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Users spend over a hundred hours every month on collaborative sites like Wikipedia. While it seems cruel to call this Knowledge “Management”, it does describe the very foundation of KM. Get people to share their knowledge.
More importantly, this cultural phenomenon has shown long term sustainability of such initiatives without traditional drivers like Rewards and Recognition. ( Read Here ). Which addresses the basic question this post raises : Why is Knowledge Sharing so different in the corporate world? For a lot of you the answer might seem obvious, but with the trend of KM adoption in corporates rising there is a serious need to understand what can be done about this.
There are many instances where KM seems to flourish outside the corporate sphere. Now the question is, why does this happen? In most cases these are the same people doing the sharing. What makes it so different within an organization?
True, there are certain pre-concieved notions about corporates. The biggest of which is that you always seem to have someone looking over your shoulder. Add to that the fact that you need to be extremely careful about the things you say or do and you have a system designed to cut off free information sharing at its knees.
Wikipedia is a prime example of Knowledge Sharing, here thousands of strangers help put together an amazing collection of information without any percievable reward. You might say the reward here is recognition. However, if you take a closer look, a large portion of these contributors are annonymous.
So why do they do it? What drives this need to share knowledge , when everything we’ve learnt so far tells us that we shouldn’t. Would you spend that much time contributing?
The answer i feel lies in the fundemental issue of competitiveness. It exists in the corporate world, it does not outside it. When you remove an individual from those restrains you get to see the true “sharing” potential of a person.
As always, please feel free to put down your thoughts on this subject…….