As a CEO of a fast growing startup, getting selected to participate in the BridgeCommunity Program was a great win. Reading about past cohorts, I had no doubt this would be a great learning experience for me and our other executives. However, GridQuire Labs is much more than three people. We have other employees, clients, partners, and investors. To get the most out of the BridgeCommunity, I devised a plan to transfer the knowledge we gained from workshops, talks, peer-learning, and interfacing with large enterprises to everyone our company touches.
DEFINITION: Knowledge transfer is the methodical replication of the expertise, wisdom, and tacit knowledge of critical professionals into the heads and hands of their coworkers. It is more than just on-the-job training. It is the planned movement of the right skills and information at the right time to keep a workforce prepared, productive, innovative, and competitive.
Read again, the definition only mentions coworkers. Various academia, dictionaries and “experts” only mention coworkers and workforce, I disagree with all of them. Knowledge Transfer can be applied to everyone an organization touches as there is value for more than just our workforce. A prime example is the first BridgeCommunity workshop we attended about enterprise negotiation tactics facilitated by Vantage Partners. We learned about an older, but innovative, clandestine method to negotiate. Of course I shared this with my team, however, I also shared it with investors, clients, and partners.
Outcome: One investor recalled some of the theory back from his MBA days. We had a long conversation about it and this conversation led to us tweaking how both of our companies negotiate complex deals. I also shared my recent education with one of GridQuire Labs’ clients. He took multiple valuable points away from the conversation and called me a week later saying he used the tactic and it helped increase his margin on that particular deal by 15%.
Takeaway: Knowledge Transfer is critical and valuable for our internal workforce. However, you should transfer knowledge to more than just your employees. Doing so, you may find yourself even adding incremental value to others outside your organization.
Author, Andy Katz, is the CEO of Atlanta-Based GridQuire Labs – a location intelligent mobile advertising plus sales enablement platform. GridQuire Labs is a member of the 2017 BridgeCommnity startup cohort.