In relationship businesses like Financial Services, Management Consulting and Law, there is often a need to safeguard the identity of clients to the other parts of your company; where someone else may be working with a competitor as an example. The challenge becomes...
How to share when you can't share everything?
Many companies follow some type of sanitization practice; a way to mask out the names of companies, financials, and other information used in presentations and proposals that could be used by others to assess who the client is or was.
This process is time consuming for the submitter and creates a barrier for open and easy sharing, or creates a workload for Knowledge Managers and content editors. It becomes useful therefore to think about alternative approaches and which may work best for your organization.
Some models to think about are:
A. Review then Post
This model requires santization of sensitive information prior to publishing. As mentioned above, it creates a higher bar for submission or work for your Knowledge Managers and creates an artificial delay in getting content published in real-time.
B. Post then Review
This alternative model is a way to support the un-sanitized publishing of content to a more restricted audience at first and then establishing a post-publishing review process by Knowledge Managers to identify content that is appropriate for more broadly sharing - once a sanitized version is obtained. This model, some argue makes ti too easily to post content to a restricted audience with no incentive for broader sharing. The benefits of this approach however is that it gives your Knowledge Managers and editors more "pushed" content to work with; without having to solicit it, and from there, they can focus their efforts on review and escalation of access versus hunting down content.
Ways to think about levels of sharing under this model could include:
Deal Team Sharing ==> Industry or Group Level Sharing ==> Broad Sharing
Confidentiality and legal requirements will tend to increase as entitlement access is opened up moving from left to right above. Publishing and collect of content will be easier on the left.
C. Who Has What Content versus Content Sharing
A third model which can work hand in hand with the models above, or as an alternative, is where the content is very sensitive, eliminate the need to sanitize by moving from a content sharing model to a model where you just share who has the content.
The analogy would be a Gartner Group or Forrester Research executive summary. A brief abstract is used to give an idea of the strategic value of the content without sharing the details. Contact information is then provided to the author if you want to get the full version.
With this model, a senior banker or practice manager can relay they have implemented a unique solution in a specific industry for a client with this type of issue without relaying the details of the clients name or deal specific. They are not sharing the content, but simply marketing the knowledge they have. Once contacted, they can vet if it is appropriate to share the content with the requestor on a case-by-case basis. The disadvantage of this approach is that authors may get inundated with requests they then need to service. The advantage however is the ability to share what they know without the effort required for making the content itself broadly available.
Sharing "who has what" can be equally as effective as sharing the content itself.