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Seb Anthony

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Industry Sector learning within a company


I am investigating ways to build industry-specific (for example financial services, healthcare and pharma, etc) knowledge within a business and technology consultancy.

We have tried learning lunches with internal subject matter experts but people do not seem to feel that they learn from them. Any pointers would be welcome. Thanks.
Heather Nicholson

One Response

  1. Look out – not in
    Dear Heather

    I’m a great believer in engaging directly with as many industry sectors as possible and really getting to know what makes them tick. If you offer business-to-business (b2B) services it makes no sense to see your market as a homogenous mass. In reality most b2b vendors face a kaleidoscope of segmented markets, each of which has self-defined boundaries and a unique sense of identity.

    Whatever services you are offering prospective clients always need to feel you share their view of the world and understand the unique challenges imposed in their market segment.

    It is possible that your existing subject experts could well be the ‘one-eyed men in the kingdom of the blind’, especially if they have gone native and really become part of your organisation rather than part of the industry they serve.

    I would recommend the following steps:

    – define the precise industries you are targetting

    – allocate the people whose knowledge you want to develop some protected time to go out into the field, attend public meetings/conferences and network e.g. one day a week/month.

    – allocate them a budget for annual subscriptions to each of the key trade press publications for their sector

    – allow them to invest in corporate or personal membership of industry networking or lead bodies for their segment.

    – create a dedicated page on the Intranet for each person and allocate time for them to publish the findings and information that they acquire.

    Finally, really incentivise your new experts to share their knowledge. It sounds like your current ‘internal subject mattter experts’ are none too keen on this idea!

    Hope this helps.



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