Sharing expertise within organizations

By William Seidman How can you find expertise and, then, assure that it will be shared? Alden Hayashi’s “The World Might be Small, But Not for Everyone” describes research by a team led by Morten Hansen from INSEAD. Are the results surprising or could you have guessed what tends to happen? Significant groups within an organization are consistently and systematically excluded from critical knowledge. This exclusion decreases individual productivity and organizational success. Morten suggests that mentoring might solve this problem. But we have found that many designated mentors don’t know how to mentor, and that the best people often don’t like it. Cerebyte’s research has found that reliance on human-to-human ad hoc mentoring does not solve this problem, which is often universal within the organization. Use the research on positive deviance to define the content you want to gather and transfer, the research on fair process and positive visualization to motivate acceptance of the desired change, and the research on neuroplasticity to ensure that the learning will “stick.” Recent science offers some really great answers to these challenging problems of knowledge transfer – whether it’s called “sharing expertise,” “wisdom transfer” or “knowledge management.” We’re incredibly excited about it, because it can transform people and organizations.]]>

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