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Key benefits of knowledge sharing in organization

Knowledge-sharing organizations are not born they are made. A good Knowledge sharing strategy and documents will help to decide how to overcome natural barriers to knowledge sharing.

An organization’s culture is a complex interplay of many factors, including the organization’s history, style of leadership, external environment, financial situation, governance structure, mission, and values. Perhaps those conditions in the organization will inhibit a belief that “sharing knowledge is power” and constrain efforts to make knowledge accessible to everyone who can contribute to it or use it. Knowledge flows best when people trust each other, and it is trust that will overcome both a resistance to ask for advice and a resistance to sharing personal experiences with peers .
To most effectively connect and harmonize the different parts of the organization, operating knowledge needs to be shared continuously across organizational groups. Successful practices within the organization will be replicated by others; activities with low or no returns will be avoided. Many organizations also deal with other domestic or international constituents and partners that have critical knowledge to share or receive. Successful organizations has to think carefully about how knowledge can flow more effectively between them and their external stakeholders and apply targeted approaches appropriate for each level like internal, domestic, and international .
For knowledge sharing to thrive, organizations need to develop two very different types of capability enabling environment and technical skills. The enabling environment is created largely by strategic decisions made by management of the organization. The technical skills operationalize effective knowledge capturing and sharing.

Why there is need knowledge for sharing ?

Knowledge can be compared to important currency which is equal to value of productivity. Organization which continue with business without continuous reflection of learning, course correction, application of innovative solutions , are likely to lag behind than those who use knowledge to influence how services are delivered. Successful organization make sure “How-to” knowledge is continually shared so that their staff members learn and understand how to best achieve a given task . Organizations have to be mindful of their most important asset that is their people. How employees communicate, team up to solve problems, get excited about goals and tasks, and deal with adversity will largely determine the performance of the organization. For employees to be well equipped with the knowledge of their peers, everyone in the organization will need to start sharing “how-to” knowledge.

Let’s go through key elements and ways to increase knowledge sharing within organization : -

  • Knowledge sharing to start from top - Knowledge sharing need to start from top level management. Senior management will play a vital role in the design, rollout, and scale up of the knowledge-sharing strategy. Once senior managers are skeptical about the merits of systematic knowledge sharing, they must be convinced before the program is launched throughout the organization. Management must promote the value of sound and systematic knowledge sharing by modeling best-practice behaviors. This will signal the strategic importance of the investment to all colleagues. Start with knowledge sharing in the senior management team, and ask the team members to directly communicate and discuss the decisions and results in their departments.Hence to integrate knowledge sharing in the organization, anchor it in the senior management team or even create direct reporting lines to the head of the organization.

  • Office environment should be conducive for conversation and communication - Communications and branding are critical to the success of any change-management process. Establishing a culture of knowledge sharing means that it has to become the default behavior across your organization. A clear understanding that knowledge sharing is a standard institutional practice should be reflected in the words and actions of leaders, in the definition of roles and responsibilities and in performance evaluations and rewards. Time spent capturing and sharing knowledge needs to be recognized as “real work” an integral part of everyone’s job that is valued by the organization. Employees need to be given time to seek out knowledge, reflect on it, and share what they know.Rightly pointed out by top management having management proactively communicate about the importance of knowledge sharing and organizational learning can be highly valuable. Give the knowledge-sharing initiative a creative and inspiring name and continue communicating about it regularly with all stakeholders. Depending on accepted practice in your organization, use flyers, posters, e-mail, web newsletters, blog posts, and fun events to build momentum.

  • Incentivize Knowledge sharing - Since everyone loves being rewarded, organization can think to resort to different way to reward team members who embody the knowledge sharing movement. Consider giving a bonus to the employee who shares the most highly utilized piece of content every quarter, or every year and small prizes to team members who are demonstrating excellent collaboration skills. Whatever way you decide to reward employees for knowledge sharing, having an incentive is sure to kick-start some next level collaboration and get the creative juices flowing.

Need to Develop the visions collaboratively

An organization’s leadership is tasked with developing the strategy that will steer the organization toward a shared vision. A clear strategy will guide you in designing your knowledge-sharing initiatives, inform all stakeholders in the organization about the value of knowledge sharing, and facilitate the dissemination of your strategy across your organization. A vision that comes only from the top is not likely to get the level of buy-in you can achieve by establishing it jointly with key stakeholders throughout the organization. Involve champions at all levels who can take the message to colleagues and partners to generate enthusiasm and excitement about the new agenda.
How people begin to change their behavior will be tied to how the organization motivates and acknowledges them. Senior management’s explicit and implicit expectations will determine whether people will voluntarily share their knowledge as part of their daily work, or see it as a secondary responsibility, or, indeed, even see it as a threat to their success. Any effort to induce knowledge sharing without the commitment of the organization’s senior management is likely to fail. A knowledge-sharing organization systematically learns from its mistakes and builds on its successes. It sees knowledge as an important currency and values its operational experiences as opportunities for learning for both staff and external partners.

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