How do I”know who knows” None of us can personally know more than around 250 people, yet we want our companies to be smart, learning organisations where it’s easy to locate the ideal person to speak to. Nonetheless, these systems may be fraught with difficulty in their implementation, and often end up as out-of-date, glorified intranet telephone directories. This guide, drawn from a bestselling knowledge management fieldbook by its author, identifies ten important steps involved in creating and sustaining an effective, employee-owned yellow pages system.

1 Maintain a clear and distinctive vision. Be cautious about what it is you’re attempting to achieve and avoid compromise. Everyone will need a slice of this action - don’t lose sight of the overarching aim of your system - making it simple to find people that you don’t know.
2 Strive for individual ownership and upkeep. Create a procedure whereby only the individuals concerned can create and update their entries. This may drive a far deeper feeling of ownership throughout the population.
3 Strike a balance between casual and formal content. Encourage individuals to share non-work information about themselves in addition to valuable business information. , or even”what makes you happy?” .
4 Support the photographs wherever possible. Nothing is more powerful and private than a picture. It speaks volumes about the individual, raises the curiosity rates of others also generates personal ownership of the content. If possible encourage individuals to incorporate an informal photograph. The security-pass-rabbit-in-the-headlights shots seldom show people in their own very best light! Better to have a picture which says more about the person and what motivates them.
5 Ensure that your product design is inclusive and flexible. Recognize that different people relate to templates, pushes and construction in various ways. Use focus groups to test opinion.
6 Start using a customer-facing pilot. Critical mass is all important, so start with a group of individuals that have a natural desire to be more visible to internal clients. This may include encouraging purposes, existing networks or communities, or even business areas with fresh direction.
7 Deliver through local enthusiasts. Centrally-driven push isn?t consistently the best way to engage the workforce. Tap into local fans and winners if possible? They will understand how best to”sell” the idea locally.
8 Use success stories as an advertising tool. Reinforce the viability of the knowledge directory at every opportunity. Publicize any examples or successes broadly, and early, to fortify your project. This is a culture change project, and culture change occurs one tale at a time!
9 Encourage usage, but lead by example rather than edict. Avoid mandating the population and use of this knowledge directory. People will provide better quality content if they feel that they are volunteering the information. At the conclusion of the day, you can?t ever conscript knowledge - you can only ever volunteer it.
And let?s face it, there is little point in finding the one person with experience or experience that you require, if when you call them on the telephone, they are reluctant to talk!
10 Embed into people procedures. Look for procedure and intranet”hooks” that could initiate and sustain the use of your information directory (e.g. recruitment or induction of new staff, the launch of new networks, any reference on an intranet site which mentions a person’s name can become associate with their webpage.