Knowledge Sharing 2.0
Jakarta, Indonesia: JKT, an experienced consultant, accesses Knowledge Xchange (KX) portal, a global system for sharing knowledge. He uploads some deliverables regarding project at an Indonesia bank he recently engaged.
Seoul, Republic of Korea: SEO, a new hired analyst, is working on a project at a South Korea bank, where she faces interesting requirements. She visits KX portal and after a quick search finds and downloads JKT’s project credentials, as it will help fulfill the requirement quickly and elegantly. After using it, she goes back to KX portal and rates JKT’s entry with five stars and adds a comment about how much it helped her.
These are examples of what has been known as Knowledge Sharing 2.0, a new generation of knowledge sharing which technology does play a role as an enabler. Technology, peculiarly Web 2.0, has revolutionized the way people share their knowledge. Formerly, people used to utilize offline media such as on-the-job discussion and formal apprenticeship for exchanging knowledge and ideas. Today, people can share their ideas on a Twitter stream and might get responses in minutes from literally any corner of our planet.
Connectivity and collaboration are two superiorities of Knowledge Sharing 2.0. See how the youths, who are connected in Global Change Makers© (http://www.global-changemakers.net/), collaborate with their peers around the world in running innovative projects in their communities, applying and testing improvement ideas, and sharing inspirational stories.
Or, take a look when TED Talks© (http://www.ted.com/) was launched online four years ago and promptly became an internet sensation. TED, which is a not-for-profit organization, provides a platform for people to share their groundbreaking ideas to tackle social problems such as eradicating world hunger, promoting gender equality, etc.
Realizing the enormous potentials of Knowledge Sharing 2.0, many people are now trying to leverage it in their community. They set-up the technology to fabricate the “ecosystem”, the environment for collaboration and connection. They design well-defined processes and “code of conducts” to manage the knowledge flow.
After completing these parameters, they expect to start reaping the benefits of knowledge sharing. But, alas, it fails to produce the expected results.
Lack of trust, differences in cultural backgrounds of people, perceived loss of status or rewards due to knowledge sharing, lack of time to share knowledge, and intolerance for mistakes, prohibit the knowledge creation and transfer.
When commencing a knowledge sharing program, many people tend to focus only to the technology and process aspects. Many times, they ignore the criticality of people aspect. They do not prepare themselves to answer questions such as: “How can we motivate people to share their knowledge, if at all? How can we ensure they will continue to participate? What type of incentives should we use? What are some of the barriers inhibiting the flow that we will have to overcome?”
Promoter, Enabler, Sustainer
From my experience, there are three roles that we can play to make the Media 2.0 work: Promoter, Enabler, and Sustainer.
As Promoter, our goal is to increase the awareness of people on what knowledge sharing is and more importantly what’s in it for them.
The more that people understand its benefits, the number of community’s members grows. Once a tipping point is reached, our community will find strength in numbers to make a real impact. To achieve this goal, youth can take full advantage of Web 2.0, the social media network, in spreading the “virus” of knowledge sharing.
As Enabler, our goal is to motivate and empower people to share their knowledge.
Oftentimes, people are reluctant to participate in knowledge sharing activities because they fear losing access to rewards if they give someone else their good ideas.
Thus, it’s very vital to establish a culture of trust so that people do not fear indirect penalty or loss of credit when they share their ideas and knowledge with other. One of the tactics is by designing rewards scheme for collaborative work to make sure all members of the community are rewarded.
As Sustainer, our goal is to maintain the sustainability of our knowledge sharing initiative.
After some time, people might lose their initial enthusiasm and motivation. They stop participating in knowledge sharing activities.
To prevent it, indefatigable conversation with our community on the importance of knowledge sharing and continuous improvement in our knowledge sharing practices are essential.
Knowledge Sharing 2.0 is a powerful platform that brings numerous and enormous impacts to humanity. With Knowledge Sharing 2.0, we can connect and collaborate with other people around the world to provide solutions to problems of energy, disease, education, water supply, etc.
We must do remember that knowledge sharing is largely about driving human behavior. Technology does a play as an enabler, but the human side, people and culture, that makes the knowledge sharing work.