Decoding knowledge management to support financial regulation

Mapping knowledge exchange

The unit was a team of teams. Social network analysis confirmed key influencers and how they shaped collaboration within and beyond their specific team. It spotlighted where the unit was at risk of losing key personnel and located innovation bottlenecks. Having shown the teams that collaborated the most, it located “hidden groups” who met beyond team lines and outside of mandated meetings to problem-solve together.

All influencers are not created equal

Time and again, individuals from all teams went to the same key influencers with breakthrough insights and noteworthy anomalies they discovered. We called these influencers “insight attractors”. However, these influencers were not facilitating wider knowledge exchange by connecting people with each other or setting up team meetings. In fact, a second type of influencer - the insight disseminator - was doing this. The disconnect between the two types of influencers meant that critical insights were not shared early enough, if at all.

Hidden groups engage in teaming

Analysis of the hidden groups revealed the types of challenges that led to their formation. It also clarified factors that made it more likely that hidden groups would convene, including time of year, workload and personal soft skills. Two direct links were established: 1) individuals less aligned with the microculture of their own team were more likely to participate in hidden groups, and 2) individuals with the longest tenure at the organization overall were most likely to be approached to participate in the hidden groups.

Activating impact

The insights established about the key influencers established a need for stronger lines of communication between them. The influencers were paired up in a one-off meeting, where they were introduced to different platforms, processes, and tools to facilitate comms between the two. The pairs then selected their preferred modality to exchange key information. Further resources were made available to them to support their key role in knowledge exchange in the unit.

To facilitate better problem-solving and innovation, more team members needed to be encouraged to engage in "hidden group" teaming. Analysis of the key motivators for team members revealed that sense of civic duty was very powerful. To activate more teaming, new quarterly meetings were initiated where individuals shared more about their role, current projects, and how they made a positive impact for the British public.


The project took 3 months.


The team size was 84.


The unit had 6 key influencers.

We have a lot of specialists in our unit, and it's that expertise that equips us to make informed decisions. We need to understand the threats to knowledge retention. Your analysis helped us understand where we need to take preemptive action. It also shed light on what it’ll take to drive better innovation within our unit.

Manager, UK financial regulator