American NBA coach, Pat Riley, once said:
“Being a part of success is more important than being personally indispensable.”
It’s human nature to want to be needed, but do you really want that? Maybe you’ve already had phone calls after hours and on weekends. What about when you’re ready to move on? Whether it’s changing employers, changing careers, or changing lifestyle, many people put off taking those steps when they feel the ego boost of being needed at work. A boost it may be, but it’s far from practical. A culture of sharing knowledge brings you the flexibility and freedom to step away from the desk with confidence, but it also brings the business the flexibility to promote you, knowing that your role will be taken on more easily by one of your competent crew.
You know when you get up in the morning and make breakfast or school lunches and you go through the motions without having to think too much about it? What about driving somewhere? You were so busy enjoying the music or getting riled up over talkback that you hardly noticed those proficient driving skills that got you to your destination. You’re on autopilot.
For the small business owner and entrepreneur, there will probably come a time when you need to think about delegating. You’ll get busy, then you’ll become successful (if you aren’t already), and you’ll get even busier. Of course, you’ll be needing a personal assistant, eventually, to handle incoming email, phone inquiries, shipping and payment issues. Maybe you’ll outsource the comment and community management on your blog, maybe it’ll be someone handling your twitter responses.
A knowledge base allows you to put your collective knowledge into an accessible, searchable format. But it’s not much use if you are the only person who understands it. Here are some of my best tips on writing for your knowledge base.