I will confess to being something of a quiz geek… My wife and I love to watch University Challenge and even take some pride in our pathetically small number of correct answers. Christmases with my in-laws usually involve long evenings of ridiculously difficult end-of-year quizzes. One year we even went to the trouble of designing our own quiz – one person acting as quiz master for each round.
So you can imagine my pride to be on the winning team in last night’s inaugural, H+K fourth floor, team quiz. The quiz was themed around the imminent Diamond Jubilee. For those not living in the UK this is about us Brits taking a few days off to celebrate the enduring quality of an anachronistic, unelected institution. Or if you’re like me getting as far away from the festivities as is humanly possible.
But I digress.
Back to quizzes. I remember someone saying to me that quizzes didn’t test intelligence, only (often useless) knowledge. That may be true but when I put that into the context of organisations then I think there may be some value.
We often see organisations which are stuck in siloes, knowing very little about the other component parts. This may keep them focussed on the job at hand but surely there is a weakness in terms of sharing best practice, duplicating effort and collaborating on the strongest ideas.
I remember when I moved house I decided to consolidate my TV, broadband, telephone, service etc with one company. Or at least I thought it was one company. After having to stay at home to receive various bits of technology on different days I had the very real sense that the left hand had no idea what the right hand was doing. From a customer experience perspective it was just terrible.
What’s all this got to do with quizzes? Well is it unreasonable to expect your employees to have a base level knowledge of what other parts of the business do?
I don’t think so.
Being able to answer those fundamental questions should be a key component of inducting someone into your organisation. And it shouldn’t stop there. Employees should have a hunger to know how and where they fit within the organisation. So why not quiz them regularly around structure, products and services?
If it sparks opportunities for closer collaboration, reduced inefficiency and better customer service then surely that’s a good thing.
I for one will be speaking more to my 4th floor colleagues after last night’s triumph…