1. The external environment and what’s in there for you
Source: https://pixabay.com/pt/photos/cair-floresta-colorido-temporada-3089995/ (Photo by Valiphotos)
Knowledge is, also, created between the organization and its external environment, through the existing social networks. If we remember submodule “7.1. Ability to share knowledge and ideas internally within organisation – what is knowledge”, the knowledge creation process, that has socialization as crucial element, occurs not just at the level of a group of individuals but flows across several dimensions inside and outside the company.
The process of knowledge creation includes, also, the dynamics with the social networks existing outside the company. This social network includes both other organizations and individuals. It implies a process of communication, collaboration, and competition. It happens at such different levels of interaction as contacts with customers and suppliers, competition operations or simple social engagement of the company employees and managers with their own social networks.
Source: Image developed by E&D
Take a moment and think about your interaction during a business day. How many times have you learned something new and interesting just by having a conversation with one of your suppliers? Maybe you learn about some new product, or cheaper solution that gives you an idea to make something different inside your own organization? Or how many times have you shared a concern or a wish to your suppliers that could, eventually, result in a new solution to fit your desires? How many times have your own customers give you something to think about and come up with a new idea? Have you ever had an informal conversation with a friend of yours or someone you have just meet that told you something new – maybe what he/she told you made you think about doing something new or different in your organization, but he/she told you something new that you could use as food for new ideas but you just didn’t even think about the potential of what you’ve just heard… It’s true, at every moment we receive so much new information that we don’t always capture its value or potential of value.
Socialization is crucial for the knowledge creation and sharing process. Give yourself and your staff the space to talk and to listen. Use this rule for both the internal and external knowledge and ideas sharing process
So, it’s important that you recognize that every connection with external groups or individuals are opportunities to share and acquire knowledge and ideas. Even if you don’t notice, with a simple conversation with a friend or a business peer, you may be sharing knowledge and ideas and receiving new knowledge in return.
It’s a fact that we are overwhelmed by information and it’s impossible to capture everything. And, for sure, we shouldn’t even try it. But when it comes to knowledge it’s important to be aware that the way we receive and transmit knowledge is not always on purpose.