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40 Reasons to Share Your Knowledge
By
Volume 41, Number 5 - September/October 2017

INTENTIONAL SHARING

24. Within an organization, intentional sharing can create culture change. When leaders share, they demonstrate an organizational commitment to sharing, indicating that sharing is valued by the organization.

25. Internal sharing helps with onboarding efforts. There’s a faster time to competency and acclimation for new staff when they can see, read, learn about, and make connections to others more quickly. People don’t need to know who to ask if they can easily tell who the internal subject matter experts are or can get answers to questions easily on their own by searching an intranet.

26. External sharing supports recruiting efforts. Private sector organizations that share more about their work, even through informal mechanisms such as blog posts, short case studies, or social media posts, let potential staff members get a stronger sense of the work being done and organizational culture.

27. Sharing your work externally may make you a better job candidate. In today’s world, potential employers might conduct a search for you on the internet to try to learn more about you. Having a larger body of publicly accessible work-related or research-related materials might make you stand out from the competition.

28. Sharing solidifies your learning. When I take the time to reflect and think through something as part of the learning process, I learn from that experience. If I write something with the intention of transferring knowledge to others, I gain an even deeper understanding or clarify my own thinking even further.

29. Sharing openly within an organization opens up new avenues for discourse. Particularly for organizations that are very top-down in nature, sharing using tools such as a discussion board creates mechanisms to “bubble up” ideas and transmit messages up to leaders.

30. Sharing reduces the number of “telephone game” mishaps. If you share your own message, you control the message, the words that are used to convey your thought, and how the message is shaped. There’s less space for miscommunication.

31. Sharing perpetuates more sharing. If sharing becomes a part of your work, it eventually becomes a habit.

32. Internal knowledge sharing lowers the risk of organizational knowledge walking out the door. If materials have been shared electronically, they should be captured and backed up. If tacit knowledge is shared through conversations, more people will have heard (and hopefully absorbed) that knowledge.

33. Sharing leads to fewer repetitive mistakes. If your project team or group discusses lessons learned, more people will have heard and absorbed that shared knowledge.

34. Sharing openly within an organization by posting to a discussion board or community space rather than using a closed system such as email can reach many people. Other people might have the same questions but be afraid to ask; others might not even know that they have the same questions but could learn something by reading what you wrote or the answers you receive to a question.

KNOWLEDGE CULTURE

35. When leadership teams share, it makes the cultural needle move faster. The trick is to move from talking about sharing to actually sharing—from “talk the talk” to “walk the walk.”

36. Sharing improves staff morale (and lowers staff frustration). In knowledge-centered organizations, we often hear from employees who waste valuable time—and get frustrated—when hunting for information or browsing hard-to-search shared mapped drives looking for files. “I can’t find what I’m looking for” is often a substantial pain point in organizations. Encouraging knowledge sharing is one of many tactics we use to help alleviate this frustration.

37. Using knowledge management systems to share encourages gamification within an organization. Badges and other gamification techniques track the leaders in sharing. Others within the organization can see who among their peers is demonstrating behavior the organization wants. Some people enjoy this type of friendly competition, which makes sharing fun.

38. Using knowledge management systems to share within an organization can help quantify sharing and can be leveraged for bonuses, which is another useful incentive when kicking off a knowledge management program and trying to change the culture. In organizations where knowledge sharing is intended to become part of the norm, this first step can speed up the process of getting individuals to start sharing.

39. Sharing cuts down reinventing-the-wheel activities. Staff members frequently search for similar materials before starting a new slide deck or report. If they can find some thing to use as a starting point, they don’t waste valuable time re-creating something that already exists.

40. Sharing makes it easier to “search and find” rather than “know.” If the staff of organization work together in a common platform and share content, individuals can rely on search tools rather than personal networks or knowledge.

FORTY WINKS

These are 40 reasons that we’ve turned to many times. Whether you’re talking to a researcher about open access/open data, a C-level executive, or a group of individuals within an organization, having a menu of reasons at your fingertips provides you with many responses to the “Why?” question. These 40 reasons are iterations on the theme that knowledge sharing is important and beneficial for all types of organizations. There’s no one-size-fits-all reason, but hopefully some of these will resonate for any circumstance!


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Abby Clobridge is the managing director/lead consultant at Clobridge Consulting (clobridgeconsulting.com), a boutique firm dedicated to working with organizations around the world to support information management, knowledge management, and open knowledge—open access, open education, and open data.

 

Comments? Contact the editors at editors@onlinesearcher.net

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