Poof, and it’s gone! (Part 2)
In our previous article, we discussed the importance of storing information and data. We talked about how knowledge and experience from old projects can help you in the future. We explained why storing everything your professional service firm learns along the way is of vital importance for the future success of your firm AND mitigating risk.
Now, as we promised, it’s time to discuss how you can efficiently store everything that is useful for later review.
A centralised system is a necessity
Plenty of firms do store a big part of what’s essential. However, so many of them have that information in a massive number of locations – Emails, past business proposals, archived folders and files, Word files, different clouds, etc.
So, the problem doesn’t only lie in the fact that companies don’t store vital information; it also lies in the fact that those that do, do it very ineffectively.
Most companies rarely think about all the data they store or where they store it – they just store it or leave it lying somewhere. They don’t train new recruits how to access it and use it, nor do they announce to their current team, the new additions and learnings and where to find them.
For all of these reasons, what every firm needs to do is keep everything in a centralised system, which, in essence, is a system where everything of importance will be waiting for quick and easy retrieval.
A culture of active information storing
As we already discussed in our previous article, a lot of the critical information every firm should keep is within the very experience of its employees. Moreover, the problem with people is that they may quickly forget things. On top of that, the problem with firms is that they lose employees from time to time who take their knowledge with them.
It’s vital to store experiences as well. Everything that brings any value to the firm needs to have a place in this centralised system.
In all fairness, it’s easy to have a centralised system where everything will be stored. We are confident that you will not have a problem creating one on your own. The problem is to get everyone to use it actively.
Besides the fact that they need to store information in the system, they also need to create a way to save experiences and lessons learned.
A great way to do that is through creating internal marketing content and communications. You shouldn’t confuse this with content marketing (blogs, articles, and more), as they are only a part of it. Marketing content is much bigger in scope. It includes almost everything that’s gained through projects, plus everything used in those projects. It even contains the proposals that lead toward the projects.
In essence, it’s all the content you’ve gained through those projects, including the narratives and how the projects went.
Consequently, it’s not enough to store the information you have, you also need to use the stories, experiences, and lessons learned and turn them into new content. Turn it into blogs, white papers, case studies, presentations, client testimonials, training programs, inductions, staff news updates and more. All of that new content will remain yours forever, and it will be of great use in future projects. Plus, it will also be used in your online marketing efforts.
The possibilities are massive, and all you need to do is foster a culture in the firm where everyone will work on this. It can be tricky, so planning how to do so is very important. The result will be your firm becoming the leader – the thought leader of your industry.