K is for Knowledge & Know-how
“Learning the Knowledge” or the 25000 streets in central London that a taxi driver must be able to recognise to gain their license has been shown to result in a visibly bigger hippocampus. Whilst the learning curve isn’t quite as steep, any new clerk or member of a committee can feel lost and rather daunted at what they need to learn.
In the same way that most people are happy to just take the taxi, or to listen to their sat navs rather than navigate on their own, much of what is needed is not to memorise but rather to know where to get that information.
This is similar to what I talked about in the last post – joining the dots where knowing what each committee does and is doing can result in less duplication of work.
People who use the meeting house don’t need the technical or background information about the heating system or fire alarm they just need to know how to adjust the temperature in the room they are in and how to turn off the alarm when it is set off by mistake.
Most people have experienced a frustratingly laid out website or a manual which lacks good indexing or a table of contents.
- Have you thought about what sort of information each group of people using the building may need and where they might look for it?
- Have you ever thought about how to ensure a smooth transition from one committee member to another?
I talk about generic email addresses and file sharing as ways of ensuring information isn’t lost, but people need to know it exists in the first place. Examples of ways you might share that know-how include:
On your website
- Information about Quakers including links to other resources
- Room names, sizes in square metres as well as appropriate group size, photos of various set ups.
- Downloadable copies of information leaflets, including times of Meeting for Worship, room booking procedures and policies.
- Clearly labelled email and telephone numbers for each person listed.
- Practical guide to using the meeting house
- Weekly or monthly calendars showing when there are rooms available
- Information on other groups using the building
For members and attenders
- A-Z of how the meeting house works (a summary of the fuller operations manual)
- Committee role and other job descriptions (salary and other information removed where necessary)
What other information have you found useful to have available to hand to new committee members or others?
To browse through all of the posts click on the Quaker A-Z link here or in the side bar.