Accelerated learning

Global companies include networks of knowledgeable experts: but how can companies identify these experts, access their knowledge?

Global companies include networks of knowledgeable experts: but how can companies identify these experts, access their knowledge, and ensure that know-how is shared, developed and reaps positive results? Welcome to online collaboration with a purpose. 

Operated by Keolis Downer, Yarra Trams run Melbourne’s iconic tram network / Photo: Keolis

Keolis, an international public transport company operating in 16 countries worldwide, has placed digital mobility at the heart of its business strategy. Five years ago we embarked on a formal, internal knowledge management programme. One of the key objectives was to accelerate the sharing of knowledge amongst our widely spread business experts, dealing in areas such as continuous improvement initiatives, problem-solving experiments and innovation. The ambition was that this would provide ongoing benefits for Keolis’ public transportation clients and passengers across the globe. 

Our approach was to decentralise knowledge-sharing so that every expert in the business could reach out to his or her peers, whether in a neighbouring business unit or across the globe. We launched KeoShare, an online collaboration platform in January 2015, accessible in our then-14 countries of operations, which allowed experts to exchange between one another in theme-specific communities. This tool now represents a major milestone in Keolis’ internal digital transformation, because it has now influenced the way we work. We have 4000 employees who now interact and exchange content in the form of document-sharing, forum discussions or calls for help, as well as company social networking, following key contributors and thought leaders as they would do in their private sphere. We attribute this success to seven major decisions we took following extensive external benchmarking and five months of rigorous testing of our real-life ability to adopt a digital tool:

Laurence Fourcade

Laurence Fourcade is vice president, knowledge management and online collaboration at Keolis Group. In her current role at the international public transport compan, Laurence rolls out a full knowledge management and collaboration programme as a key transformation element in Keolis‘ pursuit for more efficiency, quicker innovation, and higher commitment in public transport. Laurence was previously senior manager, planning and skill management at professional services network PwC France. Prior to that, Laurence was based in USA, first as a marketing analyst for transportation company Hapag-Lloyd, and then as director of consulting services at engineering and consulting company TranSystems.