Knowledge sharing

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 2, 2006
Filed in Communication

Patrick Lambe over at Green Chameleon has written an interesting post which is half critique and half reflection. After getting down about a paper he is reading that seems to have a ‘stick information in a database’ theory of knowledge sharing (I’ve written about the problem with this approach here) to how a close friend is dealing with being diagnosed with a serious illness Patrick offers these lessons about knowledge sharing:

  • Not all sharing is created equal – people share as part of their jobs, for purely altruistic reasons, or for a blend of the two
  • Much of our important sharing has formal, well developed conventions and rituals
  • Social prejudice can get in the way of knowledge sharing, even if the relevant information is available and known (Mary Douglas has written about the irrational ways societies deal with disease)
  • To understand knowledge sharing, we have to look beyond the event to the context: a knowledge sharing event rarely exists in a vacuum; it’s usually a part of an interlocking network of knowledge sharing events, each of which complements and informs the others
  • Knowledge sharing is often highly influenced by urgency, affective and emotional influences, and visible practical needs

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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