In his seminal post Rendering knowledge, controversial and inspirational KM thinker Dave Snowden says that “in a context of real need, few people will withold their knowledge”.
And it is true. Only few people will proactively, continuously care for others enough to share their knowledge regardless of circumstances. Well, of course the evidence seems to suggest otherwise…
…but that’s an egoistic act of sharing stuff related to you and your fabulous life. What I’m talking about here is the stuff that people can use in their life, work, ideas, knowledge ecosystem. And one of the surest ways to put the turbo on your knowledge work in that ecosystem is to ask for help.
This begs the question: How much will we help other people who are (or may be) trying to improve their knowledge work? It depends on several factors:
- How much time do we have available?
- Do we have what it takes -technically – to help them?
- How much do we care about these people?
- Have they even asked for help?
- Have they insisted to get help?
- Do they seem resolute about what they want to do/improve?
- How much potential do we see in them?
- Does our helping them impact us over a longer period of time too?
The bottom line, for the people to be helped, is to voice their need for help out loud. And preferably to tell those who helped them how their support actually helped or not.
What’s more: we should all ask for help, as it shows or vulnerability and highlights or need for connection – and that is part of our networked economy and ecology.
Proactive sharing and reactive help-seeking are two sides of the same coin and count among the currency of the social age.
So pay it forward and ask for help, it’s never too late!
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