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I was recently inspired by a talk with Jeff Bezos that I watched via video. He talked about how he has always had an approach of identifying a few things that he will “double down on” as part of any strategy. For Amazon, he said, there are three things – cost, a massive inventory and speed of delivery. So, over the years, if employees have come to him with any ideas related to these three aspects, he has always been interested in listening to them and learning more. This simple, yet powerful, concept has helped him drive strategic focus and operational excellence.

At GE, we have been working for three years to revamp our knowledge sharing or collaborative approach. We have developed, similar to other organizations, affinity groupings we call GE Communities. Our communities are about business priorities, people, leadership and problem solving. To make our program across GE better, we frequently ask ourselves, what should we double down on? A community or a broader KM program is an ecosystem with many, many elements. So where do we focus our strategic effort?

When our program began about three years ago, this was a difficult question to answer, but with the passing of time, program success and, most importantly, customer feedback, it is way easier to answer today. Our “double down” areas are governance, taxonomy and curation. These are the three things that have proved to be the game-changers for successful communities at GE and, more importantly, directly relate to building and sustaining a collaborative culture.

In the graphic below, you can see some sub-elements to our double down areas – this helps to define or flesh out the ideas further.

It’s interesting, right? In a world where we can only be focused on a few things, what would you double down on in your own work area? And how about in relation to building a collaborative culture?

What do you think?  Please share your comments.

To learn and see more, please join me on Digital Workplace 24, February 26–27, 2019, where I will be giving an interactive talk on this topic. Bring your questions, and be provocative – let’s share solutions and ideas that make a difference!

Thanks, Daniel Ranta – KM Leader, GE

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About the author

Daniel RantaDaniel Ranta is accountable for GE-wide vision and strategy for Knowledge Sharing (KS) implementation that builds on work being done in other businesses across GE with a focus on connecting people, both internal and external, to leverage our collective GE expertise. He has 25+ years of experience in KM strategy, collaboration, content management, portal design, social networking, and measuring business results.

At GE, we created an enterprise-wide KM Strategy and began implementation in early 2016. In two years, we have designed and launched 150+ global communities for our engineering staff across GE businesses (100k members). Our focus is on tacit knowledge exchanges for GE’s engineering workforce. Within a year, we expect to grow to about 200 communities that engage about 150,000 employees in primary and supporting roles to our 50k+ engineers. This is the foundation of our KM approach – working within and across businesses to connect employees and drive business value.

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