Previously, we covered why it is crucial for consultants to focus on Return on Knowledge (ROK) as a metric for clients. We also examined how consultants can lay the groundwork for measuring a client’s ROK. In this post, we will look at the processes and methodologies necessary to actually go about successfully measuring return on knowledge for your clients.
Essentially, ROK involves looking at the knowledge already embedded in an organization and determining the value a company is capturing from that knowledge. So capitalizing on ROK would mean ensuring that an organization gathers, uses, and transfers its institutional knowledge (or employees’ collective wisdom) as effectively as possible.
The methodology for measuring your client’s ROK is a process that uses several types of metrics. Here is our tried and true process for capturing the right kind of insights that lead to collective organizational knowledge or organizational intelligence.
Step 1:Collect Both Human Data and Big Data
Measuring ROK requires examining two different types of data:human data and big data. The combination of these two types of data gives you a comprehensive look at an organization’s internal knowledge. Start by capturing people insights at the client discovery phase. With good software, you should be able to gain unique people insights even during the discovery phase of an engagement. For example, the willingness of employees to share their insights will demonstrate their level of engagement.
Once you have completed the client discovery phase, channel your efforts into gaining actionable insights from all the big data (mostly machine data) you gather from your client. As big data continues to get bigger (a euphemism for unmanageably massive), companies are scrambling for ways to make sense of their data and convert it into actionable knowledge. As a consultant, you can pave the way for your client to use big data for decision making.
Step 2:Transform how you Capture Insights
In order to truly harness the power of human data, you need to transform the way you capture organizational insights. Whether your client is a 10-person company or a company of 90,000 employees, it contains a huge amount of human insight and knowledge! In order to convert that massive amount of insight into intelligence, you need a platform – a platform that lets you ask the right questions, analyzes insights in a concise way, and provides you with actionable input.
Step 3:Connect the Dots
In order to reap the benefits of organizational intelligence and realize ROK for your client, you need to go beyond merely capturing organizational insight. Truly actionable knowledge comes from recognizing patterns through connected data. Organizational knowledge draws connections between quantitative data and qualitative data from various stakeholders and departments. For large data sets, you will likely need a software platform to effectively sort the data and draw those connections. Finally, to understand how organizational insights connect to the business, you need to map them back to people, processes, technology, and every part of the business in order to capture the ROK.
In a nutshell, to take ROK from theory to reality, you need to use both machine data and human data in the organizational insight you collect, and you need to connect the dots to convert this insight into organizational intelligence.
While you measure return on knowledge, below are some metrics to watch out for.
- Comment rates and lengths: During client discovery, look into the rate at which employees comment on specific issues and the length and depth of their comments. This will give you insight around how willing employees are to share information, which will in turn demonstrate how engaged they are.
- Increasing participation and opinionatedness: Look for areas where there is increased participation and opinionatedness. These areas are most likely pain points for your client or areas where all stakeholders are extremely satisfied.
- Flagged comments: Start flagging insights that stand out, whether because they are repeated or because they break away from the status quo. Flagging comments can help you see patterns or anomalies more quickly.
- Organizational Health: A number of metrics can point to the health of an organization. High ratings will certainly show you that employees are happy with how the organization is run. High alignment will show that employees are all on the same page. High participation is an indicator of employee engagement.
- Query this topic:What % of your abilities are currently used? When examining ROK, get to the heart of the matter. During the client discovery phase, query employees directly around how well the organization capitalizes on their knowledge and abilities. The human data you collect from this diagnostic can serve as the basis for your conclusions.