People who care, share

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge Sharing is hot these days, and many companies are introducing processes and technologies that allow employees to learn from each other and to collect the implicit knowledge present in any company.

And very often, it doesn’t work. Companies put a knowledge management system in place… and nothing happens. Nobody uses it. It then becomes a struggle to convince employees that knowledge sharing is good for them and for the company, based on a “what’s in it for me” approach.

And that’s because the whole Knowledge Sharing approach is fundamentally flawed, and because businesses really need to focus on something else.

That something else is Passion Sharing.

It’s almost impossible to make people care about Knowledge Sharing if they don’t care about their knowledge in the first place. And if they don’t care, they don’t share (yes, I’m pretty proud of that little ditty :o).

Get people together who’re passionate about a topic, however, and knowledge sharing happens automagically. You don’t need to lift a finger to get them started. In fact, the most difficult part may be to get them to stop and take a break.

This is also why people meet on around topics like crocheting, chihuahua dogs or camping. They’re not getting paid or being pressured. There are no consultants to tell them when or how to share their knowledge. It just happens. Because they care.

Here are some of the main differences between Knowledge Sharing and Passion Sharing:

Knowledge Sharing Passion Sharing
What matters is how much you know what matters is how much you care
Convince people to share their knowledge Let people get passionate about their work – knowledge sharing happens automagically
Create systems to share knowledge Create systems to let people find other people who share their passion
It’s about knowledge, processes and systems It’s about people
Is perceived as a burden by employees Is seen as a help
Boring! Fun!

Did I forget any?

Another advantage of Passion Sharing is that it plays into the whole “Nobody cares how much you know, untill they know how much you care” thing. People come across as more trustworthy and likable when they’re passionate about what they do.

This is one more reason why we need passionate people in the workplace. And of course, if you want people to be passionate about their jobs, you need to make them happy at work. You just knew I’d get around to that, didn’t you? :o)

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