I found some time this morning to catch up with KM discussions on the Indian K-Community website. Got into a responding spree and added my thoughts to quite a few conversations I came across. One amusing thing about KM is that we do tend to go back to fundamental questions time and again...Web 2.0 and its ilk can wait.
A question that employees often ask is: "Why should I share? What will I get out of it? What's in it for me?"
Here's what I put together to respond to that question:
1. When you share, you actually learn! Because you are forced to be sure of what you need to share. You can't talk/write about something you are not sure of. Well, you can still voice your thoughts and confusions, but that's in a different context. A lot of people go ahead and bravely commit themselves to writing papers or making presentations because they end up learning during the process of teaching! If you want to learn something, then try sharing/teaching it with/to or mentoring someone.
2. The cosmic law of give and take says you only get as much as you give!
3. People who share are generally well-recognized, appreciated and respected.
4. It's only when you share what you know that the world will even realize that you know something. An expert is never a person who sits quietly in a corner, away from the rest of the world. An expert is one who communicates, interacts, learns, and shares! She is one who lets the world know that she knows as well as is willing to learn and evolve.
5. Leadership involves sharing, mentoring, and engaging others. KM, in a way, is the foundation for leadership! Someone who goes up the corporate ladder is, more often than not, someone who has taught others, learned from others, shared with others and engaged with others.
6. Sharing with others, as a leader, means you are making others capable of acting (empowering them) which in turn means the efficiency of the overall team goes up. Improved efficiency means a much easier life for everyone. After all, we want life to be easy and great and success in today's world is more of a collective parameter than an individual one.
7. Organizations that are known for collaboration and sharing are known to have lower employee attrition because there is a strong sense of belonging and higher employee satisfaction!