First, force multiplication. Technology gives us the ability to "force multiply" our knowledge and abilities in tremendous ways. Most people do not leverage this ability. But just take this blog, for example. I could call each and every one of you reading this blog and tell you my thoughts. But instead, I can publish a blog which allows me to communicate my thoughts to thousands of people with the same amount of effort as calling one person. That's what I mean by 'force multiplication'.
One way to 'force multiply' is by creating a company knowledge base. And one way to create a company knowledge base is by forcing yourself to NEVER answer an employee's question in an email. Instead, take the email and put it into an FAQ system (our public one iswww.CardeaCommercial.com/faq) and we have a private Wiki for our employees where we do the same thing. Anytime a client or an employee asks me a question, instead of emailing them back, I put their email into an FAQ, answer the FAQ and then send them a link to it. This way, my answer is available for everyone to see, and if (or more likely, when) I get the same question again later, I can re-send that same link.
Although creating a knowledgebase is a little work on the front-end, it's the gift that keeps on giving & pays dividends perpetually.
Here is an example of an email question I answered:
What does the term "QI" mean?
Here's the definition: http://www.cardeacommercial.com/faq/?p=75
And you can find a lot more information about 1031's on that page as well. Just let me know how I can help you further.
Good luck building your own knowledgebase!
If I pointed you to this post it was because you either came up to me after a panel, or you pinged me asking to meet or talk (or have coffee, etc.), or I wanted to share with you how & why I like to answer questions so others can benefit.
I'm always looking for ways to gain and share knowledge in efficient ways. In the spirit of my posts on knowledge building and creating process (and even making a process for process), I've created a process to have interactions in ways that are efficient for all of us, and build knowledge for everyone whenever possible:
If you'd like to have a conversation on any topic, the absolute best way is to write a post in the community section of my blog.
I am really working to build this blog as a resource to entrepreneurs, and your participation means a lot to me. You can also post comments on any blog post -- I'll read & respond to each one. I'll dedicate much more time to conversations that happen on my blog, because everyone can benefit from the knowledge sharing. I greatly prefer to have these conversations in public when possible because the conversation becomes part of a public knowledge base that anyone can learn and benefit from -- this is part of the reason I said that Henry Ford would love blogs. Plus, it's part of our company manifesto to capture content (point #13!) If you're asking me something sensitive, you can just use a 'thowaway' username to keep yourself anonymous.
Sometimes I invite people to have lunch at our office in San Francisco, where we cater lunch for our employees. If we have a good conversation in the comments section of the blog and want to continue it in person, company lunches are typically a great time for me to do that and I'll invite you to join us.
Just had a really cool, smart guy tell me about the project he's working on. He's building up a site and looking to get contributors. I'm editing out the specifics, but here's my reply to him -
So, the question you've got to ask is - "What's in it for them?" Why would someone put in work to contribute to your site?
Now, later on, the answer is easy - "I have a high traffic, high prestige site, and people want to contribute here."
For now, what's the answer? Well, I think high traffic and high prestige would both help - anything you can do to increase either would help you.