04 August, 2017 / Posted by: Etienne K. Berabely
Creating a Deliberate Knowledge Sharing System to Improve Performance in an Organisation
Knowledge management is one of the most important tools to optimize organisational performance. The way an organisation manages it determines its performance. Thus, leading organizations across the world are constantly striving to ensure that knowledge and new ideas are constantly being shared among colleagues from all levels. Hence there is a need to create a knowledge sharing system that is continuously improved upon. That is the secret of most leading organisations. One way to promote knowledge exchange within an organization is to to bring together expertise from all departments in the institution in the design and implementation of its project.
This particular knowledge sharing system is increasingly being perceived as an asset by prominent organisations for its many advantages. For example the CSLI 2017 has been one of the outstanding programmes organized by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Compared to the CSLI 2015, the 2017 edition brought about new developments –many of which were unexpected. These were only identified due to the deliberate information sharing amongst the organising team members. Team members felt a sense of ownership of the program and were inspired to do more than what was required from them. There was a sincere attitude towards getting things done. The pre and post-training meetings played an important role in helping foresee potential threats. This was evident when tardiness was identified as a threat to the smooth running of the program. This led to the team working with the hotel housing the fellows to ensure they were all assembled at the pick-up point on time.
There was also a genuine willingness from each of the organizing members, and even core faculty members, to utilize their experience, technical expertise and share information to ensure a successful event. This was clearly demonstrated when the organizing team and the media house covering the event worked outside their purview to eliminate an unwanted background noise from the event video to be showed during the leadership seminar and dinner. All members of the team took personal responsibility for insuring that the video was produced in time and to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders. Though, the organisation of CSLI 2017 was laudable, it still left room for improvement.
Employees must be mindful that in exchange for this level of knowledge sharing, some personal factors need to be worked on. Many times, in working with team mates, people experience frustrations, mistrust and hesitations. There is often the unwillingness to compromise within work relationships, allowing the sentiments of self-importance, unfounded expectations and assumptions, complacency, short slightness, etc. to take root. These threatening factors, both at the organisational and personal level, can cause team mates to be inflexible and hamper the practice of a deliberate knowledge sharing system.
It is therefore of critical importance that employees consciously create an enabling environment where all can actively communicate as well as consult with colleagues to learn from each other. It is important to deliberately encourage behaviours, processes, standards and technical solutions that facilitates sharing and/or use of knowledge to support the organisation’s strategic goals but also the employee’s personal goals.
It is important that employees be passionate about the organisation’s goals. On the other hand, it is also important that leaders of the organisation ensure that they help the individual achieve their own personal goals. This creates an environment where going to work for the employee becomes like going to a second home. Good parents are conscious of their children’s development and good children are also conscious of their parents’ expectations. And this mutual respect produces a healthy family life as it should be in any organization.
In order to enhance such deliberate knowledge sharing culture, employees must show interest in all aspects of the organisation’s work, constantly asking among themselves questions such as:
How do you envision this project?
How can we stand out as a leading organisation?
Is there any other way you think we can do the same thing but more efficiently?
What would you have done differently if you were in charge of the project?
What are your impressions of the project so far?
How would you rate my performance?
Am I meeting expectations?
It is crucial to note that, getting the right answer to these questions might include occasionally covering for your team mates, exercising patience or even allowing yourself to be educated by your “subordinates”.
“Everything we do has to be intentional. We must not leave things to just happen. When you do things in an intentional manner, you get intentional results” - Charles Vandyck.