Sneak Peeks

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Sneak Peeks

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If we had an award for “best terminology from a guest”, Hillary would take the gold.

Coining the phrase, "content cowboys" (the people we all know and love who keep knowledge to themselves and use it however they please), Hillary is quite familiar with the painful realities of knowledge sharing.

With over 6 years at Guru, the AI-powered enterprise search, wiki, and intranet software company, Hillary considers herself “a catalyst or connector of different departments”. Connecting the dots between the customer experience, revenue, go-to-market, enablement, and product teams, she leads efforts to gather valuable customer insights and elevate the customer's voice in key strategic business decisions.

On this episode, Hillary and Ken discuss:
• the importance of balancing two sides of the knowledge coin: process and human nature
• creating trustworthy documentation
• the basic rules of documentation
• the risks of not having access directly in your workflows
• making knowledge available where people are doing their jobs
• the key to quality documentation (*hint hint* brevity, being in the flow, and staying extremely tactical)
• why sometimes too much process stifles creativity and innovation

Where to find Hillary Curran:
• LinkedIn:
• Guru:

Where to find your host, Ken:
• LinkedIn:
• Twitter/X:
• Change Enablers, a community by Tango:

Like what you heard? Subscribe, leave us a review, and let us know who in Operations and Enablement should be our next guest.

Ken Babcock (00:01.046)

Hey everyone. Welcome to the Change Enablers podcast. I'm super stoked to have Hillary Curran here from Guru. Uh, we're going to dig into a ton of different things. Uh, Hillary's got a ton of experience and today she leads, uh, customer voice and implementation strategy at Guru. A lot of you are probably familiar with Guru. It might be your knowledge base. Uh, Hillary and I have already discussed a bunch of tactics for how to make knowledge right.

in organizations and we're gonna share those with you today. But before we jump into that, I wanna say, hey, Hillary, thanks for being on the show.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (00:37.448)

Hi, thanks for having me. Very excited to be here.

Ken Babcock (00:40.902)

And we always start with a few rapid fire questions, some easier, some harder, some wonky. The first one, what are three software products that you can't live without right now?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (00:54.448)

Okay, I don't want to be too cheesy, but chat GPT has revolutionized a lot of things for me. Whether it's like drafting emails or coming up with frameworks, so that's definitely one. Because you have to, if you haven't checked it out, you're behind. Second would be, I would say, I'm trying not to talk about Guru. So Gong, I would say Gong. Gong was brought to Guru recently, well I guess in the past year.

Ken Babcock (01:10.606)

Thanks for watching!

Hillary Curran (Guru) (01:22.128)

And I've used other call recording software before, but as someone now who's really focused on amplifying the voice of the customer, I spend a lot of time in Gong watching calls and have found, just found it a really valuable tool for kind of sharing information about the customer from their own words, right, and not having to kind of relay it, but being able to send people clips or links or snippets has been really, really valuable. And then a fun one I'll add at the end, because I have two children under the age of three, is Disney Plus.

And my daughter can say into the remote Toy Story on Disney Plus when she presses it. So we are big Disney Plus fans and it's definitely a technology that I am appreciative of.

Ken Babcock (02:05.334)

That's so great. I have one who's one and a half. And we do a lot of Disney Plus. And sometimes I think it's more for me because I'm like, we gotta watch Aladdin. He doesn't, he's not asking for that, but I'm getting all this like new perspective on it. And Disney does such a good job of like weaving things in there for adults where it's not just like.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (02:20.157)

Right, right. It's a classic.

Ken Babcock (02:31.626)

gosh, I'm watching another episode of Cocoa Melon or something. My brain is like exploding. Yeah, Cocoa Melon.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (02:34.464)

Oh my gosh, that's banned. Yes, our number one besides Toy Story is Bluey. So, highly recommend.

Ken Babcock (02:43.264)

Bluey's good. That's great. I think we have a hundred percent hit rate on people saying chat GPT on the podcast. So you're not alone. Jumping to the next question. What do you think is the most underrated function in knowledge operations?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (02:52.142)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (03:00.768)

So I thought about this in the phrasing. I've actually never heard anyone say knowledge operations, which I think is a great term phrase. But when I think about how knowledge operates within an organization, I think one of the most underrated or also probably underfunded areas is the management aspect of knowledge. And so when I say management, I mean the upkeep, the changing of the information, the making sure that it's accurate, the verifying it, deleting it.

archiving old things. So I think there's a lot of amazing knowledge managers out there and a lot of companies have invested in knowledge management and sort of the practice of it. But there's also a lot of folks that haven't really gotten there. So they spend a lot of time capturing great information in different ways and trying to share it in different really great ways. But it ends up ultimately living and kind of just sitting and I think that is a huge sort of

deficit to a lot of works that they don't realize that there's so much power in their information as long as they Get in there and kind of continue to kind of shape it and evolve it and leverage the good stuff over time

Ken Babcock (04:05.834)

Yeah. And there's, there's oftentimes this almost like cognitive barrier of, Hey, you know what, that knowledge was relevant at one time. Maybe I'll keep it because it's like a decision log of how we used to think about things and that could be helpful. Um, but you know, you can just call it that, Hey, this is, this is old, old knowledge, but you can reference it if you want. Um, I totally agree with you on that. Uh, and then the last question, uh, the real zinger.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (04:26.548)


Ken Babcock (04:34.87)

Where would you go in a zombie apocalypse?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (04:38.292)

So I have a lot of friends that are doomsdayers, and they'd probably laugh at me because I don't really prepare for things like this. But I'm a big, I'm probably happiest near water. So I probably would go to somewhere where there's a large boat, maybe a small boat, but a large boat that I could get on and sail away. Hopefully zombies can't swim. So that's my short answer.

Ken Babcock (05:02.858)

Yeah, that's good. We had, we had someone say Hawaii on a podcast recently. I think there's just a common theme of like, you know what? There's some inevitability here. Let's just go. Yeah.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (05:10.832)

Right. If I'm gonna go down, right, I might as well be holding like a margarita. Yeah.

Ken Babcock (05:16.198)

Exactly. All right. Well, I'm excited to jump in. You know, we covered a lot of topics just when we were preparing for the podcast. But I want, what I want to start with is something foundational, which is, you know, your title is pretty unique. Uh, I haven't seen it in a lot of organizations, but senior director, customer voice and implementation strategy. Can you tell the audience exactly what that means, what you're tasked with and some of the goals that you and your team have?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (05:44.34)

Totally. So I'll start a little bit back. When I first joined Guru, I was in customer success and have grown with the company, leading the customer success team, the support team. I've led implementations. I've led very different parts of the customer journey over the years. And recently, I was asked to move into a role that is more, I would say, like cross-departmental. And I'm going to talk about that.

not a management role, but more of a, almost like an individual contributor role that's, I call myself almost like a catalyst or connector of different departments. And so I work a lot with our customer experience and revenue team. I work a lot with our go-to-market and enablement team, and then I also work a lot with our product team. And so what I think we believe, and I wholeheartedly believe this, is that customer stories and customer voice are the most important thing when you're either building a product, going to market,

Hillary Curran (Guru) (06:38.222)

inform what you're doing but also to back up what you're doing and prove to the world that like it's valuable and that there's you know outcomes that are real life happening and helping real people in the real world do things day to day and so when the leadership team asked me to sort of create this role we really didn't know what to call it so I kind of just put a bunch of words together that made sense based on the things that I do today I think customer voice what I do there is I connect

customers with our C-suite, oftentimes doing executive alignment calls, making sure that there's opportunity for, you know, feedback from their side, but also for us to kind of explain to them what we're working on with a lot of our strategic customers, but also, you know, really across the board. And then I think, you know, depending on kind of what's top of mind across the company, like a big company initiative, we just launched a big feature at Guru, a bunch of features actually. One of them was more around enterprise search. And so...

I kind of spent a month doing a sprint around like gathering stories on this specific feature so that we could then use them across a lot of different assets at the company. And so it's been really fun for me to kind of step back from management and dive more into what I really have always loved, which is talking to customers. So.

Ken Babcock (07:54.922)

Yeah, that's awesome. There's kind of two components that I'm taking away from that. I mean, one is like, you know, how do you be almost this like...

unbiased observer of customer stories. I mean, one thing that we ran into a bunch when I was on Uber's product teams is sometimes when you're creating personas, you actually like create the story that you want to hear. Cause you've got a product idea or you've got something that's in the backlog and then like when you hear someone say it, you want to latch onto it. And so I love that, you know, you're sort of feeding this information in an unbiased way to other teams. Now, obviously doing that, you know, you've got to create.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (08:17.767)


Ken Babcock (08:33.548)

the right level of sort of documentation, mutual understanding, which is a challenge. Um, but when you're charged with sort of giving people the info that they need to do a good job, there's two big components there. There's sort of like the process, the how, the tools, the systems, you know, but there's also this like human element. Um, can you talk to me about how you like reconcile those to make sure that everybody's kind of on equal footing?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (08:45.32)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (09:01.488)

Yeah, 100%. Before I go into that answer though, I will say it is challenging to not have a biased opinion. As someone who's been at a company for a while, I definitely, and from customer success, I definitely have an opinion about the product and also have an opinion on what I've heard over and over again as things that we need to improve or things that customers find value in. So I've actually learned a lot in the past few months around

trying to surface up information that is relevant, that may or may not have themes in it, and then letting our product team really take that and do their zone of genius, which is pull out the things versus telling them, hey, the customer said that they want this exact thing. I think I've learned a lot about really letting the story kind of speak for itself, which has been a good learning for me. So to answer your question around, you know, kind of capturing the process, but also including the human element, I think both are necessary, right? And so,

Ken Babcock (09:46.829)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (09:58.12)

The process around documenting information is key. Not only being able to know where things live or where information is stored, but also knowing how it's documented, who's documenting it. All that information is really important. And so having a place to go that has very clear information is key and knowing how it's being captured. I think the human element that I think a lot of folks forget and kind of mentioned this earlier is

the sort of upkeep or verification, verify, trust in that information. So I could be a customer support person and I'm trying to find the answer to a question that someone's written in and I find the documentation and it looks accurate and maybe there's like a date that someone wrote it but I don't really know that person and I don't really know if, what their role is. So it's just so hard for me to know if I should trust it or not. So I would say like making sure that it's really clear that it's accurate.

And making it so that there's a way or a mechanism or a process for you to actually reach out to that person and ask them more questions or learn more about that person so that you do build trust in the content that they created is really important in including that human element in the information discovery.

Ken Babcock (11:15.638)

The date piece in there is so interesting. You know, when we were doing early customer discovery for Tango, we had this question that was like.

How old does something have to be for you to lose trust in it or consider it out of date? We had such a wide range of answers. Some people would be like, oh, last year's planning cycle or three weeks ago, which resonated with me because at Uber, our business was changing constantly. So like, if something wasn't edited or updated, it was probably stale. How do you guys, how do you guys think about that at Guru and how do you equip teams to understand?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (11:46.217)


Ken Babcock (11:52.286)

Hey, you know what, when your business changes, your knowledge is changing too. Your documentation should be changing. Um, yeah. How do you, how do you help them understand that?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (12:00.532)

Totally. Right, so I always say if the knowledge isn't changing, then your company is not changing. The information is evolving. And a lot of the customers of Guru are in the SaaS space. And we have a wide variety of customers, really, across industries. But if you're at a startup or if you're at a growing company, your processes are going to be changing. The information about your company is going to be changing. And so if you're not updating that in the system, it's immediately out of date.

We have a lot of things in place within our own software that allows people to, it helps people maintain it. So understanding kind of the number of times someone's looked at something, or how frequently people have used it in certain workflows can help you understand if the asset or information is actually being useful. And so that can help you understand if you should A, update it at all, or B, like maybe just get rid of it if it's not being actually utilized.

So understanding kind of its usage is really important. And I also think, you know, setting sort of just rules for yourself to say, like, okay, every month we're going to go in and look through the data, if you have data around your information and being able to see, okay, this is the top information that's being used the most. Like, maybe we need to have a training on this. Like, maybe people are using this a lot because we should maybe add something to our help center about it because people are asking questions about it. So also using the insights of the information to.

draw conclusions around how I can better serve your team. And then I think, so understanding the usage, understanding the data around just overall trends. And then the last part I would say is more around kind of the broad rules that you'd want to set for yourself around just basic maintenance. So if.

For instance, we have some stuff at Guru that we just auto archive. So if something hasn't been viewed in 60 days and hasn't been updated in like 60 days, we just archive it. And it's still accessible. You can still go find it in the archive, but it's not gonna muddy up other people's information because people who haven't been using it, it's probably not relevant anymore. And so having those sort of like, we almost call it like a... A...

Hillary Curran (Guru) (14:17.14)

Roomba, like the thing that sort of just cleans up your knowledge base for you, is really, really helpful and prevents a lot of confusion. We've had people flag like, oh, there's two cards or two pieces of information in our knowledge base that are different information. How can we make that, fix that? And so being able to identify duplicate information that may actually be inaccurate or information that is completely opposite is also really key too.

Ken Babcock (14:21.614)


Ken Babcock (14:45.614)

Yeah. It sounds like this, this I'll call it the staleness, the staleness problem with documentation is a really big one, but what else would you say outside of that is broken with, with teams systems today?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (14:50.437)

Mm-hmm. Stay out.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (15:01.564)

Yeah, I think something that I've always valued about Guru and has really been in the backbone of our product since the beginning has been like being in your workflow. So there's a lot of knowledge bases that exist as a website or portal that you have to log into and you can go find things, but not being able to access that stuff when you need it in the moment of wherever you're working is really a detriment because you're having to leave where you're working, go to another place, and then search or find whatever you're looking for and then go back to where you're working.

Even just thinking about basic apps on your phone. I can be on my child's daycare thing, and then I get a text, and I go to the text, and then I forget to go back. You immediately forget to go back to something. So you're just slowing your team down when you don't have it in their workflow. So we have an extension. I'm having it available in Slack, having it available maybe in a chat tool or a mobile app. All those places where people are doing their job is really, really key. I know Tango has an extension too, and being able to.

kind of overlay that to whatever page your individual user is on, whether it's a Salesforce CRM doing their job, whether it's a code base, whether it's maybe you're in the construction industry or you're in healthcare and you're looking at very different information on your screen than folks in tech. Being able to access what you're trying to find, not without having to leave that page, is just critical because it doesn't speed you up and then it also keeps your brain...

focused. It doesn't have all that context switching. That's so, so distracting.

Ken Babcock (16:35.35)

Focus is at such a premium these days. And I think, you know, I'm, I'm biased because I totally believe in this. Everything that we've tried to do is, you know, building for the flow of work. You know, the other interesting thing that we've kind of uncovered with a lot of folks is, you know, we, we sort of have this antiquated idea of like, what knowledge should be within an organization. We've, we've, we've brought almost like.

some of this legacy from like schooling and, you know, there's this virtue of, I'm going to create these artifacts and they're going to live somewhere. And they're going to be beautiful. People are going to read them and digest them. I think the reality is, is that sometimes people just want to know what they need. Like the little snippet of what they need to just get their job done. Like that's the reality. Give them some time back. They don't need to like go through, you know, the history of why you need to know the same, but it's, it's more tactical than that.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (17:18.066)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (17:28.524)

No. Yeah.

Actually, since you're speaking about brevity, we actually recently released a feature sort of like Child GPT, but it's built into the Guru editor called Assist, and it allows you to basically adjust parts of your text. And one of the number one things people have done is just create a summary at the top. So you could have a really long article or information that's like a lot of process steps or whatever, but just having a quick summary at the top for someone who finds that information and can say like, hey, is this what I'm looking at?

for or maybe like I don't want to read this whole thing I just want to know like the gist of it. It's been really key and I think helps improve the usage of your information too.

Ken Babcock (18:11.794)

Absolutely. I hope, I hope tangoes lawyers aren't listening to this, but one of the number one ways I use chat GPT is when I get a long email from our lawyers. Um, I put it in there and I say, Pretend you're the recipient. What is the thing that I have to do here? Cause I think it will be, oh my gosh, it will be so long. And I know why they do it. And it's really helpful, but I need to know what to do.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (18:20.532)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (18:29.313)

Right. Yeah.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (18:36.346)

Right, exactly.

Ken Babcock (18:38.114)

So do you, do you see where this sort of like approach of, of being in the flow, of emphasizing brevity, of being extremely tactical with your knowledge? Do you see organizations resist that in any way? And if so, like, what are, what are some of the reasons they might resist sort of this, this culture change around knowledge?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (19:00.296)

I mean, no one really likes change. Our bodies usually like, prevent us, you know, protect us really. Change is hard because your brain doesn't want you to change. So I think it's, there's always gonna be a resistance there regardless. I think the thing that I've seen with larger organizations too that just have so much old sort of like...

habits built up, it's even harder to change because you're also not just, you're not necessarily just changing like where information is stored, but you're having to change an entire culture.

we used to call folks content cowboys where like they just have their own their own information living on their computer and they use it however they want and I think you know there are a lot of organizations where those people still exist and they're not sharing information doesn't mean they don't want to collaborate they just aren't used to that way of work and I think it's slowing them down and probably hurting their team because they're not there's a lot of value in having these like cross sharing of information across sales to support or

or all these cross-departmental knowledge sharing opportunities are really pivotal when you understand the value of it. And you can see, for instance, I'm a support person, and I'm looking at information to solve a problem. And instead of just having access to my own help center, I can also see all the tickets that have been created, or anything that's being built by our team, or maybe any customers who have written in with similar problems. And so when I respond to the customer, I'm going to have such a

a much richer answer because you'll be able to have all those parts of the story included and not just like this is the answer to your question, this is why, this is how, this is what we're working on and it just makes it a better customer experience at the ultimate on the end. So I think, you know, however, that requires a huge culture shift and I think that the customers or organizations where I've seen really like amazing outcomes from like the use of knowledge and the, you know.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (20:58.94)

is that they understand the value of it, and they understand how it can transform their business. But again, they also have the buy-in and the cultural recognition that it needs to be a part of their culture of capturing information when they wanna other people to use it. Updating that information is part of the culture of the whole entire company. The resistance comes from, I think, just it's just a new way of thinking about things. And I also think there's a lot of resistance for

like, oh, no one's gonna need this. Like, why would I need to write this down? I don't, like, there's a lot of things, maybe you're in a job and you don't think it's, other people will find it helpful, but it's been surprising since I've been here, like, the little things that I've saved into Guru cards where other teams were like, that was so helpful for me. I never would have thought it would have been helpful for them. So, you know, I think there's just, there's also kind of an imposter syndrome of like, no one's really gonna need this thing again, so I'm not gonna write it down. And so that, even just that resistance.

It creates knowledge gaps and knowledge gaps are bad because then you have to recreate those questions and answers over and over again.

Ken Babcock (22:05.674)

Yes. And sometimes when you're recreating those questions and answers, people, people arrive at different outcomes. And then you've got people running in different directions, uh, which is challenging too, but for the customers that do embrace that cultural change, you know, say they've implemented guru, they're really happy with it. Like, what are the, what are the customer quotes that you hear? Like what's the, what's the aha moment? What's that like epiphany that, that comes to mind for them?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (22:12.063)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (22:35.184)

I mean, more recently, with some of our features around enterprise search, where you can search across multiple places, it's just cutting down time, having to search, or having to even look for information. So we've seen some customers, we had an insurance agency, not the most typical SaaS industry, but an insurance company said that they've reduced the number of questions in one of their Slack channels by like 30%. So you think about, oh, that's only, you know.

only 30% of questions, but that's a lot of time when you have a really large team. And so some of the quotes that are sort of like aha moments we hear customers is when they don't, let's say you're a subject matter expert or maybe you're managing a team and you implement Guru, you implement a really great robust knowledge culture.

you immediately have a lot more time back in your day. You're not getting pinged as much, whether it's in Slack or email or Microsoft Teams chat, and you're able to focus and actually do the deep work that you're supposed to do and that you really love doing. And at the same time, you're able to put all that information into the knowledge base and those folks can access it and find it when they need it in their workflows. So just the amount of kind of...

anxiety reducing that we've seen it create for customers, not having to be alert when they get a ping and have to respond immediately because if they don't respond then they're gonna like create a poor customer experience or a poor experience for a prospect or for someone that's engaging with their service has really been, I think, the reward that I get to hear every day is sort of just empowering people with information they need helps them feel better about their jobs, feel better about going to work, they feel better about

how they can serve their audience and then their managers can feel better because they don't necessarily get tapped every hard question that comes in.

Ken Babcock (24:26.934)

The interesting thing with those hard questions too that I find is, yeah, you can reduce some of those, but a lot of times too.

You know, you're, you're getting to like better questions because usually if someone doesn't know what to do and they have to reach out, they might not even know the right question to ask. So there's almost like these like hidden questions behind the questions too. And if you can sort of be proactive and anticipate, okay, hey, maybe you ask this, but we think what you mean is actually this, um, you know, that, that becomes, you know, sort of an added advantage for, for time savings.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (24:40.809)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (24:50.624)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (25:04.488)

Right, totally.

Ken Babcock (25:05.81)

Um, and, you know, sort of on the flip side, when, when you see companies that, you know, are like, okay, you know what I'm all in, we're going to move to in the flow. We're going to embrace this. What are some of the hiccups that they commonly run into? I mean, you work a lot in customer onboarding and implementation. And so.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (25:26.112)

Thanks for watching!

Ken Babcock (25:26.242)

you know, what are some of the watch outs that you share with the audience? You know, if you're, if you're ready to make this change, if you're ready to embrace this new culture, but you know, what are some of the speed bumps that they might encounter?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (25:36.626)


Totally. I think one of the challenges that we're facing, and our CEO Rick was calling this an AI arms race earlier, is that every tool that you use or software that you use will pretty much soon have some version of AI. And they're going to want you to ask the questions that they can answer in their system, which makes total sense. If I'm in Slack and I want to ask a question or find information, I can use Slack's AI. If I'm in Salesforce, I can use Salesforce's AI.

But that's a lot of context switching, right? And so you're gonna have to relearn and train those behaviors. I think the thing that we try to think about at Guru is how can we sort of supplement or like sit as a layer on top of these systems and just serve as like a knowledge base that is trusted and accurate and not necessarily try to control like where you're.

where you're asking the question, but make sure that the answer that you get, whatever that answer is, is the highest, most accurate, up-to-date version of that answer. I think the things that I've seen teams run into, the challenge about being in your workflow is that you'll have a lot of different cooks in the kitchen around what information is most important to push into people's workflow, and so sometimes that could create a lot of noise. So your revenue team may wanna push.

And I say push, like proactively surface information to people in Salesforce about a new product that they're launching so that your team knows about it and can talk about it on a call. And then the marketing team may want to show about new messaging. And then the internal comms team may want to push something about a new event that you're doing. And so, you know, thinking about having four or five things pop up.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (27:22.34)

every time you're on a certain page or doing a certain action can be overwhelming too. And so you want to be thoughtful about what is the most critical piece of information in this exact moment or in this exact workflow that really will help them. And then kind of getting rid of everything else. And then if there's other stuff that's also really critical, like where would be the best place to push that to them? Maybe it's, you know, at the beginning of the day, also the timing, right? Like you don't want to push everything in the morning if you're going to like have people kind of, you know, alert people about things. And so.

We at Guru have sort of an internal communications sort of manager who oversees all of our company-wide announcements, and it's been really cool to see her say, actually, I just noticed that we have five things on this one day. We probably should spread this out, and it's such a small thing, but it really helps, I think, your mental health and your focus, right? Not having so many things at once. So I would say if you're gonna really dive all in into putting things in your workflow.

be really thoughtful about where you want and what timing, or how frequently, and what is the most critical thing that they need to know, because I think more than three things is just overwhelming.

Ken Babcock (28:32.594)

Yeah. And some of that onus is on us as people building product, right? Like we have to build sort of a, you know, a confidence interval to say, okay, hey, here's, here's when we want to surface something. Cause if we're like, ah, here's everything that like might be relevant to you, maybe, but we'll let you sort of validate that becomes really overwhelming. Right. And so I don't know how much time your, your product team spend on that, but we think about it constantly.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (28:37.529)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (28:50.842)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (28:55.601)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (29:01.216)

Totally. Yeah, 100%.

Ken Babcock (29:04.334)

And so maybe as we get sort of to the close of the episode, I wanted to jump back into sort of tactical ways. So we talked about what makes customers successful. The quotes that they're repeating back to you that you're probably arming the product teams with. We talked about the speed bumps, but maybe let's talk about the people that aren't quite there yet, aren't ready to embrace it.

Or maybe, you know, a small team is ready to embrace it, but not the whole company. Um, what are some tactical ways that companies can start implementing and embracing this mindset? You know, cause it really is like, there is a change management component to it. Like you said, people don't love change.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (29:45.917)


I would say the first thing that we often encourage folks to do when they're implementing a knowledge base or knowledge management practice into their company is to create a council, we call them a knowledge council. And this is a group of people that you can either appoint or sort of nominate from across hopefully every department within your organization who is a subject matter expert or at least sort of a leader within that organization or department to take responsibility in making sure that their team's information is updated.

up to date and accurate. So this council can meet once a month, once a quarter, and what we encourage folks to do at these council meetings is to make it sort of fun, maybe have a pizza or have a sort of like disco music in the background, but really have a set period of time that you're going to sit down and say, okay, let me look at my information, what's bad, what should be deleted, what should be reviewed and improved.

and really just taking ownership in that. And then even maybe they need to delegate out certain information that maybe other folks in their team need to update. But having someone to sort of oversee it is really key. And then it also allows them, because they're coming together across the department mentally to start to see trends in information. So maybe you have five or six articles or pieces of information about the same topic, but for very different teams. Maybe that could live in one article and sort of have a list of everything that all the company needs to see.

And those are the opportunities where I think there's some really cool knowledge sharing cross-departmentally where like, for instance, when we release a feature or we have a new thing rolling out, like we used to have different articles for every team. And now we just have one big article that has like how to talk about it, how it works, you know, when it's going to launch, like how it was built. Like everything that you would need to know is in this one huge article, but it takes a lot of different departments to add and create that article. And so then...

Hillary Curran (Guru) (31:43.14)

those teams can then look at it and find exactly what they need, but you also can see the full story of the entire thing. And it just makes, like I was saying, it makes your understanding of it and sort of comprehension, I think, a lot richer. So knowledge councils have been really helpful for a lot of customers and teams that I've worked with. The other thing I would say is sort of a best practice in software change management, or at least trying to get people to buy in, is if you have a daunting amount of...

change to invoke, like start really small or start somewhat small. So pick a group of people or a team that is eager for a change. Maybe they have like a really bad process and they're just really burnt out and they really are ready for something different. Allow them to try out the software and really adopt it and be like an internal case study for yourself. So we've had teams launch Guru for let me let's say their support team or their sales team or even their product team and then that team

champions internally and then they can speak to other departments and say hey like we have this really great thing that we've tested and we've proven and we love it we think your team adding our information in here and we can show you how to use it it's gonna be you know a win-win for us because we're gonna be able to access your stuff and you're gonna be able to see our stuff and we'll be able to work together more collaboratively so starting small is also a really great way you know land and expand as really a brilliant model and it works really well for a lot of software.

Yeah, I think those are the two biggest things I would say is sort of, you know, make sure you have ownership and then make sure you have, you know, excitement internally.

Ken Babcock (33:20.638)

Yeah, I think what I'm taking away from that, which was just really interesting because we, you know, we tend to think about, Oh, let's come up with a case study as a way to like sell new deals or get new customers or new logos. Um, but those, those sort of like case studies can also be used internally for expansion. I think that's.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (33:31.145)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (33:37.568)

Totally. I've even had customers, champions who I've worked with to document a case study and make it very, very professional and look really great, and then they can then share that across their entire, just internally at their own company. And that's been a really great asset for them because it's also like, look how cool this thing that I've worked on and look at all the great outcomes that have come out of it, which is really like my goal, is to just put a light on the great work that our champions do.

Ken Babcock (34:03.154)

That's great. All right. Last question. This one, you know, we're inviting spicier takes here, but what's the one operations hill that you'll die on?

Hillary Curran (Guru) (34:06.868)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (34:17.808)

I thought about this one for a while. I was a little like, oh my gosh, there's so many things in operations. I think, no, I like it. I mean, when I think about operations, I think about...

Ken Babcock (34:23.562)

Yeah, and it's really dramatic, I know. We made the question more dramatic.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (34:30.024)

you know, people process technology, sort of like the cheesy term, but I think process is really important. As I've been at GREW and as I've seen us grow, I have seen the power of process, you know, whether it's like streamlining how two teams, you know, request certain things. Like we've had people...

request services from our implementations team, and we built a form out, and it's much faster and much more efficient than it used to be, right? So having really simple processes in place and being able to adjust those kind of as things have been flow has been really key. I think the thing that I have also seen is that sometimes you can over complicate stuff that shouldn't be over complicated. So I would say that the operations hill that I'll die on is that sometimes you don't need a.

really complicated process, it can be really simple. And if it's not working, it's okay if you have to change it. You don't wanna change it too many times because that just creates chaos and people get burnt out. But I think being able to be flexible with your process is key and understanding that maybe the quickest way is just to.

create a Google Doc or something like that. Sometimes I think we overcomplicate things a little bit, but yeah, I think having processes and seeing that they, you know, giving them time to prove their value is key, but then also stopping and saying like, is this actually working for us, is it working for you? And if the answer is no, then just get rid of it.

Ken Babcock (35:58.11)

Yeah, I think that is so fascinating because, you know, companies are made up of, if we use that people process technology framework, you know, companies are made up of all these processes and sometimes you can be like beholden to the inertia of those instead of changing. And one thing I always like to think about is like, if you looked at, you know, the Dow Jones industrial average, like 20 blue chip companies, but you looked at it a hundred years ago.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (36:17.18)


Ken Babcock (36:27.882)

Most of those companies are gone. And so like our job as leaders is actually to make sure that our companies adapt to where the market's going. And if you're constantly being pulled back by like, Oh, this is the way we did things, this is the process we set up. You're not going to be able to keep up. And so there's a component there too, where it's like, don't have too much pride, like get it, get it down, get it documented, but find better ways to do things, be okay if something gets out of date.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (36:41.714)


Hillary Curran (Guru) (36:53.376)

Totally. Yeah, it's okay. It's like a starting point, right? It gives something somewhere. We're doing an event, a small event in San Francisco, and I was looking for what we did last year. It was archived, but I found it, because it's not relevant, and I was able to just start with a framework that was just so nice, versus having to start from nothing. So, it definitely is helpful.

Ken Babcock (37:22.722)

Well, Hillary, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. There's a ton of great nuggets for everyone who's listening. And I just, I appreciate your time.

Hillary Curran (Guru) (37:32.616)

Thank you. I really appreciate getting to know you and working with you guys and hopefully see you in Philly soon.

Ken Babcock (37:38.264)


Ken Babcock (37:42.126)

All right, good stuff.

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