Your mom or your dad told you to share your toys with friends and siblings. Your teachers asked you to show a fellow student how to solve a problem. As a parent, you showed a child how to throw a baseball, taught them to ride a bike, or even how to cut up their own food. And today, when we write blog posts, we are sharing our knowledge. And of course, we are not too hesitant to publish our most personal secrets on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.
But, why do we forget the lessons of sharing knowledge and helping our colleagues once we get inside the four walls of our work place? And what effect is it having on businesses?
Information overload causes an imperative to sharing.
There is so much information in the world today, and it is coming at us so rapidly, it is impossible for any single person to have all the tools needed to effectively do their job. Martin Hilbert, a researcher at USC, figured out that during the course of the year, every person receives an amount of information equivalent to reading 174 newspapers every single day. And that was in 2007. Imagine what it is today! That alone, should make organizations afraid. Simply put, the amount of information people are dealing with is causing them to be overloaded and unable to process everything coherently.
With this explosion of information, you would be forgiven if you did not believe that less than 20% of companies believe they have an effective Knowledge Management system. Why so few? One reason is that companies think collaboration and knowledge sharing is really a waste of time. They think it is too costly to document, collate, organize, and input all of this information. As well, companies adopting knowledge-sharing procedures feel too much time will be spent just commiserating and discussing without people working. However, these business fail to understand the benefits of organizing and synthesizing this information.
An Ivey Business Journal study showed that business performance improves simply by people doing things differently as a result of knowledge sharing. But there are many more benefits.
Below is a list of 11 Benefits of Knowledge Sharing in the Workplace
If you are not still sure about the benefits of sharing information, just think of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. If you recall, there was significant blame-game going around because agencies did not share information with one another. They all existed in their own silos, protective of the information they had. All of this may have been the result of certain laws that were in place. But don’t doubt that it also had to do with the culture of the agencies themselves and government. This, itself, may be the best reason and lesson to think about when deciding whether to instill a knowledge sharing initiative.
Be sure to check out these related blog posts on How to Create a System to Encourage Information Sharing in Businesses and 5 Ways Companies can Improve their Knowledge Management.
Share you knowledge with the businesses in southeast Michigan by taking the 2019 Confidence & Clarity Survey today.