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Using video for knowledge transfer

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Using video for knowledge transfer

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Several years ago, Sal Khan disrupted the education world when he developed educational videos for his cousin to quickly tutor her in some classes. The lessons were instrumental to his cousin’s education and he eventually drew some press for his work, which led to the formation of Khan Academy, which offers online courses.

Today, there are a number of companies competing to provide online coursework for the K-12, college, and graduate school markets. However, few companies have risen to the challenge and offered mass video instruction.

In many corporations, video is still considered too expensive to produce. But check out Khan’s videos. His initial videos were straightforward – Khan basically gave a lecture while illustrating his point with crude drawings and writing math solutions as he spoke. Khan Academy videos are now better produced, with more bells and whistles in recent years, but they remain simple. And in fact, they benefit from the simplicity.

Today’s companies should focus more on the quality and clarity of the message being delivered – not on design and style.

At a conference of Chief Learning Officers I recently attended, one of the main topics discussed was knowledge transfer. How do companies capture the knowledge of retiring workers or workers of any age leaving the organization? A simple answer is through video. Ask the departing worker to record him or herself speaking to the camera on a series of topics – an organized brain dump. It’s quick, relatable, and can pay huge dividends.

Another great use of quick personal video is for sales reps to record their experience after a big win (or big loss). How often do sales reps really share their experiences? Not often. But if asked to record how they got the big deal, most would jump at the chance – and any sales colleague would love to learn a few secrets to getting the deal.

So, how do you drive more video creation in your company? There are three keys:

  1. Create a video culture. Seek opportunities for employees to tell their stories and hand them a camera – or have them shoot the video with their phones. This is, of course, easier if the move starts at the top, with the CEO and other leaders sharing video stories.
  2. Remove the “quality” barrier. Employees won’t videotape themselves if they are going to be judged on anything but content. Make clear that you want to hear their stories.
  3. Store the videos intelligently. Most videos are too large to email – and it’s important to put them in a place that is accessible to all. Find a platform that includes automatic video transcription to ensure the content in your videos is easily available through search.

Corporations need to solve the knowledge transfer issue in new ways, as aging workers exit the workforce, taking much of their knowledge with them. The selfie-taking millennials that are replacing them place a premium on video and are comfortable getting content from video regardless of the video’s “quality.” Companies need to take advantage of this dynamic and instill in their workforce a culture of video.

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