Building An Ecosystem: Knowledge Sharing

At the time when Peter Drucker coined the phrase “knowledge worker” in his book Managing for Results (1964), the idea that workers should be directed by the authority of knowledge was radical, yet innovative. 
The need for access to information increased as society has shifted to an information economy and knowledge workers have become increasingly valuable to enterprise. 
To empower collaboration and cooperation, make resources and participants accessible to each other, companies are creating business ecosystems, or becoming part of one. 
Collaboration and knowledge sharing platforms paved way for information to be readily available for the taking, ensuring that knowledge workers have full and unfettered access to these information assets. 
How knowledge sharing empowers an ecosystem? 
These platforms evolve into the business ecosystem where knowledge is shared and leveraged to its maximum.  

Knowledge Sharing And Member Motivation

A knowledge worker needs unified access to all information, however, it’s crucial to get only the portion of the information that actually solves the problem. 
The key focus of knowledge networks is to connect and mobilize people and resources in order to achieve a shared goal through learning, knowledge sharing and socialisation.
When information is relevant and up-to-date, the members takes role of active participants. 
For members to come back and begin engaging, one key aspect is finding the people with expertise and the other is the content relevant to each individual user. That content is case studies, stories, blogs, videos, slideshares, discussions, and more, that should be seen each time the members come back. 
Knowledge sharing brings value in different ways: 
  • provides your members with the information they need and turns them into regular, engaging contributors
  • promote member engagement with persistent push of valuable information 
  • people react more positively when the content of interest to them is proposed instead of having to proactively search
  • suggest content to users based on their expertise 
  • sharing knowledge helps us to apply our collective intelligence
  • provides a profound view of sustainability and collaborative problem solving approach. 
If the members see value from participating and being part of community, only then they will use the platform on a regular bases. 
The platform you are using must be oriented towards sharing knowledge, and that means no information silos, facilitated access to expertise, better search and suggestions based on your interests

Sharing Knowledge and Community Building

Knowledge and intellectual property that resides in an enterprise network are their information assets and these assets must be managed and leveraged effectively. 
Collaboration technologies, knowledge management systems and workflow solutions have all improved access to information. But, knowledge workers need specific information at a specific time to be able to do their work effectively. 
For the platform to deliver real value to each member, it needs to generate ideas and deploy them, align education with industry needs, link knowledge creation and venture creation and connect members across sectors. 
The higher the match within your existing ecosystem of providers and seekers, the easier it will be to spark vibrant engagement on the platform.
To spark such engagement is to first focus on growing your community. Here are five points to keep in mind:
  • Develop a core group of members first - we call them Champions
  • Sustain momentum to keep a high level of activity 
  • Develop strong appeals to the self-interests of members 
  • Have a strategy for persuading members to make a second visit 
Create an active atmosphere through concentrating activity
As you can see, the key element in growing your community is promoting and providing high level of activity
On one hand, this involves defining regular community development tasks (responsibilities) and delegating those tasks as most platforms have at least two people with manager roles.
On the other, this involves delivering the specific information and content to a person who needs it.  
The fact that different factors influence on the platform development, and thus activities, such as industry, average age, the member's, profession, having different types of activities relevant to virtual knowledge network is critical


Well said! Here are my take-a-ways: Sharing takes motivation, but it should also motivate more sharing. And of course, the more content you have the more you can get lost in it. So the real trick is getting the content that is relevant. To do all this your champions really have to get involved and be visible. Other than participation, the key ingredient to make a sharing community work is for your members to know one another. That way, the efforts of your participants are targeting what matters to others to stay connected. This seems to be the heart of the true community leader's challenge: to get people connected on their interests. Ugh! :) Reading this article makes me tired; so much to do! But I wouldn't have it any other way!

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