Social Sharing Within and Beyond the Firewall
Knowledge sharing has a simple rhythm. Set up and sustain this rhythm and you will provide a natural vehicle for project team members to learn and then share. Much of this kind of sharing is serendipitous rather than planned on the part of the learner. From that point of view social sharing works best when it is in the moment rather than as part of a deliberate search for information or insight.
Let’s take an example: our weekly ‘shared insights’; the short, social posts that we push out every Friday from the Major Projects Knowledge Hub. These serve a number of purposes:
- They stir the pot – there is far too much insight available in a repository like the Major Projects Knowledge Hub for anyone to know or remember exactly what is there. Stirring the pot offers a gentle reminder and allows us to showcase content that otherwise might have been forgotten. On occasion, I relate my selection of ‘shared insight’ to something else, an external news story or an event in the Major Projects Association calendar;
- They involve content brokering – by adding a short commentary to the shared insight posts, I aim to help people understand the importance or relevance of the piece for them and their projects. Content broking is an important part of sharing because it recognises the value that each of us can bring to our colleagues by signposting and framing content and insight that might otherwise have gone overlooked;
- They are weekly – there is definitely an element to knowledge sharing that is habitual. Using Friday every week to share insight sets up an expectation amongst our network;
- They are deliberately ephemeral – these are pieces of content that are not designed to hang around. Many people will miss them because they are preoccupied with other work or because the weekly story simply passes them by. But that doesn’t matter. Every once in a while a ‘shared insight’ will catch a user’s interest, encourage them to a moment’s reflection and remind them of the value of this knowledge source and sometimes guide them to something that is immediately relevant to a current issue with which they are wrestling;
- They are easily sharable – we use our Facebook Group, our Linked in groups and Twitter as the main vehicle for this form of sharing precisely because content in these platforms is deliberately sharable. It encourages individuals themselves to become pot stirrers and knowledge brokers and recognises that many of us will look for insight from our peers or those we look up to in the project community alongside or as an alternative to ‘official’ organizational shares;
- This activity is as relevant within the firewall as beyond it – the beauty of this form of sharing is that it allows you to bring in ideas from your network which is likely to extend far beyond your own organization or your immediate co-workers. But it is also highly relevant within the corporate firewall. Don’t image that just because an organization has information that all your employees use it or even know that it is there. Simple, repetitive, rhythms of social sharing will connect them to what’s going on and what’s available in the organization too.
This is a form of knowledge sharing that is deliberately non-intrusive but is hugely important nevertheless. Knowledge sharing that relies on formal ‘lesson’s learned’ submissions or depends on individuals searching, finding and assimilating insight for themselves from repositories is always going to suffer from a number of obstacles. Most of us don’t actually spend our time surfing knowledge repositories for advice; we may not know what we should be looking for or we may even be unaware that we could benefit from some insight. Simple routines of social sharing inject a much needed human element to learning and encourage us to be curious.
Next week, we’ll explore ways in which you can tune your knowledge sharing to times when your learners are open to it.
You can see this activity in action by following the Major Projects Knowledge Hub Friday shared insights: