Categories: knowledge management
We know that a team is a group of people who are directed towards the same objective and who should establish internal rules to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. Under this definition it is logical to think that team members must collaborate with each other to achieve the goal.
Is this situation occurring in all teams? Are all team members willing to share their knowledge and experiences for the benefit of the project? Can a team be successful without this collaboration among the members? What would be the minimum level of cooperation required to achieve the objective? Is collaboration necessary between teams to achieve a competitive advantage?
I thought about the answer to all those questions and I asked myself an additional question. When we find a problem whose solution we do not know, what is our first reaction?
- Ask a teammate?
- Ask a co-worker, assigned to another project?
- Look for information on previous projects that may have had a similar problem in the same organization?
- Ask a colleague or friend who works in another company?
- Ask "Google"
You probably have to use more than one of the options above to find the solution and do some preliminary tests. This involves time and therefore usually costs. However, after we solve the problem, the dilemma arises. What happens if one of our partners has the same problem? If he is lucky, he could somehow find us and we could help him solve his problem quickly, otherwise he will repeat the whole process that we had to do to find the solution again, meaning time, cost and in some cases unnecessary stress.
Here is one of the reasons why documenting solutions to problems and lessons learned has a critical role. However, under the idea that knowledge is what differentiates us from others. It may be the case to think that if we share our knowledge we are losing a status situation.
I have seen this in both academic and professional projects, but if handled properly, it generates a "WIN-WIN" relationship in which all parties benefit (the one who shares, the one who receives and the organization). A key point here is that those who receive knowledge, in addition to solving their specific problem, should generate FEEDBACK and share their own knowledge and skills for the benefit of the organization. The other point with respect to this topic is "RECOGNITION". Who shares knowledge for the benefit of the organization should be recognized for it. It certainly does not sound good that we do a job and another takes the credit, so the organization should seek to generate a culture in which knowledge sharing is rewarded and those rewards are received by the right people.