Where innovation can make the difference between success and failure, it is not enough to hire smart, motivated people.
Knowledgeable, skilled and well-meaning people cannot always contribute what they know at that critical moment on the job when it is needed.
Sometimes this is because they fail to recognise the need for their knowledge.
More often it’s because they’re reluctant to stand out, be wrong, or offend the boss.
For knowledge work to flourish, the workplace must be one where people feel able to share their knowledge.
This means sharing concerns, questions, mistakes, and half-formed ideas.
I’d be really interested to know what you are all doing to help your peers to:
- recognise the value of their knowledge and when it is needed,
- ameliorate a fairly natural reluctance to offend the boss (or be wrong or stand out), and
- share concerns, questions, mistakes or half-formed ideas.
Thoughts in the comments (don’t be afraid of being wrong, offending someone or standing out and remember that we all want to benefit from your knowledge!) or if you can’t share, spend some time today thinking about what you can do differently to support people in their fearless knowledge sharing.