Attending KA Connect 2019

In this blog article, Senior Customer Success Manager Christina Wang recaps her experience of the annual Knowledge Architecture conference KA Connect.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending #KAConnect2019 in San Francisco, which was themed around ‘Elevating the Employee Experience’. OpenAsset has been attending KA Connects for many years, but this was my first chance to attend and I was excited to be attending this unique conference bringing in people from all over the country (and world!) in the AEC industry. I was looking forward to 2 days packed with knowledge management insights from industry leaders, many of whom are also OpenAsset clients! This year’s conference was a little different from years before – the focus on how firms attract, engage, and develop employees brought in new faces, with almost half of the attendees attending for the first time.

As an industry, AEC firms can often face similar challenges and each speaker provided insight into different ways to continue to engage with and elevate every employee within their firms. I enjoyed hearing each perspective and was struck by some common themes throughout the conference.

1. Establishing a culture of teaching, learning and listening to build the company culture. As employees move on into retirement or other roles, firms have to continue to invest in information sharing tools and establish a culture of learning to build knowledge and experience within the organization. Clear growth paths and skill development seminars, as well as continued learning classes, help build the firm’s overall knowledge base for future projects. Consider investing in a database to help manage your employee skills matrix to maximize little-known expertise and highlight project experience. This facility is now available within OpenAsset, which you can read more about here.

2. Lean in to social media to promote your company culture and engage with your employees. Encouraging senior leadership to have a presence in the firm’s social media and within internal intranets and other publications can create a support structure for employees to feel supported and engaged. Sharing firm recognition and culture images through a DAM, an Intranet, or through social media create a stronger brand identity which can in turn support overall recruitment efforts in this competitive economy.

3. Trust your data, and the people behind it. When working on projects, or establishing internal procedures – listen to your team. Collect data and listen to how a client thinks of a project, or how an employee may engage with your Intranet or other systems. Connecting your systems through integrations can make it easy to share information across platforms and offices. Remember, don’t be afraid to update your conclusions when the situation changes.

I learned a lot in my first KA Connect, and it was great to have a chance to also connect with OpenAsset clients throughout the conference. I leave with the reminder from Donovan Helminiak of KTGY that “knowledge management is a journey” and will look forward to helping our clients manage that process each and every day.

Click here for more information about the KA Connect 2019 Speakers.

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