teams sell the product, marketing teams market the product and R&D help to build the product, but how do we know that each division of the business views the product in the same way as the other?
Why Align? We’re Just Fine
Well, it’s not ideal to know if your employees are aligned only until after effort and much work has already been invested in a project. You’ll agree that it’s more efficient to keep track and know if employees are working in the right direction while they are working on the product/project itself. Knowing if tweaks and changes are necessary while the product is still in development, will ultimately save much time by not having to undo hours of work.
Don’t Wait for Myopia to Creep In
Myopia is like tunnel vision – it is when employees become so absorbed into one thought and idea, that nothing else seems to matter. Here, myopic thinking can also be applied to a business where employees can get so caught up in their own individual tasks that they lose sight of the bigger picture.
This poses a danger to a business as employees become set in one aspect as they fall behind and fail to keep up with vital updates and changes elsewhere across the business.
In this instance, communication is key. By delivering important knowledge and monitoring if employees received and understood important information, the consequences of Myopia can be avoided.
5 Benefits of Knowledge Alignment
1) Faster Time To Market (TTM)
Time to market allows you to gain an important advantage over your competitors by releasing your products and innovations quicker and sooner than them. It allows you to be the pioneer of products and make your mark on the industry.
By having different business functions working on a single product, there is likely to be challenges along the way. Maybe a lack of communication causes the process to slow or one team didn’t properly understand the requirements of what was needed. Perhaps there’s just a misalignment of what needs to be done. All these factors cause time and opportunity to slip away.
Knowledge alignment prevents these hurdles by ensuring that everyone, across every team and business function is aligned with the necessary knowledge that enables them to reach the required goals and objectives.
2) Better Customer Experience
Professionalism really matters when it comes to dealing with customers. Customers are often exposed to various teams within a business, starting with the marketing team, where a potential customer sees an ad online with a certain promise. Next in the process are the sales reps who elaborate on that specific message in more detail and finally, customer success implements that same promise that was initially made in the ad. All three stages refer to a single product but are approached from different angles and perspectives.
It is super important that the same message is carried through the entire journey from start to finish. Customers expect the highest standards of professionalism and by ensuring that all departments are aligned with the essential knowledge they need, customers can be satisfied and trust the product that they are receiving. It is far from ideal to have a customer encounter different and misaligned information on a potential purchase because some teams were simply not aligned.
3) The Ability for More Knowledge Agility
Business knowledge now reaches further, spreads wider and forces employees to adapt quicker. Companies shouldn’t have to compromise on the quality of knowledge sharing because of the rate at which it needs to be delivered.
A business needs to prioritize knowledge alignment as it prevents a cat and mouse game of constantly having to catch up with other departments. It is of no use if one division is ahead with new and updated knowledge while others are falling behind.
Today’s ability to disseminate knowledge is not limited to location or device. From anywhere, at any time and on any device, knowledge is made available to ultimately ensure that employees are meeting knowledge expectations without any excuses.
4) Faster Closing of Knowledge Gaps
2019 is the year where talent developers are prioritizing the understanding of knowledge and skills gaps. Knowledge alignment is vital in preventing the infamous knowledge gap where there is a difference between what needs to be known and what is actually known within a business.
Knowledge alignment creates a synergy between employees, ensuring that knowledge gaps to do not appear. In the instances that they do, they can quickly be identified and closed.
5) A Better Bottom Line
In a business, there is a lot to align – company vision, technical knowledge, product information, business personality, goals and much more. The results of unifying and aligning teams with common business knowledge are ultimately felt in the company’s bottom line.
At the end of the day, money matters. To drive more revenue and boost your bottom line, your business depends on the quality execution of products and services.
Your business needs to operate like a well-oiled machine with all parts working together harmoniously to professionally and smoothly produce your offering. If one part of the machine malfunctions or simply doesn’t work, the final product will have errors. The same applies to your teams.
Let’s re-cap and see if we are all aligned up until now, with key takeaways from this blog
Knowledge alignment is essentially ensuring that teams and employees are in sync with the business knowledge that they need to know. By ensuring that employees are aligned with the knowledge that directs everyone in the same direction, business success is made easier and more possible. Knowledge delivery and alignment must be supervised properly and monitored with metrics and results before it’s too late.
In today’s business environment, there is no excuse not to know something. Training technologies have made the sharing of key business knowledge and information available, even quicker and easier than before. With Enabley’s metrics and BI dashboard, business managers can stay on top of who knows and who doesn’t know what they need to know.