It is often said, knowledge is power. And so, as leaders we tend to hold on to knowledge, dispensing it sparsely and selectively. We feel that to remain in a position of control we have to control and own all information. But what if maintaining a culture of control was holding us back? What if, instead, you began to create an environment of sharing? What if you developed a culture where the real power comes from sharing—sharing knowledge, best practices and who we are as people.
When you create a culture of sharing, you develop an organization where there is the knowledge of the many, instead of the few. You build an environment where team members have the knowledge to do not only do their jobs effectively but have a deep understanding of the organization and the strategy driving it forward. They feel a sense of ownership, commitment, and empowerment which often results in their going above and beyond.
In a culture of sharing, team members recognize that sharing is valued and feel comfortable articulating their opinion. They feel safe to express themselves and know that their feedback is welcomed. This, in turn, improves effectiveness, quality of work and team morale.
Here are some tips on beginning to build a culture of sharing in your own organization:
- Disperse knowledge in a clear and relatable way for all members of the team to understand.
- Disseminate and review best practices within the organization, so all folks have the information needed to do the best possible job.
- Build in structured times and places for a forum between team members and leadership. Open up the conversation for everyone to express their thoughts and ideas.
- Institute opportunities for everyone to get to know each other in real and meaningful ways. Set aside time for team building exercises as well as fun, social gatherings.
- Acknowledge that success is not accomplished by one person or the few. It takes a team of people, all with their unique skillsets and attributes to collectively cross the finish line.
When you create a culture of sharing, you develop an environment where team members feel heard, are empowered and go the extra mile for each other, for you and for the organization. It is a winning place to be.
I’m always interested in learning more about new ways to engage my team. I would love to hear from you on ways you promote sharing in your culture.