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23-07-2013

Knowledge Sharing

 

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I have been working  now for more than 6 months at EURA NOVA, and this article is the opportunity for me to share what I consider to be a key factor of success regarding my integration in the company and the conduct of my work : The way we are creating links and sharing knowledge between colleagues.

In theory, knowledge sharing consists of transmitting some kinds of intangible assets between employees, departments, or different hierarchal levels in a company. This allows to accelerate decision-making in business situations. It also brings  different competitive advantages, either internally, or toward a client, as work teams benefits from extra knowledge that they need in a higher expectations situation and creates links between employees.

At EURA NOVA, this is done by providing various tools in order to forge a strong link between employees. It helps to implement a continuous process of learning within the internal network, by developing curiosity and making the knowledge transmission as simple, and as attractive, as possible : One must act as an idea initiator, while promoting a “taking initiatives” state of mind.
As an Intern remembering the first weeks I have spent in the company,  it was particularly easy to see that there exists five main ways that make our everyday life easier when we want to share insights, ideas, or knowledge.

What did I observe in practice?

A faded hierarchy: The internal hierarchy is deliberately erased to induce an innovation-friendly working atmosphere which encourages the creation of knowledge and the transmission of this knowledge. This is particularly important, when one wants to promote exchange spaces , without being slowed down by any hierachical apprehension. By breaking down this mental obstacle, you make proposals, reportings, collaboration, initiatives easier to formulate and transmit.

Creating exchange spaces: Pleasant living environment, conducive to work and exchange, whether physically (working space), or virtual. It is also important to provide employees with a technical infrastructure that can support their projects. For this aspect, many tools are used:

  • The “tech talks” enables the exchanges. It consists in small conferences on a given topic related to EURA NOVA’s activity, but also its network of alumni (former colleagues, PhD students or memory, former employee’s spin off companies, etc.)
  • The team building activities, useful to build extra professional links between employees.
  • The “link  office” initiative offers EURA NOVA employees to pursue  activities for their client directly from the EURA NOVA HQ. They expose the problems they encounter during their missions to other employees, allowing them to reflect, and get face to face advice.
  • knowledge plaza, an enterprise social network, used to remotely exchange about the progress of internal or customer-related projects.

The employees mindset: One must be naturally curious, inclined to improve oneself and use the full potential of the tools at their disposal. Also, it is important that the employee is aware of his environment to be able to act effectively. Thus, all staff should be involved in the learning process but also the transmission of knowledge, without which its integration is useless.

Links between employees: The relationship between employees is a cornerstone of EURA NOVA’s business model. Thus, consultants and employees, by the tools mentioned above, are encouraged to build relationships to share and exchange outside of working hours.

A strong academic link : Several opportunities are currently offered to the employees, such as the possibility to be a part of academic activities, (e.g. thesis papers tutoring, and the following of courses and conferences). This provides the opportunity for them to train, increase their knowledge, and generate internal networking, useful for sharing information and potential business contacts.

All this microcosm is a major strength of EURA NOVA, allowing to create a real competitive advantage ( in terms of business opportunities, general atmosphere of the workplace), but also to better serve the customers (Expertise, providing full knowledge support, strong commitment of the consultants toward their mission). This also greatly contributes to forge a tangible, easily seizing and strong corporate culture, allowing great people to stick to a great human adventure!

Augustin Appel de Gardane


 

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