Fostering Peer-Driven Knowledge Sharing

To overcome a “fixed mindset” and drive open collaboration, organizations must enable a liquid enterprise layer.

Last year, my company, Braidio, conducted a survey of 1,000 American office workers on the future of work. One of the most compelling stats that came out of that survey is that workers prefer collaboration, with 81 percent of respondents believing that peer collaboration helps their productivity, and 48 percent saying it’s their preferred method of learning at work. While this is the preferred method of learning for the majority of respondents, the survey found that knowledge isn’t being shared and captured as effectively as possible. To win in the future of work, companies need to embrace collaboration and cultivate an environment that breaks down the knowledge silos.

The cost of having siloed information in your organization and not enough collaboration can be quite detrimental, especially with organizations that have a “fixed mindset.” Fixed mindset organizations are more content with keeping things status quo, as opposed to looking at how to create a dynamic organization that values collaboration and creating cross-departmental transparency. Companies with a fixed mindset can find themselves falling behind on innovative business strategies, which, in turn, leads to talent turnover and a disjointed workplace.

To overcome the fixed mindset, businesses must enable a liquid enterprise layer to drive open collaboration. Liquid enterprises better capture intellectual capital through knowledge capture and canonization. Turning systems of record into systems of productivity is a change enterprises need to be making top to bottom. 

Creating an open workplace where knowledge sharing and collaboration are prioritized will lead to efficient and on-task employees across all departments. Enterprise resources and departments are very siloed in today’s workplace. Organizations are embracing digital tools and applications more than ever, but at the same time, workers can be overwhelmed by the breadth of options to execute the day-to-day requirements associated with their roles. Jumping from one platform where collaboration is taking place to another where knowledge assets are hosted does not make for an optimal, productive experience. 

Organizations need to look at how to explore tools that integrate across third-party applications and knowledge repositories (SharePoint, Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Google Drive, Quickbooks, etc.) to create efficiencies and maximize productivity. This is critical in providing a cohesive, optimized employee experience, where they will no longer need to juggle multiple screens throughout the day to do their work. Putting knowledge at your employees’ fingertips and customizing the experience in their workflow, will allow for better collaboration and a more seamless experience.

Leaking Intellectual Capital

One of the other findings from our company’s survey is that employees are leaking intellectual capital: Only 35 percent of employees are sharing critical knowledge in any formal system. The knowledge sharing gap gets worse as employees gain more tenure, experience, and demanding responsibilities, with only 26 percent of those with 10 years of tenure and 23 percent of those with 15-plus years of tenure consistently sharing their learnings with their peers. With only one-third of employees capturing new knowledge on an internal network, that results in critical knowledge being lost and thousands of dollars wasted on learning in the workplace. 

Without collaboration, there is no deep search to produce solution-first outcomes. So much of an employee’s time is spent finding information in these different platforms. Enterprise solutions in general are too focused on features and not outcomes. One way to approach this is to look for vendors that will provide you with successful outcomes rather than extra features employees won’t need. 

The future of work will look very different from today; it will trend toward greater collaboration and knowledge sharing. Organizations that embrace a liquid enterprise mindset and implement systems centered around improving productivity will be ahead of the curve and will thrive in the future of work.

IainScholnick is the founder and CEO of Braidio, a leading workstream intelligence platform. A veteran of the Internet, wireless, and security vertical industries with 20 years of technical, business operations, and start-up experience, Scholnick was also the founder and CEO of LicenseStream, the first comprehensive platform allowing owners of digital content to significantly extend the reach and revenue potential of companies already licensing their content online.