I recently celebrated my fifth work anniversary at Geneia – and we really celebrated! My boss surprised me with a cake, I received a personal message from our parent company’s CEO and I was given the opportunity to choose a gift. As I drove home from the office that day, it struck me that my time with Geneia is my second longest job tenure in my career. I analyzed that for a while - it’s a long drive for me - and I realized there are many reasons I’ve stayed at Geneia.
The importance Geneia places on people and culture tops the list. In one of my prior blogs, I mentioned I love our Thursday team lunches and the stories we share. And it goes much deeper, to the core of our company: we value our people for who they are and the knowledge they bring and create. It inspires everyone to do and be more.
Our business services team represents a diverse set of talents and skills – application engineers and system administrators, project and program managers, scrum masters, business analysts – and it’s our mission to share those across the enterprise. Surprisingly, perhaps, we also had a documentation specialist. If that last one gave you pause, it’s for good reason. I bet you’re wondering how he fits into this team.
There are many really smart people at Geneia, and therefore, a deep well of knowledge. The faster we grow as a company, the faster we generate all of this amazing knowledge. We keep most of it for internal use, and we expose some articles to clients through our MyGeneiaTM portal, where clients find user documentation, frequently asked questions and a way to tell Geneia they have a question or problem.
This is where our documentation specialist came in. He was extremely interested in the uses and applications of a knowledge base. He researched industry best practices for organizing and maintaining corporate knowledge, leading him to knowledge-centered service (KCS).
KCS is a methodology focused on the collaboration and organic growth of knowledge within a company. Our documentation specialist applied KCS strategy to Geneia’s knowledge base to promote self-service within the company and with external clients, built organizational learning and optimized the use of our resources. Leveraging the entire organization’s knowledge to benefit everyone only happens by breaking down silos and viewing knowledge as something to be cared for, pruned and grown, like a community garden.
Before long, we decided to formalize this role. We promoted Keith Driscoll and he became Geneia’s first official knowledge manager. He attended training and obtained his certification, and he is now working to apply the latest concepts in knowledge management such as ensuring articles are relevant, relatable and easily searchable by clients and internal audiences.
We’ve always wanted to make sure what we know about our products and services is easily and readily available to our clients. Hence the MyGeneiaTM portal. Today, we continue to look at ways we could further leverage MyGeneiaTM in service to our clients. We’re exploring crowdsourcing, which in our case is a model where a growing and increasingly educated base of our users communicate and coach each other through using our products. We want to provide a forum for our users to discuss not just how the products work and solve problems for them, but to share how they actually use the products. In other words, we’re striving to encourage and celebrate human-centered design.
Ultimately, we want our clients, in the course of using our products, to come up with new ways and ideas to solve their problems. When a customer uses our product to meet an unarticulated need in a way we may not have intended, we want to know because this is where innovation begins to take hold. Organically evolving a product as user communities start to identify and quantify the value they are getting and how that could be further enhanced leads to user-centered design.
Geneia Crowdsourcing and User Communities
As Geneia continues to grow our clients, our knowledge and our products, crowdsourcing and user communities will be critical to staying in touch with clients and keeping our pulse on their excitement, ideas and innovation surrounding our products. Our knowledge manager is designing this model, how we can make it organized and easy and how we funnel all the energy and ideas into improving our customers’ experience and enriching their success. It’s invigorating just to think about it.
I often reflect on all the things I appreciate during the holiday season. While many say they’re grateful for their job, I unequivocally say I’m grateful for Geneia – for the opportunity to capture knowledge and explore knowledge management, for the honest and heartfelt desire to see our customers be successful, for empowering our leaders to create the roles we need and put people in those roles who are excited and passionate about them, for celebrating our people not just on anniversaries but all the time and for giving me the chance to live my why on a daily basis. Here’s to more celebrations!