Jean-Luc Abelin KM ManagerAs a practitioner of Marketing for more than 30 years, Jean Luc Abelin has occupied various functions and for the last 20 years within the Lafarge Group.  Since JuIy 2013 he embarked on a mission to implement a new multilingual platform intended to all Lafarge employees (40’000 people in 62 countries). All activities, all departments, all countries were concerned by this platform and all existing databases have been migrated, in order to have only one platform for all Lafarge knowledge.

His mission was also is motivate and animate all the communities through a network
of 80 Knowledge managers. 
 The goal was to involve people in collaboration and sharing, improve best practices transfer to increase performances and individual skills. 

Since January 2016, he is consulting on all issues of implementation and knowledge sharing platform deployment.


A short video on the Lafarge use case presented at the I2Summit in Zurich (11.15)


  1. Allow rapid and effective decision-making

By providing relevant information at the right time through efficient search tools, taxonomy, collaboration and alerts
a knowledge sharing platform provides the basic information to enable the right decision.
When making decisions on any given subject, the experiences, diversity of opinions and expertise of the members of hte platform will be reflected and should be used to form new opinions. The reuse of available knowledge can base its decision on actual experience, feedback and knowledge of a large number of experts and specialists.

2. Ease research and access to information and relevant resources

Whatever is the need: to respond to a customer, analyse trends, solve a technical problem, create new jobs, about the experiences of other countries or other services on marketing approaches … and think critically and so objective you must have access to collective resources. This will improve your efficiency if it is quick and easy to find when you need it. In some large companies where the sharing of knowledge in digital form began in the early 2000s without governance and spurred on by well-meaning employees (project managers, product managers, maintenance managers …), it there was an uncontrolled development of sharing decks often performed in an uncoordinated manner and sometimes using different technologies. The result was a few years a profusion of platforms, each with: their administrator passwords, their structure and organization and it often contained the same knowledge in different versions. When users want to find information, engine fault of unique and effective search, it was faced with several hundred databases, more or less private, without any idea of ​​where the information elements were located he needed …. there … now … now.

3. Reusing ideas, experiences and expertise

When you have developed an effective process, it seems natural that others use this same process when the same problem arises. If someone has formalised this knowledge in a document, presentation or video it can be easily reused for any potential user and to avoid reinventing the wheel, avoid errors, standardise work mode , improve its performance to accelerate progress.

4. Avoid duplication of efforts

Nobody likes wasting time again things that have already been made .. but they do it very often for many reasons that are not always “collaborative”. Do not reinvent the wheel saves time and money, motivate employees as they achieve their goals more quickly and surely. Finally all this time saved can work on new projects, new solutions and invent the future.

5. Avoid making the same mistake several times

Akio Morita Quote

If we do not learn from our mistakes we will repeat them again and again. Knowledge sharing allows us to have access to good practice but also to the education we have made our mistakes. But it is difficult for anyone to admit his failures in particular in the workplace where competition is law. Knowing that we learn more from failures than successes it is important to create a climate of trust and collaboration with a positive approach will learn from every experience. But that is not enough. If within an organisation the level of trust is such that everyone shares a platform experiences (good or bad) one can think they have reached a good level of cooperation. But if no process encourages users to consult previous experience before embarking on a new project or development, it will reproduce the same errors. The capitalisation of knowledge and knowledge is important, but reuse is even more, the establishment of an effective knowledge sharing platform must consider the overall value chain from the sharing and reuse up implement the levers and processes that allow each stage of Takeuchi Nonaka knowledge spiral to achieve.

I knew the manager knowledge of a major energy group told me they had put in place an effective process of capitalisation of knowledge. Indeed when any new project within the team was designated a person whose function was to list and detail in a wiki all events: good practices, errors and solutions, listen & learn … so that everyone can take knowledge and reuse them later. But with time they found that some project managers reproduced the mistakes they themselves had already made in the past … because no process any rules encouraged them to consult this wiki so complete, so well informed before launching the new project. The knowledge sharing is not an isolated act is part of an overall process that encompasses the idea, collaboration, dissemination and reuse.

6. Enjoy the experience and expertise of existing

The teams benefit from the experience and expertise of each member, and complementarity makes the team more effective that each individuality. The larger the company the more important number of employees evolves, the more expertise are varied and multiple which in theory becomes an asset for the company. But the more people harder it is for everyone to know the holders of expertise. It is therefore important to know what the others know, and a platform for sharing allows quick and easy access to the collective knowledge on a specific topic, but also the contact details of experts in order to reach them quickly.

7. Communicate widely and rapidly important information


We work almost all in the “communication” whether official or need. We all need information to perform our duties effectively, whether basic training on new equipment or access to strategic information to work standby in the future of a multinational. Information and imparting knowledge are everywhere. It is therefore important to access the necessary knowledge avoiding unnecessarily delve into the endless flow of emails to drown in existing information in hundreds of website … and of course to succumb under the weight of tons of printed materials . Knowledge management can solve this problem with the engines made provisions, to tags, RSS feeds, to targeted alerts.


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