In any organization, sharing knowledge is incredibly vital to achieving to the process of collaboration and to improving performance. However, it's easy to come across conflict. When you don't have the proper tools (or culture for that matter) to efficiently create, store, organize and share knowledge, it becomes hard for everyone to be a part of that collaboration. But there's a way to solve the problem — creating a knowledge-sharing network.
According to MIT's Sloan Management Review, a knowledge-sharing network is a "collection of individuals and teams who come together across organizational, spatial and disciplinary boundaries to invent and share a body of knowledge." Whether this knowledge is derived and created through data, research or critical thinking, it's something that can help any company or any organization thrive and move quickly toward its goals. Key players in knowledge include people and information. The combination of an individual's skill and knowledge have the ability to craft organizational objectives, especially if this knowledge is shared. A few examples of a knowledge network in action include problem solving, decision support and project management.
A knowledge network is accomplished through various features in an organization — most of them social and psychological. For example, when open communication is implemented, or when a sense of responsibility between coworkers is felt, or when a belief that expertise from various individuals is more beneficial than completing a task alone, an organization begins to charge towards "a knowledge network."
However, a knowledge-sharing network also needs specific applications, tools and functions to fulfill the epitome of its name and definition. Here are a few solid, technical approaches you can take in order to begin transforming your company or organization to a knowledge-sharing network:
Get new software platforms up and running fast
First and foremost, in order to share knowledge, your organization or company will need to implement user-friendly applications and platforms that enable sharing of ideas and easy communication. Atlassian Confluence provides spaces and pages for company collaboration and communication, while JIRA provides an enterprise issue tracking system, so you can track what stage your ideas progress toward.
Share and deliver business data
The knowledge of business data is especially important to everyone working internally, however, it can be difficult to transfer and deliver to others. Import your data onto a collaborative platform your company uses. Once this data is imported, dashboards can be displayed and people can communicate around the dashboards offering insights, asking questions, and challenging results.
Monitor services to ensure applications and hosting services connect and work efficiently
After enforcing a collaborative platform to share and deliver knowledge, data and information, it's important to manage the server that was created. Work with your web hosting provider to make sure the service connects and works efficiently, and monitor the knowledge-sharing applications to ensure they are available to everyone in your company.
While transforming company culture can begin a knowledge-sharing network, the tools you use simply create it. Use your tools to advance information storage, delivery and accountability.
ServiceRocket used a custom plug-in to import business data into the Confluence Wiki for Yilgarn — an Australian company developing a rail project in Western Australia. The company needed to supply the region's commercial mines with independently owned and operated rail and port services. With data import and server management, ServiceRocket provided knowledge sharing and delivery of information in the shortest time possible. In addition, ServiceRocket worked with Yilgarn's web host provider to setup and configure hosting services in order to ensure the efficiency of the connection.
- What tools do you use to share knowledge in your company or organization?
- What characteristics do you think make up a "knowledge-sharing" network?