Keeping up with information from outside your organizations is more important than ever. For most, this means reviewing and digesting a mixture of sources in a variety of formats. The good news is that we have access to more information than ever before. But, that is also the challenge because finding and focusing on the most relevant information is time-consuming and often feels unproductive. Apart from the occasional shared article or newsletter, keeping up-to-date is a solo effort.
The importance of awareness and continuous learning will continue to grow. The CEO of a 60 employee startup recently shared with me that he reminds his team that if they are not keeping up with the news, perspectives, and trends impacting their customers and markets the value that they can deliver is diminished. It also caught my attention when marketing thought leader and podcaster Christopher Lochhead described CMO’s and CEO’s requiring their teams to listen to his podcast (highly recommended – www.lochhead.com). Leaders recognize the importance of tapping into the wealth of information outside of their organizations. The question is how to do that efficiently, effectively …. and together.
What if keeping up-to-date was a team sport?
Instead of occasionally sharing a link to an important story, what if team members shared information channels specifically relevant to their work and organization. For example, trends and new developments, customers, competitors, opportunities, risks, best practices, etc.
Having a common set of resources would help every team member save time and keep up with important topics. Just like other collaborative tools, the benefit of shared solutions is often bigger than the sum of the individual benefits. In this case, a collaborative approach creates shared perspectives, knowledge, and insight.
Teams can take a variety of approaches. One approach would be to leverage individual tools and resources you may already have. For example, sharing useful newsletters or RSS feeds. This has the potential to up-level team the team's awareness but it remains mostly an individual effort to do so. Another approach is to start with a current collaborative system and add curated news and information to it. The challenge of this approach is that it is not automatic so someone on the team needs to take on the task of curation and maintenance. Depending on the current state of your organization's workplace tools and culture there may be other strategies.
Consider these factors in planning out an approach”
- Can team members share the same resources?
- Match the content to the information needs of the team using some form of curation?
- Enable team members to personalize their information updates to boost engagement?
- Incorporate updates into your other workplace communications tools like email, Slack. Microsoft Teams, or intranet.
- Look for ways to leverage the collective activity of the group to identify important information or trends?
This is an important problem to solve and teams that do have an advantage. The best approach is one designed for teams from the start. Here’s a short video explaining how we approached it.