At some point in our lives, we have most likely come across the phrase 'knowledge is power'.
Whether knowledge is power or whether it is the sharing of knowledge that translates it into power is debatable within numerous different contexts, including workplace and organisational culture.
If we look at the context of workplace and organisational culture, 'knowledge is power' can refer to the act of 'hoarding' information and siloing the power between business units, teams, functions, or specific personnel. There are obvious implications for allowing or enabling this context to exist or propagate which we won't be exploring here.
Instead, we challenge you at this point to consider the flip side - the power of knowledge sharing.
What is knowledge sharing, and what are the benefits?
In its simplest form, knowledge sharing can be described as the process of mutually exchanging knowledge and creating new knowledge together1. Within an organisational context, it can refer to the processes that support openness and transfer knowledge within or between organisations, whether that be through informal or formal means.
It can include activities such as knowledge management, cross functional awareness, coordination of support and general company, as well as tailored and topical training.
Formal knowledge sharing methods can include seminars, knowledge hubs, research, training packages, intranet, libraries, apps, and team meetings - to name a few.
Informal knowledge sharing methods can include mentoring programs, spontaneous conversations, break discussions, instant messaging, and podcasts.
If you want efficiency in your organisational activities, if you want collaboration and cohesive culture, and if you want high-performing teams and an overall happy workforce, then you want knowledge sharing as part of your solution suite.
Increase employee collaboration and efficiencies
Knowledge sharing has several immediate benefits. It provides access to expertise, context, enables greater visibility of the working landscape and supports informed decision making.
The result for organisations is when those benefits are present in daily operations. They provide a foundation for cultivating a shared context and a culture that emphasises genuine employee collaboration2 and engagement between personnel and teams. This kind of employee collaboration is known to be one of the key elements to foster transparency and build a well-functioning organisation3.
This can lead to the creation of synergies and efficiencies within the workplace, where expertise and knowledge can be turned into an asset everyone can draw upon. This can assist in avoiding bottlenecks and identifying process-streamlining opportunities, avoiding the inefficiencies that stem from heavy reliance on single sources of corporate knowledge.
Increase collaboration can thus generate creativity and greater productivity within the workplace.
Employees are also more likely to gain a deeper understanding of how workplace systems and processes work and how key clients operate. Therefore, benefits also include an increase in problem solving capability and solutions development because of holistic information sets.
Increases employee morale
'Increase in employee morale' - something every organisation wants to hear.
Knowledge sharing promotes an open communication environment where employees feel more motivated to engage in the workplace. When tacit knowledge is absorbed or explicit knowledge is shared, employees can feel supported as they are encouraged to view themselves as part of the wider 'whole'.
Those who are sharing their knowledge may also benefit from the recognition gained from contributing to shared knowledge4. If those who participate in knowledge sharing are effectively acknowledged, it can encourage others to do the same5.
An open communication environment also reinforces the 'bigger picture' for employees and can empower and motivate6, especially when employees understand how they are contributing to the overall organisational goals and success.
Enabling everyone in the workplace
Effective and extensive knowledge sharing is thus a critical element to the success of any organisation. It can lead to a more collaborative workforce and can have positive flow-on effects in terms of the development of skills and capabilities within the workforce.
Knowledge sharing is power for everyone.
At Synergy, knowledge sharing, and abundance mentality is ingrained in our culture. We work deliberately by incorporating formal and informal methods of knowledge sharing into our day-to-day operations to develop a knowledge sharing culture internally - a passion we want to share with our clients.
Successful knowledge sharing is the key to maximising potential, particularly for our clients. We are passionate about the power of successful knowledge sharing and planning our work to enable the transfer of knowledge to support Government operations in becoming 'future ready' - future-proofing by building their capacity and capability.
 Van den Hooff, B., and de Ridder, J. A., ‘Knowledge sharing in context: The influence of organisational commitment, communication climate, and CMC use on knowledge sharing’, Journal of Knowledge Management, 8(6), 2004, p 117.
 Clarke, P. and Cooper M., ‘Knowledge Management and Collaboration’, Proc. of the Third Int. Conf. On Practical Aspects of Knowledge Management, 30 – 31 October 2000, p6-1.
 Fapohunda, Tinuke, M., ‘Towards Effective Team Building in the Workplace’, International Journal of Education and Research, 1(4), April 2013, p 4.
 Wu, WL., ‘Interpersonal trust and knowledge sharing: Moderating effects of individual altruism and a social interaction environment’, Social Behaviour and Personality, 37(1), 2009, p 85.
 Cormican, K., Meng, C., Sampaio, S., and Qu, W., ‘Towards Sustainable Knowledge Sharing Practices: An Analysis of Organisational Level Enablers’, Sustainability, 13(23), 2021, p 1.
 Hammouri, Q. and Altaher, A., ‘The Impact of Knowledge Sharing on Employees Satisfaction’, International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(10), 2020, p 2362