The Hidden Power of Knowledge Sharing

Liz Williams

‘Knowledge sharing’ is a powerful, cost effective, culture building, stunning ‘golden unicorn’…where are you keeping it?


As we steam head first into the end of financial year, which often triggers budgets, salary benchmarking, overhead cost cutting, performance appraisals, year ahead KPI’s setting and development plan conversations – let’s take a moment to talk about this stunning golden unicorn, we have stuck in the back paddock that we may have forgotten to feed.

You remember the one that was roaming wild and free in our traditional pre-flexibility, ships passing in the night, WFH offices. It hung out by the water cooler, went and got coffee, naturally trotted through when a colleague was navigating an issue or sharing the happening of their work day. It’s the one that overheard how your job works and my job works and how it all fits together.

Yeah, now you remember…that stunning golden unicorn… called ‘Knowledge Sharing’.

Knowledge sharing is the process of exchanging information, skills or expertise among a group of individuals, teams or businesses. This transfer can be focused on explicit knowledge (our processes, procedures or manuals) or the type of skills and insights that speak more to the way we do things.

Either way now is the time to bring that unicorn to the house yard, feed it, write it’s name in the paper and commit to showing it off.

If you are running a successful business in this day and age. Chances are you have some pretty amazing people, with some impressive skills sets that are getting you there.

So how do we identify these incredible individuals, that seem to be able to exceed the business requirement at every turn. If you give yourself a minute to think about it they should come to mind pretty quickly. These are the individuals that we sit down to look at what skills or tasks does our business need most to be great. They will not just be ticking the box; they will be designing it.

Start identifying your ‘top talent’ or your ‘critical process experts’, in a hurry. Look at your service offering, the key elements that your business needs to succeed and then work out who in your business does these things best. Who has the sales skills, soft skills, organisational skills, management skills, process knowledge and product knowledge that you admire most in your current workforce.

When you next sit down with these amazing individuals to talk year in review/ year ahead, let’s start writing down and setting expectations about how we can get their knowledge, skills or attributes to reach further into your business. This process will help you specifically with succession, business continuity, and leave planning; but also stretching these individuals interpersonal and leadership skills, which creates opportunity. It also gives us that critical moment to recognise their excellence.  This unicorn sure does pack a wicked double punch.

Conversely, when you next sit with your staff that are facing some performance challenges, start writing down and setting expectations about how you connect them with the people that are strongest in their areas of improvement. Look to create opportunities for them to learn from the best. This won’t necessarily be the same person – our excel guru might not be out product guru, our product guru might not be our sales guru, and so on. Regardless, linking our people with the right knowledge can help with retention and engagement, and also foster the kind of culture that gives staff greater connect and overall understanding of purpose. Now that feels like an animal worth feeding.

What is the next step? Get this majestic creature we call ‘knowledge sharing’ in the spotlight this year at performance appraisals. Conversations about training and development, success planning and leadership opportunities don’t have to be expensive external courses.  Get to know your people – they also might have some skills we haven’t even tapped into yet.

Our advice, look at doing more with the unicorn you already have!

About The Author
Liz Williams

We welcome Liz’s  passion and understanding of HR functions, providing the best business outcomes through employing, mentoring and retaining a resilient workforce.

Liz has worked on major projects for NBN and the Victorian Government, her knowledge and professional approach will complement our already well established and highly regarded HR Team.

Outside of work Liz is a keen netballer and the busy mum of three boys!

For more useful information, follow Liz Williams on LinkedIn.

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