Knowledge hoarding is a bad idea. Keeping information to yourself can stop you climb the ladder

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Owner of this photo is Flickr user Jason Alley. Original location of the image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonalley/5333815695
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At 6:30 in the morning, Nate hears the phone ringing. It’s the same Piano Alarm he starts his every damn day. He grabs his phone squinting to find out what’s new on Twitter and on his Facebook Feed. “What should I RT to look smart today?” Online, we’re in a culture of sharing and RT-ing. Offline, at work, we tend to be less , as everything we teach or share can be used against us. Once again, our online selves are better than our offline devils.

Recession and the competitive environment many of us got hooked on are turning us into selfish fellas. We suppose that by trapping what we know in our tiny cubicle we have a better chance at succeeding at whatever we do. Wrong.

Employees have nothing to gain from hiding relevant information from co-workers, a study recently published by the Academy of Management Journal has found. Moreover, this routine could do more harm than good, as eventually they end up hurting themselves. “Employees who intentionally hide more knowledge seem bound to receive such selfish behavior in return from their co-workers, which will ultimately hurt them and decrease their creativity,” researchers say.

Reciprocity is the key

The logic is simple. If someone hides stuff from you, you probably won’t be that eager to show them new things you discover. Slowly but surely, the department goes to the wall and progress shuts down. The curse of action is natural, yet this sort of behavior is more and more present in companies where employees are encouraged to compete with each other. Such climate is thought to enhance performance, however, all it achieves is to reduce everybody’s appetite for improvement as a team, researcher Matej Cerne of Ljubljana Univerity says.

Knowledge hoarding can be both intentional and unintentional. Team leaders need to create the kind of environment where everyone knows that two minds are better than one. That’s why building an organizational culture that encourages people to collaborate and share information should be a main concern for every leader out there.

Why we stand by knowledge sharing

This is part of our product’s mission, as our platform allows teams to share their expertise and know-how with fellow workers, building in time easily searchable knowledge bases, which a new study shows are the most effective self-service channels. The Q&A format makes it less of a general social collaborative tool and more of a learning orientated tool, making the adoption process effortless.

Out with the “Knowledge is power” and in with the benefits of transparency and brainswarming!

Our Nate who gets up at 6:30 every morning, hearing the same Piano Alarm tune, might end up feeling a little bit better about his offline, non-RT self. Happy Knowledge Sharing, Nate! 🙂

Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum.

Try Quandora

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