We are constantly looking for knowledge in our day-to-day working lives. From the simplest google search to look for news about a competitor, to asking an experienced coworker about an internal company process, or hiring an external consultant to help us define a winning marketing plan.
Six months ago I did not know much about the experience sharing industry (an extension of the expert network industry). After finishing my MBA at IESE, I came across a great job opportunity and I started to research a bit about it. How come I couldn’t have heard about such a relevant and necessary business?
Explicit vs. tacit knowledge
The most important thing I found out was that we must classify knowledge as explicit or tacit.
Explicit is the knowledge recorded in documents or databases and easy to transfer. Tacit knowledge is the personal know-how rooted in experience, difficult to transfer.
And tacit knowledge is the main asset of the expert network industry. On the one hand, millions of people with tacit knowledge accumulated through decades of experience. On the other, companies willing to learn from their powerful insight to make better decisions.
Here’s where expert network companies come into play. There are several players that bridge the knowledge gap between companies and experts. But how is the industry evolving, and how can you differentiate between them?
Fortunately, I joined the game-changer startup Arbolus. After a few months, I've had the opportunity to learn about the business and, most importantly, about the customers and the expert community.
Customer-centric, and expert-centric
Arbolus aspires to be a customer-centric business. We put lots of effort into it and the customer is always present in every decision we make. But we also want to elevate to the same level of importance the expert community. We want to take care of them and we want to have a relevant and engaged community base. Paying our experts faster than anyone else in the industry is one example.
We are not a ‘network database’ that bridges the knowledge gap. We do not move to the next customer or expert as if nothing happened. We keep the channel completely open on both sides. And we can do that because we are not an agency, we are a tech company with a powerful platform. This enables us to be more efficient in our processes, and focus the team on value-added tasks such as client and community engagement.
Thrive through innovation
At Arbolus we are constantly thinking out the box when bringing solutions to both clients and experts needs.
There have always been knowledge gaps, but the need to bridge these gaps grows every day given the speed of changes and technological advances. We recently gave birth to Hyperion our core engine for matching advisors to business needs powered by machine learning and AI. Not only does Hyperion make us more efficient, it also expands tremendously the sources of information we are able to analyse. Hyperion increases our efficiency and the quality of our work.
Circles is another great example of innovation at Arbolus. Niche groups of three or more hand-selected industry leaders, each of whom provides an important angle to a project, further ensuring we cover all research bases. We now provide this service, aiming to create meaningful, strategic and longer-term engagements between members of the Arbolus community and companies.
If you are reading this, you have already noticed we are a very ambitious team. We have set some tremendous goals that guide us to our mission. To create one million advisory relationships by 2021 is one of the latest.
Before joining Arbolus, I spoke to 40 people who hold relevant decision-making positions at diverse companies. I learnt about their current knowledge sourcing and I saw great opportunities. Over the last few weeks, from the inside, I've been able to talk with the same number of experts to grasp their expectations, concerns, and recommendations about the industry.
With those conversations in mind, and having learnt the foundations and mission of Arbolus, I understand why there is so much ambition in this team. Clients, experts, and all stakeholders see a huge value on what we do, and the relationships we are creating are solid.
But we see no room for complacency. There's a long way ahead, we have to keep setting high goals to achieve. But most importantly, keep in mind what the customers and the expert community value and expect from us.
If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. Over the next few months, I will be posting more articles as I learn more about this industry and how Arbolus is using technological improvements.