This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Dismantling a Culture of Knowledge-Hoarding

Jamie Walters at The CEO Refresher writes Dismantling a Culture of Knowledge-Hoarding

Despite the many corporate initiatives launched to decrease information-overload, increase teamwork, and facilitate knowledge-sharing, many organizations still find themselves stymied by cultures where knowledge-hoarding and "each man out for himself" behaviors flourish. While some of the programs designed to help turn out to be more costly than valuable, it's also true that hoarding, failing to share credit, and the lack of skillful communication and true teamwork also have high costs. What's a leader to do?

He provides a very nice discussion of potential sources of the problem (in short: we are human), and he wraps up with some ideas around guiding your culture away from knowledge-hoarding and toward knowledge-sharing.

  • Create sub-cultures or initiatives that focus on small-group interactions
  • Model from above
  • Integrate "teaching and sharing" into the group fabric
  • Deal with the "unnecessary meeting" problem
  • Ensure that both the directors/leaders and staff gain organizational and time-management skillfulness

The focus of this advice is on the CEO's and organization leadership. There are parallel activities that knowledge workers need employ, beyond the obvious "stop hoarding."

  • Find communities of people around a topic and actively share with them
  • Model sharing behavior yourself
  • Encourage your managers to communicate widely - show them how, if they ask
  • Ask your colleagues to tell you and others what they know. Show them that you want to know what they know. Show them how the information helps you.

That's a start, and I am starting to repeat what I learned in Dale Carnegie. What else do knowledge workers do to engage others in knowledge sharing?

[found via Economic Development Futures Web Journal]

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