Have you ever heard a colleague proclaim “If I’m the only one who knows how to do this, ‘they’ can never fire me.” We’ve all heard similar comments and perhaps even nodded along, or said the words ourselves. In this article I’ll talk about shifting from a knowledge hoarding culture to a knowledge sharing culture in your organization.
Finally Ron reminds us that without using the ideas and knowledge that we’ve worked so hard to cultivate and share, the process cannot payoff. One thing is clear when we start to examine this kind of cultural shift is that we are working with real people, who have deeply held beliefs and deeply entrenched behaviors. In other words, you can’t just mine the knowledge of the top performers, and then fire them all and replace them with earners. So how can we move our organizations from a culture of knowledge hoarding to a culture of knowledge sharing? These can and should be addressed by creating a shared climate rich in rewards for collaboration and sharing. In order for this to catch on in the organization, Zwieg and other researchers suggest a reward system. Dan Pink has an enormously successful video on YouTube with nearly 10 million views to date in which he describes the psychological and behavioral research behind motivation. Pink reveals some interesting research which shows that financial rewards that stack incentives based on performance, you can actually get negative outcomes. Understanding motivation in your organization is going to require some deeper understanding of your own corporate climate.
So the time comes to consider how you can implement a knowledge sharing culture technically.

Identification of the big ideas and knowledge in your organization can often be linked to the identification of the thought leaders in your company.
You’ll want to work with this group to get consensus, to reassure them and dissuade any concerns about sharing information and ideas. Once you’ve got buy-in, you’ll need to create a technology infrastructure that can support both a water-cooler like sharing atmosphere, and an ongoing record of the knowledge, which is useful for application of the shared knowledge down the road. Adobe engineers looked closely at this problem from a technical perspective and found that while there very little had been done to remove the technical roadblocks to facilitating knowledge sharing. It is hands down the easiest way in the world to create professional quality videos, from the comfort of your desktop. Notably, the Adobe Presenter Video Creator solution solves the Capture, retention and transfer problem. You’ll also want to survey your workforce, both management and staff in order to understand what’s working and what isn’t. In summary, there is a significant problem here that can be addressed by migrating a knowledge hoarding culture to a knowledge sharing culture.
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Next Ron suggests that for knowledge management to be complete, knowledge sharing must occur. He explains that … “applying knowledge to make the best decisions requires the best communications, collaboration, learning and knowledge strategies, processes, methods tools and techniques.

So the idea of knowledge hoarding to protect one’s job is present wherever employees have witnessed downsizing, firings, or layoffs that the employees have regarded as arbitrary or capricious. Motivating positive change can be extremely difficult, but it is impossible if the organization doesn’t make a significant change in terms of its management policies and choices.
That means create a climate where people can be reassured that they will not be at risk for the knowledge and ideas that they share.
In this section I’ll describe the more practical elements of implementing a knowledge sharing solution.
We knew we had an application – called Adobe Presenter, that facilitated training and information sharing by enabling people to effortlessly add audio and some interaction to their PowerPoint decks. In order to adopt a policy of knowledge sharing, and maintain that level of innovation – companies will have to create atmospheres in which sharing knowledge is ‘safe’. David Zweig, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the University of Toronto has studied knowledge hoarding extensively and has made some recommendations.
Studies have shown that there are a few major fears and concerns employees have when it comes to knowledge sharing. You’ll need to openly and publicly proclaim this as a priority both for the company and for individuals.

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