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  • Agustín Bosso 7:00 am on June 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DatKnoSys, , , , knowledge, , , social dashboard, social intelligence, ,   

    DatKnoSys, a business intelligence system for your Enterprise Social Network 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Each day more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are generated globally. Millions of those belong to your company. Have you ever though about what to do with all that information? With the Zyncro and DatKnoSys integration, you can analyze all that data and transform them into relevant knowledge for your organization.

    DatKnoSys analyzes the content generated within your Enterprise Social Network to convert it into knowledge for your company. With this integration, you can analyze data and generate reports to optimize its use, maximize the knowledge available in your organization, and make decisions based on solid figures and analysis.

    DatKnoSys is a business intelligence system that offers business solutions focused on data mining to obtain maximum knowledge about customers, marketing actions, or web positioning, among others. DatKnoSys has a specialized solution for analyzing 2.0 data in social networks DKS SocialSmart Inside, which now evolves towards analyzing Enterprise Social Networks thanks to its integration with Zyncro.

    With the Zyncro and DatKnoSys integration, you can assess what use each member of the organization makes of the Enterprise Social Network, who is the most active and who is an influencer, check out what interactions are made between people and departments, or view the topics discussed in the different groups.

    A snapshot of your Enterprise Social Network in your main dashboard.

    If you integrate Zyncro with DatKnoSys, you can see a clear snapshot of your Enterprise Social Network by simply accessing the application’s main dashboard. At a glance, you’ll have access to usage data from the last 30 days, such as:

    • Messages sent
    • Conversations started
    • Number of users
    • Active users
    • Uploaded files
    • Devices connected

    What’s more, there are several rankings of the users in your network, organized according to their level of activity, knowledge, and leadership, together with a bar that shows the general usage of your Enterprise Social Network.

    Data down to the tiniest detail

    The Zyncro integration with DatKnoSys offers in-depth details for analyzing your company’s data. Apart from the main dashboard, DKS SocialSmart provides detailed figures for different categories, such as:

    • Groups: analyze which groups have the most users and which groups are most active sharing messages, files or comments.
    • Users: get a general overview or a group-by-group view of which users in your network are most active sharing information, likes on messages, and which users have the greatest number of followers.
    • Messages: see an evolution of the messages and conversations in your Enterprise Social Network, extracting conclusions on which contents are the most interesting or that generate the greatest number of interactions.
    • Files: evaluate what type of files are created and shared, which ones are downloaded most, and which users create the most documents.

    How does this integration help you? Benefits

    When you get this business intelligence system to exploit the business data of Zyncro, you can benefit from:

    • Greater level of knowledge about relevant contributions generated by the people in the organization.
    • Detailed analysis of the contents shared, with the option to find topics of interest among users, problems, conflicts or key aspects of the organization that you wouldn’t have been able to detect otherwise.
    • Better knowledge of user behavior regarding access from mobile devices, providing interesting data for determining the mobility strategy the company needs to follow.
    • Detailed information on the access and sharing of documents, to determine in which areas or files the most relevant information of the company is found according to work groups, departments or employees.
    • Detection of natural leaders within the organization who can help you achieve the company’s strategic goals where necessary, providing support in the rolling out of new campaigns or reinforcing existing values.

    This presentation video shows you how this integration works, so you can view data and statistics on Zyncro use in your organization.

    If you want to start using DatKnoSys in your company, analyze all that data and transform them into relevant knowledge for your organization, contact our sales team sales (@) zyncro.com.


     
  • Jose Miguel Bolívar 9:00 am on May 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , knowledge, ,   

    Knowledge Networks: Life After the Organizational Chart 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: The new ways of the enterprise 2.0 transform companies and mean a change that affects even hierarchies and organizational charts. Today we’d like to share with you this post that José Miguel Bolívar posted a few days ago on his blog which we think is highly interesting. Thank you, José Miguel, for letting us share it.

    In a recent post, Ximo Salas asked himself where is my organizational chart? and, among other things, he stated that “organizational charts haven’t died” and suggested the need to invent an organizational chart 2.0. Unfortunately, it’s true that organizational charts aren’t dead… Yet.

    However, without knowing exactly what Ximo understands as being “organizational chart 2.0” and what type of organizations need one, I think the concept “organizational chart”, or at least in its traditional sense, has no place in the type of organizations we talk about and that we undoubtedly will become, no matter how slow we are in becoming one or how far away they seem at present.

    On the other hand, the death, present or future, of the organizational chart is not a new topic. Much has been written, and well done at that. Like for example this post by Manel Muntada and this other one from Pedro Muro.

    However, apart from the above, the big question for me continues to be: are organizational charts necessary or not in post-industrial organizations or, as I prefer to call them, in knowledge organizations?

    The model used by organizations in the Industrial Era as the backbone is the hierarchy, in other words, a structure that arranges its elements according to criteria of superiority or subordination between people.

    This structure starts from a model, bureaucratic administration, that assumes the division of work as its principle of efficiency, expressed as the division of roles and responsibilities and that hence, seeks as its primordial objective to optimize the transmission and execution of orders or instructions.

    If we think about the traditional assembly line, the model makes sense. There are people whose responsibility is to think, assess the alternatives, find solutions, assess the risks and propose options. Other people are responsible for making decisions and taking risks. Others are responsible for transmitting those decisions quickly and effectively and supervising that they are carried out to the letter. And others, finally, are responsible for carrying out those instructions.

    What’s more, to make it easier, the information travels in a single direction, without return.

    But what happens when, apart from “doing”, all people in the organization must also “think” and “decide”? What happens when we want the information to travel in multiple directions and in real time?

    In these circumstances, the organizational chart is not only no longer useful, but it becomes one of the main obstacles for organizational performance.

    Anyone who knows how a knowledge organization works “from the inside” knows that nowadays the organizational chart has become a decorative and costly element; an organizational relic serving the ego of a few; a bastion of the paradigm of control that perpetuates mediocrity and hinders innovation.

    Today, having a specific position on an organizational chart does not indicate how much you know nor how valuable you are as a professional. It only indicates how much you can manage to bother the rest of the organization if you set your mind to it.

    Organizational charts today are Snow White’s looking glass of a management class in the process of extinction. The carrot of “some day this will all be yours” for too ambitious newbies. And little more.

    The future is going elsewhere. In a world with an overabundance of information, of knowledge in transit, organizations will become progressively more complex while, paradoxically, more flexible and dynamic.

    After some years “leveling out” the organizational charts, it turns out that the organizational future is multi-dimensional. Knowledge networks that cross over and superimpose each other, in constant mutation over time.

    Knowledge networks that are generated from a shared interest, like for example learning (sharing and generating knowledge) or a project (applied knowledge). What’s more, a single person can play not only one but many roles and these roles can be the same or change according to the network. Different roles in different networks… The antithesis of the organizational chart. And of course, all in constant change.

    I’m talking about a future focused on people and not on structures, unlike current organizations, in which people are dependent on the structures (and the processes and technology).

    A not-too-distant future in which the most important thing is not how much power you have, rather what you know (you personally and also through your networks), and above all, what you know how to do with all that knowledge and how you are demonstrating it.

    In that future, and the need for tools that help tonavigate knowledge networks fluidly becomes evident.

    Be it a profile directory, a social search engine, or any other technology solution, we need tools that tell us in real time what people know about a specific subject, in which networks they are operating, on what projects they are working, and how to contact themto in turn weave new networks.

    An image that produces vertigo in anyone allergic to change, in organizational zombies, in those addicted to the predictable. But that’s life. Diverse, complex, unpredictable, and constantly evolving.

    Fortunately, there is much life after the organizational chart. What’s more, I’d say that the future is ahead of us…

    Jose Miguel Bolivar (@jmbolivar) is Artisan Consultant, ICF coach, lecturer, researcher, speaker and author of the blog Óptima Infinito, in which he has been writing about Innovation in Productivity and GTD methodology since 2008. With a degree in Social Psychology and Political Analysis from the UCM, a master’s in HR from the Centro de Estudios Garrigues, José Miguel has extensive experience as an executive in highly competitive environments such as HP or Life Technologies. Currently, as Artisan Consultant and Coach, he works to increase competitiveness in organizations, improving individual and collective productivity of its employees.

     
  • Ana Neves 9:00 am on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , knowledge, , ,   

    What are organizations doing regarding Knowledge Management? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    A few days ago, Doroteo Quiroz wrote here a post about “The importance of Enterprise Social Networks in Knowledge Management”. In his post, he felt necessary to provide a definition of what knowledge management is about. That’s because although key to organizational success, this management discipline is still obscure to many.

    Some consider it is a waste of resources; others believe they are too small to benefit from KM; others explicitly say they do not know what it is about or what returns it might produce. Well, guess what? All organizations can benefit from KM. And all organizations already “do” knowledge management.

    Yes, I do believe all organizations already have some kind of knowledge management initiatives and tools going on. It might be regular meetings to share good practices, or “yellow pages” with personnel’s known skills, or communities of practice, or an enterprise social network, etc..

    The key thing about knowledge management, though, is that it will produce much better returns if it is treated strategically by the organization, and not just as a set of randomly devised tools and initiatives.

    In 2010, I carried out a study in which I realized that, out of 220 Portuguese organisations, 42 have a strategic approach to knowledge management, i.e., 42 have a KM strategy and a person responsible for leading it.

    I am currently carrying out the same study to understand the state of knowledge management, but this time in Portugal AND Spain.

    The study is based on data gathered through a short online questionnaire. The questionnaire is done in such a way as to make it fun and easy to fill in (so far, in Spain, 55 answers with a 100% completion rate).

    The questionnaire was also designed as a communication mechanism. It is a way of enlightening organizations on what knowledge management is about, offering ideas of things that can be done, and daring organizations to realize that they all do knowledge management in some shape or form.

    I am extremely curious to see how organizations in Portugal and Spain compare :-)

    So far, out of the 55 organizations that have completed the questionnaire in Spain:

    • 18 have a KM sponsor at Board level
    • 17 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
    • 12 have a KM strategy
    • 10 have a KM budget

    Out of the 99 that have answered the questionnaire in Portugal:

    • 39 have a KM sponsor at Board level
    • 30 have a person responsible for leading the KM efforts
    • 22 have a KM strategy
    • 18 have a KM budget

    Do take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Help create a better picture, get some ideas, have a bit of fun, and you may even get a prize as a “thank you for your time”.

    Questionnaire for organizations in Spain
    Questionnaire for organizations in Portugal

     

    Ana Neves (@ananeves) specializes in knowledge management, organizational learning, social networks and social tools for the organization. She is the founder of Knowman and the mind behind Cidadania 2.0 and Social Now.

     

     
  • Joan Alvares 9:00 am on January 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , inspiration, knowledge   

    Inspiration has a ‘c’ 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    I’ve talked before about infoxication, an overload of the information surrounding us. We read more than we are able to absorb. We see more than we are able to take in. We hear more than we are able to remember. And the excess paralyzes us. It paralyzes us just as if I suddenly asked you to tell me the best joke you know. You’ve probably heard thousands, some of them funny, but you’re incapable of remembering even a reasonably good one.

    So, what’s the point of accumulating so much information if when the moment of truth arrives, the moment when day-to-day problems need to be solved, we go blank? Does all of this information provide us with solutions or just the assurance that we’re not a bunch of uncultured people? The trouble comes from way back. We are educated in a system of memorization rather than critical thinking where, as Mark Twain said “information goes from the professor’s notes to the student’s notes, without passing through the minds of either”. The internet has exposed this system based on questions with a single answer, and we can assume that in the not so far-off future, exams will give the answers that students will have to resolve using questions. That’s how Google works. Until then, we will continue to see how highly educated people are unable to find what they are looking for on the internet, simply because they aren’t asking the right questions.

    The problem with not thinking is worse in creative professions, when materials as sensitive as ideas are worked with. Finding references using only memory (remembering what we have seen/read/heard) without processing anything through critical thought, rejecting all inklings of own talent, prevents us from creating and leads us down the path of plagiarism, conscious or unconscious. Beyond the moral component, which I couldn’t care less about (in one of my next articles I’ll talk about why originality is so overvalued nowadays), I believe that copying is stupid. It’s stupid because 99% of the time the same solution doesn’t have the same effect for two different problems, just as two pieces from the same puzzle rarely fit in the same place.

    This is why I believe in inspiraction. Because I believe that inspiration is only useful in so far as it leads us to action, mental before physical. In so far as we rethink everything we see/read/hear before trying to apply it to our problems. In so far as we acquire criteria for learning new things and unlearning what we believe no longer works. In so far as we are capable of transforming information into knowledge.

    Joan Alvares is founding partner of Poko and lecturer at the Istituto Europeo di Design


     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , knowledge,   

    Knowmad: enterprise 2.0 professionals and their repercussion on working cultures 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Knowmad could be understood to mean “knowledge mad” but, given that the ability par excellence that represents this type of professional is flexibility, it actual means “nomad of knowledge”. This is an interesting concept, because it indicates that these people have knowledge that gives them an advantage over the competition. At the same time this is worrying for companies. Given that this knowledge does not remain within the organization, but moves with the professional (who in the flexicurity era must be used to migrating from one job to another), it becomes a fungible asset.

    Characteristics of a “knowmad”

    Knowmads are knowledge professionals and promoters of innovation who network, are incredibly flexible and who work on their own professional development. More often than expected, I come across their antithesis: people who over the last few years have done no continuous training nor explored outside their immediate work environment. They are professional obsoletes who are disoriented and/or outside the current market.

    If you want to know whether you’re a knowmad or you want to become one, the keys for this type of professional are:

      • Forming an active part of communities and social networks: participating, sharing and generating knowledge.
      • Actively collaborating but maintaining individuality: they don’t take being told what to do, because they experience a true learning process.
      • Adapting to different contexts from which they learn, taking away what they find most useful.
      • Using digital tools to enhance their way of doing things.
      • Taking risks and not being afraid of failure: they live with the uncertainty of the learning process and of the relationships arising from marked systems.
      • Building knowledge based on gathering information and experiences, transforming ideas and processes in an innovative way.

    They are also know as “knowledge entrepreneurs”. Some authors talk of the generation of knowmads, but in reality it has nothing to do with age, but with attitude and the motivation to search for resources that enable you to progress in accordance with the unwritten guidelines for the current economic system, or without them. In her book The Future of Work is Here, Lynda Gratton states that we are facing a new paradigm, where the need of professionals to reinvent the actual profession is a reality.

    Breeding ground and consequences for the knowmad style

    Like it or not our society, and the way of learning and working in it, is changing at a frenzied pace. Therefore, becoming a knowmad may even be an obligation for all those who want to know how to manage what this change involves, adapting ourselves to it using positive strategies. Somehow, the evolution represented by technology development and its use in relationships and learning, encourages us to continually make an effort to learn new working tools.

    This is what John Moravec, one of the promoters of the knowmad concept, and Cristóbal Cobo, mean when they refer to invisible learning; in other words, what occurs in the space between technology and knowledge. Knowmads, as experts in knowledge management, create their own learning environments, Personal Learning Environments (PLE), from Personal Learning Networks (PLN), which work as sources of knowledge (e.g.: blogs, social networks, wikis, etc). This new working culture also materializes in a transformation of working scenarios (e.g.: coworking spaces, crowdsourcing ecosystems, etc.) where mobility, collaboration and hyperconnectivity coexist.

    Businesses need to involve independent people who form open networks so that knowledge flows. Having said all this, enterprise 2.0’s should review and update their organization to include the talents of this new human capital, establishing new systems, such as horizontal working networks, instead of rigid structures.

    Sara Jurado is a psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development. She currently works as a Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Patricia Fernandez Carrelo 10:07 am on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , clout, employees, Klout, knowledge, ,   

    The Dashboard of Business Contribution. New Zyncro Whitepaper 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes.

    How to Assess your employees' contribution to the companyNowadays we all share, communicate, generate knowledge, build networks… both inside our companies and out. Assessing these contributions in the professional sphere is a conceptual and methodological advance with clear business benefits.
    So at Zyncro we’ve created the first guide on the concept:

    How to assess your employees’ contributions to the company in your Enterprise Social Network

    This whitepaper has been developed from the experience we have gained in implementing the ZyncroApp: Personal Statistics Dashboard.

    Thanks to the evolution of technology 2.0 and its adaptation to the business world through the implementation of Enterprise Social Networks, like Zyncro, we now have a central location where all company knowledge is stored and where we can measure the contribution of each employee using some specific indicators.

    The “Klout” of business contribution defines the KPIs for contribution and knowledge in the professional sphere and establishes different levels of leadership and participation, similar to the Forrester ranking:

    • Follower: with a “reactive” participation in the business contribution processes
    • Joiner: occasional and sporadic participation and initiatives in the group, with little interaction from contacts
    • Socializer: medium level of regular participation but without much repercussion on an organization level
    • Future leader: candidate for being a leader in the organization due to their contribution of contents and response from contacts
    • Leader: leader of opinion and knowledge due to contributions, assessments, relationships and interaction with the other members of the organization

    With this guide, you’ll discover:

    • How knowledge in a company is expressed nowadays
    • The KPIs of business contribution, what they are, how they are calculated and what they are used for:
      • Leadership
      • Knowledge
      • Active contact network
    • What actions should you perform with this information

    This guide is devised for Management teams, as well as HR, Internal Communication and Marketing departments. Share it with the whole managing team of your organization.

    Download our guide now and embark on a new stage in managing your employees’ contributions!


     
  • Mireia Ranera 10:02 am on February 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , knowledge, middle management, , , ,   

    20 tips for a successful Social Network for Employees 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: We would like to thank Mireia Ranera (Director of HR 2.0 at Íncipy, Digital Strategy and Innovation) who has shared with Zyncro her article, given below.

    Mireia gives her clear tips on how we should make the change needed to get the most out of an Enterprise Social Network.

    20 tips for a successful Social Network for Employees

    We had got used to the idea that all technological innovation (the first computers, cells, Internet, email…) started off initially in companies and slowly was transferred to the private sphere.

    Now the exact opposite is happening. Our employees have smartphones, tablets, computers… that are much more modern and innovative than the ones our companies give them.

    But leaving the devices themselves aside, new communication channels and ways of communicating associated with professional topics are appearing first outside the organization’s walls, such is the case with Professional Social Networks, enabling employees, collaborators… to communicate, relate, exchange experiences, ideas and opinions.

    Now we want to take advantage of what is happening naturally and spontaneously outside the company’s walls and transfer the potential of social networks to inside our companies with internal tools.

    There is no shortage of media, as a multitude of social platforms and software have appeared on the market to be implemented in enterprises, and cloud computing has made things much easier.

    All offer powerful functions like in the open networks: profiles, groups, directories, internal blogs, share spreadsheets, wikis, collaboration tools and communication in real time…

    Really excellent features for promoting interaction among members of a company, helping to strengthen relationships and collaboration, encourage the flow of knowledge and to leverage collective intelligence.

    What’s more, documented studies show that there are important benefits to be obtained from an Enterprise Social Network (McKinsey: “The rise of networked Enterprise: web 2.0 finds its payday”)

    So, it’s hardly surprising that, given this potential, more and more companies are seriously considering implementing social network for exclusive, private use for all its employees.

    But we must not fall into the trap of thinking that if our employees use the social networks outside the company’s, that they will also do so inside. Nor is it a case of simply integrating a powerful internal social software and waiting for our people to start to use it. It is an organizational change, a new internal way of working, communicating and relating to one another that must be guided and stimulated.

    When is an Enterprise Social Network for employees really successful?

    1. When the vision of its benefits starts from General Management.

    2. When this vision is shared without fear and with courage by the other Directors.

    3. When the Directors know how to transfer their support and priority to Middle Management.

    4. When it is communicated and users are involved in the objectives of the initiative and in the real advantages that the new platform will mean for them in their work.

    5. When IT becomes involved, supports it, provides their know-how instead of seeing it as a loss of power.

    6. When a platform that is suitable for the specific objectives and needs of the company is chosen. You need to choose the best tool and don’t see the project as just a matter of buying licenses.

    7. When the platform is so easy to use that it is intuitive and it generates a pleasant, simple and extremely visual user experience.

    8. When the implementation is planned and stimulated, and users’ participation is made dynamic.

    9. When it is implemented without imposition, and users are supported with patience so that they lose their fear, become familiar with it, and learn without pressure.

    10. When you don’t fall in the trap of thinking that users will start to use the tool spontaneously, automatically sharing information and working collaboratively.

    11. When actions are carried out and stimulated to encourage participation, collaboration and help break those initial barriers.

    12. When the results of implementation are measured (level of participation, reading, contributions, comments, interaction, etc.) and you act and reactivate participation based on those results.

    13. When the project is planned and started with pilot groups to learn, experiment and detect possible obstacles and opportunities.

    14. When the know-how learnt is applied and implementation is gradually extended to the rest of the organization.

    15. When users manage to improve aspects of their work with the new platform and achieve things that mail or traditional media couldn’t do.
    16. When specific, top priority and valuable projects for day-to-day operations for employees, teams and the company are transferred to the platform.

    17. When Management also participates actively and shares, exchanges ideas, makes suggestions… with the same transparency as the rest of users.

    18. When employees see their contributions recognized by their superiors (with mentions, thanks, recognition of talent…)

    19. When content of interest is shared and good repository of knowledge is generated that will be useful for everyone.

    20. When, as well as work issues, more personal issues are shared, as they help to humanize relationships and consolidate teams.

     

    My thanks to all my colleagues at Íncipy for helping me select these 20 tips, found from our day-to-day operations in supporting and stimulating Enterprise Social Networks.

    The list is open to all your contributions and suggestions. Will you help us extend it?

     

     
  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:30 am on August 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , knowledge,   

    Why do people share knowledge? 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Note from the editorIgnasi Alcalde has been so kind as to allow us to use this article from his blog (in Spanish) which includes an explanation of diverse theories on how information is shared in this hyper-connected society.

    At Zyncro we would like to share this article as it is a key concept within the foundations of any company 2.0 and supported by Zyncro.  Thank you @ignasialcalde.

    It is impossible to imagine the amount of “last minute” information that we can process on a daily basis.  With the use of Twitter, Facebook updates, e-mail updates, RSS… we share a lot of information.  Normally everybody sharing carries out various tasks at the same time: sending, forwarding and sharing, mashing up, receiving, redistributing, creating, combining and re-creating.

    After having read the psychology behind sharing, Why do people share content online?, I was able to understand the main motivations behind the act of sharing.  Almost 75% of the people involved in the study indicated that the act of sharing is an act of “information management” that allows for a more in depth as well as more careful processing of information which indicates that the exchange of information when shared, helps achieve better quality work.

    Seth Godin founder of Squidoo says in his post “I spread your idea because…”, outlines some interesting key points as to why we share on the Internet.  The points that stand out most to me are:

    • Sharing this idea makes me feel generous, unselfish.
    • The idea is of interest to me and I would like to take an active role in its success and its reach.
    • I am outraged and want others to join in my outrage
    • Somebody I know or am close to has asked me to directly
    • I can use it to unite different people and build a community
    • Economies of scale, your service – which I already use – will work much better if people use it
    • Your idea allows me to express something that I myself find difficult to express or to express directly
    • It allows me to help somebody I consider important or am interested in
    • I like what you do and this is my means of payment to you

    But what I am really interested in, is understanding the fundamental aspects that drive the behavior of sharing in a working environment.  What makes people willing to share their knowledge with others?  Our knowledge is closely linked with our identity after all, it is very important for each one of us to be seen by colleagues as a knowledgeable expert.  One of the main ways of demonstrating this identity to our colleagues is by sharing our knowledge with them.  In fact, sharing knowledge is dangerous because the other person could make an offensive comment about it or say that it is not worth considering.  And sharing knowledge takes time because in order to be able to really respond to what somebody else is asking, we need to spend time understanding the problem and explain it with the sufficient depth of information.

    In the blog by Nancy Dixon, one of the most interesting studies is revealed as to the exchange of information conducted by Constant, Kiesler and Sproull.  One of its discoveries was that the employees differentiated two types of knowledge exchange. One type of person was sharing products for example computer programmes and the second type, was sharing the knowledge that the employees had learnt from their own experience, for example how to get to a bottle neck in the system or how to manage with a particularly difficult error in the programme.  This second type of knowledge that they consider to be part of their identity, is a largely what allows them to be good professionals.

    When they share the second type of knowledge, that of the experience based, they obtained a personal benefit from doing so.  The personal benefit was not monetary nor was it based on the premise of a promotion but in fact the main driver for the exchange of experience based knowledge is respect and recognition amongst peers. Recognition means more to us when it comes from those who really know about the subject and know what they are talking about.

    This takes us to the second reason why people share knowledge; relationships. The way in which a professional can tell how somebody is going to react towards the valuable asset of their knowledge is to know that person well enough, which means there is a need for creating trustworthy relationships.  Relationships can be built by means of informal conversations, by reading what somebody else has written, working together as a team or checking comments within an online community.

    Therefore to summarise, the exchange of knowledge is closely linked with relationships and they mutually interact. As mentioned by Ismael Peña-López in one of my recent posts, it is important to visualize the strictly individualistic benefits that the participant will obtain when collaborating with others.  This refers to the incentives one has when working with others.  As well as needing little effort and having the ability to reach further, there are two additional conditions: symmetrical expectations and asymmetrical knowledge.

    On one hand I need to know that there will be symmetry when it comes to dedication and overall, when it comes to the level and quality of the contribution others make towards my efforts.  If I know a lot about one topic or am very involved in it, I would want the others to have a similar background. If not, I would feel as though I were working for somebody rather than with somebody.  On the other hand, areas of knowledge should be asymmetrical as it is here that authenticity is key, where contributions from different team members are not the same.  If this is not the case, people who could otherwise work perfectly by themselves would be working together in order to achieve the same outcome with the added coordination costs that come with teamwork, which in this case would not be compensated with any benefits.

     

     
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