Why people don't share their knowledge

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  • 1. Why people dont share their knowledge and what to do about itStan GarfieldSeptember, 2014

2. Background Ferdinand Fournies wrote Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed To Doand What To Do About It The book provides a comprehensive list of reasons people dont do what they aresupposed to do I adapted 13 of these reasons to help answer the question about knowledge sharing2 3. Why people dont share their knowledge1. They don't know why they should do it2. They don't know how to do it3. They don't know what they are supposed to do4. They think the recommended way will not work5. They think their way is better6. They think something else is more important7. There is no positive consequence to them for doing it8. They think they are doing it9. They are rewarded for not doing it10. They are punished for doing it11. They anticipate a negative consequence for doing it12. There is no negative consequence to them for not doing it13. There are obstacles beyond their control3 4. 1. They don't know why they should do itLeadership has not made a strong case for knowledge sharing Have the leader of the organization communicate regularly on knowledge sharingexpectations, goals, and rewards Tell stories of how sharing and asking helped those involved and the organization toachieve personal and business goals4 5. 2. They don't know how to do itThey have51. Not received training and communications on how to share knowledge2. Difficulty in sharing tacit knowledge Regularly communicate, conduct training and webinars, and present and operateinformation booths at Aeetings Provide web-based training and webinar recordings for all knowledge-sharing tools Provide easy ways to share tacit knowledgeo Discussionso Callso Interviews 6. 3. They don't know what they are supposed to doOne or more of these conditions applies1. Leadership has not established and communicated clear goals for knowledgesharing2. People dont think that their knowledge is valuable to others, so they dont knowthat they should share it3. People dont realize that if they ask for help in publica. They will get more varied and useful responsesb. Not only will they benefit, but so will others Establish and communicate clear knowledge-sharing goals Communicate and train on the value ofo What they know, if it is sharedo Asking and responding in public6 7. 4. They think the recommended way will not workThey have received training and communications, but they1. Don't believe what they are being asked to do will work2. Dont like changeIn small groups or one-on-one, show people that knowledge sharing does work byo Trying out actual exampleso Sharing success stories from otherso Providing personal tutorials on how to use the tools7 8. 5. They think their way is betterThey believe that what they are used to doing is the best way1. Working on their own2. Collaborating only with a small group of trusted comrades3. Using email, phone, instant messaging, and other, less-open methods Regularly share stories of how others are benefiting from sharing knowledgeusing the recommended ways Use the examples of respected leaders and experts to sway those stuck intheir current ways to consider using better ways8 9. 6. They think something else is more importantThey believe that there are higher-priority tasks than knowledge sharing Get all managers to model knowledge-sharing behavior for their employees Get all managers to inspect compliance to knowledge-sharing goals with thesame fervor with which they inspect other goals9 10. 7. There is no positive consequence to them for doing itFor sharing knowledge, they receive no1. Rewards2. Recognition3. Promotions4. Other benefits Implement rewards and recognition programs for those who share their knowledge Award points to those who share knowledge Give desirable rewards to those with the top point totals Let it be known that promotions depend in part on a consistent track record ofknowledge sharing10 11. 8. They think they are doing itThey are sharing knowledge differently than the recommended ways1. Phoning, instant messaging, or emailing trusted colleagues2. Sending email to distribution lists3. Private messaging Assign people to work with each community and organization to show them howo To use the recommended wayso The recommended ways work better than other ways Provide a new tool or process which is viewed as a killer appo Catches on quickly and widelyo Best way for the old ways to be replaced by new ways11 12. 9. They are rewarded for not doing itThey1. Hoard their knowledge, and thus get people to beg for help2. Receive rewards, recognition, or promotions based on doing other tasksWork with all managers in the organization to encourage them too Reinforce the desired behaviorso Stop rewarding the wrong behaviors12 13. 10. They are punished for doing itAs a result of spending time on knowledge sharing1. They don't achieve other goals which are more important to the organization2. They are told not to waste time doing this Align knowledge-sharing processes and goals with other critical processes andperformance goals Train managers on how to support, not punish, time spent sharing knowledge andlearning13 14. 11. They anticipate a negative consequence for doing itThey are afraid that if they share or ask in public, they will1. Lose their status as a guru no one will have to come begging to them at the timeof need2. Fail to achieve other more important goals3. Be perceived as wasting time4. Be criticized or ridiculed for being ignorant Position knowledge sharing as being a critical success factor for the organization Train managers on how to support, not punish, time spent sharing knowledge andlearning Provide positive reinforcement for those who share and ask in public, and monitorinteractions to intervene to mitigate any negative responses14 15. 12. There is no negative consequence to them for not doing itKnowledge sharing is not1. Set as a performance goal, inspected, and enforced2. Tied to advancement3. Part of the culture of the organization Set knowledge-sharing goals, and get all managers too Implemento Inspecto Enforce This needs to come from the top it will happen ifo The leader of the organization insists on ito Managers check up on compliance Let it be known that promotions are denied for those who have not shared theirknowledge Help promote a positive culture where asking and sharing are valued and celebrated15 16. 13. There are obstacles beyond their controlThey1. Are discouraged or not allowed to spend time sharing2. Don't have access or cant connect to systems for sharing3. Don't have strong English language skills for sharing with those outside of theircountry Embed knowledge sharing into normal business processes Provide ways to collaborate when not connected (e.g., using mobile devices or email forthreaded discussions) Encourage those with weak English skills to share within their countries in their nativelanguages Offer language translation tools and services16 17. Knowledge Sharing ProcessRepositoriesTeam SitesDiscussionsAnswer orsolutionQuestion, problem,or needKnowledge inDocuments andDatabasesExplicitKnowledge in PeopleTacitMeasurements & RewardsPolicies & ProceduresSearch Post ReplyShare insights,problem solutions,& reusable content17Archive answersfor futurereuse 18. Demand-driven knowledge sharing1. Someone has a question, problem, or need2. They search existing knowledge repositories and communities to see if there is anexisting answer if so, they use it3. If no answer is found, they post their question, problem, or need to the relevantcommunity4. Other members of the community respond with their answers the answers mayinclude links to content in other repositories5. The answers are automatically archived so that future searches will produce usefulresults18 19. Sharing tacit knowledge1. Someone wants to share an insight a nugget of knowledge a solution to a problem which others may face2. They post to a relevant community3. They may choose to write up their knowledge more formally, thusturning it into explicit knowledge19 20. Sharing explicit knowledge1. Someone wants to share reusable content a document, presentation, or recording a process, procedure, or template a tool a software source code module some data2. They upload the file containing the content to the appropriate repository3. They post to related communities to let the members know about the file,including a link to it20 21. Knowledge-sharing componentsPeople1. Person with a question, problem, or need2. Community members who respond with answers and solutions3. Knowledge brokers who monitor discussions to ensure that answers areprovidedProcess1. Collaboration process to support asking and answering questions2. Policies and procedures for sharing knowledge3. Measurements and rewards for sharing knowledgeTechnology1. Structured repositories2. Collaborative team sites3. Threaded discussions21 22. Explain the available options for sharing knowledge1. Community2. Enterprise Social Network3. Repository4. Intranet5. Team site6. Wiki22 23. Tell people how to share knowledgeShare a link. Here is a link to the latest Forrester Wavereport on social networking.Ask a question. Has anyone encountered this problembefore, and if so, how was it solved?Find a resource. Looking for a specialist in retirementbenefits to help win a bid in Calgary.Answer a post. Here are links to three relevant quals inthe quals database.Recognize a colleague. Thanks to @dpalmer for hostingan excellent planning session today.Inform about your activities. Will be in the Philadelphiaoffice today; does anyone wish to meet?Suggest an idea. Local office TV screens should displaythe global Yammer conversation stream.23 24. For additional information Join the SIKM Leaders CoP http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sikmleaders/ Twitter @stangarfield Site http://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/Stan GarfieldImplemen