Monthly Archives

February 2019

Information management remains a problem for many companies

By | Immaterial capital

David Roe, in his article “Information Management Remains a Problem for Many Enterprises”, highlights how bad information management is a serious problem for many companies and their employees.

To do this, he relies on the 2019 M-Files report, which shows that 82% of respondents say that their difficulties in finding the correct version of a file they are looking for negatively affects their productivity.

According to him, the origins of the problem are of several kinds. First, many organizations store information using outdated hierarchical file structures on various disparate and often non-integrated systems. Second, organizations resist change and do not question themselves sufficiently. Finally, technology is not properly accessible to employees and, as a result, does not allow them to realize their full human potential.

In response, he advocates for improving the situation by using a range of tools to address specific areas, focusing on the processes of capturing, qualifying and intelligently classifying information and knowledge, and investing time and resources in the short term to achieve positive results in the future.

Source: CMS Wire, “Information Management Remains a Problem for Many Enterprises” by David Roe, 22/02/2019

For more information:

Find out how to add value to your knowledge or read our article on the theme of innovation through communities of practice.

Innovation thanks to communities of practice

By | Immaterial capital

Many companies see the community of practice, a group of people in the same field who learn collectively, as a key to improving their performance. What are these companies like, and how can we promote their development?

A well-functioning community contributes to the learning of its members and builds the organization’s capacity. And this is something that the community does quite naturally, whereas it normally takes two teams in a company to achieve the same result: the first team is responsible for defining the necessary capacities and the second team sets up training. «The community wonders what it needs to know to succeed, and can, for example, invite an expert to comment on a problem,» explains Étienne Wenger. He is the author of pioneering books on communities of practice and social learning such as the book Situated Learning, a reference in the field, published in 1991.


The 3 characteristics of the community of practice

To be considered a community of practice, a group must have three characteristics.

The first is the area of common interest. People in the same suburban neighborhood, for example, do not form a community of practice because they do not share skills – except perhaps excellence in lawn care.

The second is community life itself, the activities and discussions that members share.

The third and final characteristic necessary for a group of people to be considered as a community of practice is the practice itself. Members must be practitioners, not just stakeholders or spectators. When such a community takes shape, it then naturally focuses on the issues that are problematic for its members.


Innovating through the community of practice

But why, in an often competitive work environment, should members benefit from sharing their knowledge? «When a member of a community encounters a really difficult problem, others are interested not only because it could eventually be one of their problems, but also because it adds to their reputation,» explains Étienne Wenger. A member of a community can thus help another member to find a solution to his or her problem, but can also interact with him or her in other ways that may be beneficial to the organization. Members can, for example, reflect on and improve their profession, tell stories and learn from them, adapt to change and cooperate to innovate.

« They can also find a voice to gain influence and improve ways of doing things, » says Wenger. For example, technical writers in the software field could join their voices in their organization and successfully convince leaders to engage them earlier in the development process in order to complete their work more quickly. If a company fails to encourage communities of practice within it, it may have to live with some negative consequences in the future. A community that is closed in on itself, that does not interact with related trade and client communities, can be dangerous. « When a community closes, it becomes paralyzed, » says Etienne Wenger. « Its ability to innovate can then be reduced. »

On the other hand, a well-functioning community is a community with energy, and a community with energy creates an identity. This identity may occasionally collide with the corporate culture. But for the community to develop effectively, and ultimately help the organization to innovate, firms must accept that this community has its own identity outside the company’s identity. In other words, trying to impose the company’s values too firmly on the community can slow its excitement. « You have to accept the local identity of the community in the organizational context, » says Etienne Wenger.

In the same way, the company’s management must avoid imposing itself in the community. Sometimes it is welcome, depending on the issues members want to address, but sometimes practitioners need a forum where they can discuss different topics without inhibition. « An identity is not simple, » says Etienne Wenger. « But a community can, at the same time, define its identity horizontally by its colleagues and maintain a sense of responsibility towards its organization. »


Source: Gestion HEC Montréal, La Rédaction, 31/05/2016

The implementation of an intelligent directory has proven to be very effective in creating communities of practice

Consult our offer or request a demonstration to learn more.

Generations in companies: knowledge transfer must be accelerated

By | Immaterial capital

In a global economy facing constant change and a talent market being shaken by the arrival of new generations, active knowledge management and in particular its internal sharing becomes essential for companies.

Are companies evolving at an ever-increasing pace? Yes, according to the annual reports of the S&P 500, FTSE 100 and DAX companies. “Speed”, ” velocity “, ” agility ” and ” revolution ” return in a loop to illustrate the acceleration of the evolution of companies. In this global context, active knowledge management and in particular its internal sharing becomes essential for companies.

Only 19% of employers have implemented measures to avoid this loss of skills held by baby boomers (Lindegren, 2015), while 98% of companies want to increase their ability to retain and share knowledge internally (Dixon and Overton, 2017). The acquisition and transmission of knowledge is all the more important as 33% of new recruits are looking for a new job within 6 months of being hired and the cost of replacing an employee represents 10% to 30% of their annual salary (Harvard Business Review).

The objective is to create environments where training is integrated into the daily routine, where cultural exchanges are encouraged as well as innovation in order to facilitate decision-making.


What are the advantages for companies?

Studies show the considerable benefits of knowledge management and transfer, particularly in five areas:

  1. Commercial results: knowledge management offers the company direct financial advantages (competitive advantage, financial gains, cost reduction, etc.)
  2. Clients: customers benefit from knowledge transfer efforts, in particular by improving the quality of your products, increasing customer satisfaction, and loyalty, and reducing time to market
  3. Innovation: knowledge transfer ensures the company’s future by promoting R&D, the development of new products and services and the application of new technologies
  4. Processes: many companies are implementing knowledge transfer initiatives to achieve short-term internal benefits (increased productivity, reduced errors, and duplication, exploitation of existing internal knowledge, risk management)
  5. Employees: knowledge transfer directly concerns employees, to whom it brings undeniable benefits (stimulating motivation and commitment; faster acquisition of skills leading to increased productivity; improving teamwork; retaining talent in key positions; increasing the ability to learn, adapt to change and meet the challenges facing the company; etc.)

Obstacles to implementation

Considering all these advantages and the apparent ease of knowledge transfer, what is preventing companies from implementing it? It appears that the most difficult obstacles to overcome are not only related to technology or funding, but also to the human factor and collaboration.

On the employees’ side, reservations linked to the lack of motivation, assertiveness or self-confidence appear to be real obstacles to be taken into account by management, as well as the lack of resources and financing. In addition, people who are more inclined to share their knowledge naturally end up not getting involved because of a lack of support and recognition from management. In addition, there are sometimes cultural, geographical and/or linguistic barriers.

Key factors for successful knowledge transfer

A company’s knowledge is often its unique value proposition, its essence. The loss of knowledge can jeopardize the survival and competitiveness of the company. We have identified six key success factors based on research and good practices proven by companies:

  • Define a knowledge transfer strategy, including succession planning and staff retention;
  • Emphasize training and knowledge sharing, both internally and externally;
  • Invest in technology and knowledge transfer skills;
  • Ensure that management supports initiatives and sets an example;
  • Implement incentives and develop a culture of recognition for employees and teams involved in knowledge transfer;
  • Train the HR and L&D teams in this practice.

Knowledge transfer is, therefore, THE key to agility and success, as it helps to identify good practices and share them within the company. It offers benefits both individually and at the organizational level.

Source: Les Echos, Jason Hathaway, 10/04/2017

VEDALIS offers to support you in your efforts thanks to its change management methods and its Social Knowledge Management solutions, which have been recognized for many years by its customers and partners. In fact, VEDALIS’ extensive expertise in this field has made it possible to implement effective tools and methodologies within many organizations of different sizes and in different sectors.
Knowledge management is no longer a must-have for companies but a necessity to remain competitive in increasingly complex environments.

Discover how VEDALIS supports you in the management of your intangible capital:

Knowledge sharing: the art of know-how and the making of knowledge

By | Immaterial capital

Sharing knowledge is a major challenge for the company. It is essential not only to ensure service continuity but also to continuously improve processes. While certain factors, mainly human, can sometimes hinder this, the company now has various solutions available to remove the obstacles.

There is no question of a site being in peril following the departure of an employee who held key expertise. Sharing his knowledge is the guarantee of a permanent improvement to the company’s performance.

Lessons learned following difficulties encountered in a project must be of benefit to all. They contribute to the identification of good practices that the company has a strong interest in promoting to its employees. Still, this knowledge needs to be documented.

Sharing explicit knowledge: collaborative tools

This is the whole purpose of knowledge management, the process of continuously documenting knowledge. In practice, this means identifying notions and information that are useful to the company, prioritizing them, protecting them, sharing them and updating them.

But certain obstacles, most often of human nature, can hinder this transmission. “Know-how” is one thing, “making knowledge” is another. How many experts, excellent in their profession, remain unable to pass on their knowledge?!

Transmitting tacit knowledge

The task is simple enough for explicit knowledge, defined as “everything that can be easily expressed and codified”, according to Japanese academic Ikujiro Nonaka.

For the so-called tacit knowledge, it is another set of tricks: this knowledge refers to the interpersonal skills that a person acquires over the course of their career. But how can we transmit the ability of a sales representative to feel the needs of a customer when he cannot define them himself?

And that’s not to mention the reluctance of the knowledge holders themselves: for fear of being judged, of losing their power, or of wasting their time. As many obstacles that the company will be able to remove, for example by awarding referent titles, or even bonuses… Above all, it must set up a space-time dedicated to the sharing of knowledge between peers, which can take the form of periodic working groups, on identified themes.

Reverse mentoring, a win-win system

As for the sharing of knowledge between generations, it is no longer limited to tutoring in the true sense of the word. In some cases, the baby boomers pass on their knowledge to younger people, who in turn share their knowledge of new technologies and social networks, but also allow them to see a radically different way of working and understanding work.

Many companies practice and thus favor reverse mentoring, which has the advantage of creating a real relationship between generations, but also of placing the young person in a position to share his knowledge and practices as soon as he arrives in the company. A virtuous circle, therefore, which allows everyone to perceive the benefits of knowledge sharing and to get used to it.

A win-win system, therefore, and not only to anticipate the departure of the senior.



Case study: Knowledge management and operational excellence in the industry

By | Immaterial capital, Industry, quality, and engineering

In this Business Case “Knowledge Management and Operational Excellence in Industry”, VEDALIS discusses the positive effects of creating communities of practice in a metal products manufacturing group – lower costs, improved quality, reduced operational risks… -. All this is assessed by monitoring the synthetic rate of return of the installations.

In an increasingly competitive environment, it is tempting to take drastic measures to control costs. However, it is widely recognized that, in the medium/long term, the companies best equipped to adapt to change and improve profitability must apply a more nuanced policy based on the enhancement of their knowledge capital. As Francis Mer, President of the Condorcet Foundation and great industrial captain, states, “the company’s primary capital will no longer be its technology, machines or procedures alone, but its employees with their individual and collective ability to make the organization evolve and better satisfy customers”.

This is shown by the analysis proposed in this document based on real cases. Relying on the hidden knowledge and talents of its employees and, thanks to digital technology, revealing and enhancing them throughout the organization is a winning choice for sustainable competitiveness.

For more information and to download this case study, contact us

ANDRH and DFCG award VEDALIS for its exploitation of Big Data

By | VEDALIS news

In their white paper on DAF-DRH (Administrative and Financial Department-HR Directors) cooperation for business performance and social cohesion, the National Association of HR Directors (ANDRH – Association Nationale des DRH) and the Association of Financial Directors and Management Control (DFCG – Directeurs Financiers et de Contrôle de Gestion) examine the crucial issue of the valuation of organizations’ immaterial capital.

It is in this context that they distinguished VEDALIS for RoK’IT™’s ability to provide indicators to better assess the added value of the company’s profiles and its ability to be a learning organization.

RoK’IT™ calculates these indicators by centralizing, combining and exploiting data on key knowledge areas, specialist contributions, and knowledge exchanges.