Introduction: [Sharing of Knowledge through Corporate e-books]For organisations to stay competitive, they must be willing to share knowledge with the public because the digital revolution has enabled ...
[Sharing of Knowledge through Corporate e-books] For organisations to stay competitive, they must be willing to share knowledge with the public because the digital revolution has enabled information to move beyond geographical boundaries. The new rule of corporate survival is not just the ownership of knowledge; it also means that the conscious effort to modify and “self-destroy” it.
With this in mind, business decision-makers must seriously consider the sharing, selling and protection of organizational knowledge through the launching of corporate e-books off their websites.
[Relook at e-books] An e-book is a more advanced version of a word-processing document where interesting animations and sounds can be included. Links can also be added so that e-book readers can join a forum or interact with the author in real time. A common misconception of an e-book is a gadget (the size of a PDA) that has to be lugged around. For starters, free e-book readers provided by Microsoft and Glassbook can be downloaded at http://www.bn.com and installed on a computer.
At the same site, readers are also allowed to download free unabridged e-books that can be stored in the publisher’s external hard drive. This way, your own hard drive will not be over-utilised.
[De facto e-book format] Actually before the talk of e-books, many businesses were using PDF as the de facto e-book and Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader as the most versatile reader. Wotch.com’s decision to provide free e-books that can be downloaded from the Sydney Olympics’ official website is a good example of the effective use of e-books.
Here are some steps about getting started in creating corporate e-books.
Step 1: [Identify your organizational strengths] This is crucial as most surfers are willing to read only 2 corporate e-books from each visit. As an example, if you run a publishing company, you have to decide which magazine or trade publication that you want to portray.
Step 2: [Choose the medium of transfer] If you are reaching to a global audience and have a limited budget, the best starting point is to use the PDF format. This format is compatible with most common programs in the market and its reader can be freely downloaded. You can also get free help at http://www.planetpdf.com
Step 3: [Choose the links] Creating a corporate e-book is to enable you to transmit your ideals and expertise to your customers. The buzzword here is loyalty. Thus it is crucial that links like “feedback to us” and “join our mailing-list” be included in the e-book.
Step 4: [Recruit them] You should also invite people who download your e-book to consider working for your organization. This idea is not as simplistic as it seems. You can include a requirement that the person has to provide details about his qualifications before given permission to download the e-book. You can easily program unsuitable candidates to receive your corporate e-book and not get an online job application form.
Step 5: [Greater staff participation] As the idea of a corporate e-book gets passed around, you have to encourage your staff to contribute ideas and articles to create inter-departmental e-books. This is useful if future job seekers want to find out more about working in a specific department.
Step 6: [E-Commerce anyone?] Many participants for our talks about e-books do not realize that there is a market for the sale of corporate e-books. If your organization has a talented workforce, it will not be a surprise if their corporate e-books can be sold and the remuneration can be a reward for their effort. Many foreign MNCs have also established a separate department for marketing and distributing of corporate e-books. To find out more, you can check out http://www.mightywords.com
Step 7: [Get it in print] The e-book has finally gone full circle! The idea of putting the corporate e-books to print is to improve the sense of loyalty and belonging to your corporation. You can also include a sypnosis of the corporate e-books in your company’s annual report.
Colin Ong TS is the Managing Director of MR=MC Consulting Pte Ltd (www.mrmc.com.sg). He is a prolific writer on HR , Corporate Learning and New Technology issues. His writings have appeared in a number of global portals (http://www.mrmc.com.sg/research.html) He has recently launched a free learning portal at http://courses.yahoo.com/course/mrmc which was featured in the recent Singapore Learning Festival. For free articles and advice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org