Monday, September 14, 2015

Insight Sharing - How They "Meet and Mate" - Tip #75

Have you ever shared your thoughts with someone? On a grander scale, have you tried sharing your work or a potential masterpiece with like-minded people? Sharing your work simply means that it is where your mind is at. It is where your expertise can be found. The patterns of your insights showcase your expertise areas.

Of course you can imagine the satisfaction you get when you receive the approval of people you respect. But the approval of like-minded people is not the only thing. Rather, it's making your work bigger than yourself that matters.    

In this fourth installment of my five-part blog series about The All-New Open Learning Environment, I'm going to talk about the importance of sharing your work. The Internet and a good portion of its supporting technology has been the result of open sharing of ideas.

Inevitability of Sharing Insight

Apart from the climate of openness, we can't expect to enjoy what many would consider to be the greatest invention of modern times. Buzzwords like "open source," "collaboration," and "crowdsourcing" are all synonymous to the sharing of ideas and the climate of openness that
it entails.

Although the effort to share one's ideas is not something recent, modern development made it easier to collaborate. According to Josh Lerner and Jean Tirol in their book The Simple Economics Of Open Source, "While media attention to the phenomenon of open source software has been recent, the basic behaviors are much older in their origins. There has long been a tradition of sharing and cooperation in software development. But in recent years, both the scale and formalization of the activity have expanded dramatically with the widespread diffusion of the Internet."

On a more limited scale, programmers have been sharing source codes as early as the '60s and the '70s and this has been called "sneakernet" due primarily to the actual movement of files through people wearing sneakers. I'm sure you can imagine the inconvenience but you get the picture. There is no way ideas can be prevented from getting shared.

Matt Ridley shows that the great progresses experienced by human history have been the result of collaboration or the "meeting and mating" of ideas.

I like the book Show Your Work by Jane Bozarth. It suggests a profound change of our outlook. When we share our work, we actually learn a lot better.

I recall a story from a toxic waste company client about how they apply "Chalk Talk." After each training they ask participants to use chalk and blackboard (may be flipcharts, white boards and markers) to talk about what they have learned.

This is a powerful self-learning process that enables the learners to articulate what they know and correct themselves along the way. Let's call this the digital tracker.

At TMN we allow members to capture trends and patterns. They discover and learn and track what they are good at and they show it off in the "Trending Report."

How is Openness Beneficial to Organizational Performance

The advantages of collaboration to organizations are enormous. Bozarth opined, "Showing work offers increased efficiencies, the possibility of innovation and increased ability to improvise, and promises correction of longstanding deficits in organizational communication."

In another study, Martine R. Haas and Morten T. Hansen proposed that, "An organization's  capacity to share knowledge among its individuals and teams and apply that shared knowledge to performing important activities is increasingly seen as a vital source of competitive advantage in many industries."

While it's nice to think about the solo working genius, it's undeniable that we are at a time when certain problems are just too big for the individual to solve alone. We need the insights of other like-minded people whose expertise are in other areas.


The pattern of your insight is a clear predictor of where your expertise lies. While the solo genius presents an attractive picture, sharing these insights expands your horizons. It is only through openness that ideas take on a new life because they meet and mate with other ideas. Innovation becomes possible and inevitable when ideas are shared. Problem-solving is facilitated by not one person but through the contribution of others.


Martine R. Haas and Morten T. Hansen. Different Knowledge, Different Benefits: Toward A Productivity Perspective On knowledge Sharing In Organizations. Strategic Management Journal

Paul Hendriks. Why Share Knowledge? The Influence of ICT on the Motivation for Knowledge Sharing. University of Nijmegen, TheNetherlands 

Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole. The Simple Economics Of Open Source. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138. March 2000

Jane Bozarth. Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-tos of Working out Loud

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome! Sharing your comments is very valuable learning experience for me and others. Thanks!