Why share your knowledge?

Stan Garfield
3 min readFeb 15, 2018

Originally published January 12, 2015

In Quora, I was asked How can I benefit by sharing knowledge? Is it profitable?

One of my friends told me that “I don’t want to share my knowledge with someone else, because I earned it myself, and I worked so hard for it. So, why should I share with someone else for his/her development? If I teach someone, then he/she will apply the knowledge to his/her business, and our value will decrease, or our business will lose its competitive edge.” I don’t think it works that way. My perception is if I teach someone, then I can learn it better than before. I think sharing knowledge is great. But is it profitable, too?

Yes, knowledge sharing can be profitable. It provides numerous benefits to both individuals and organizations.

Personal benefits: Sharing your knowledge improves your personal performance, effectiveness, and skills, which should increase your personal profit. Sharing what you know:

  1. Helps you learn: by conducting research, analyzing data, synthesizing multiple viewpoints, and crystallizing ideas
  2. Improves your writing and speaking skills
  3. Establishes and enhances your personal brand by showcasing your expertise and aids your career by building a reputation for helping the organization succeed
  4. Creates demand for your expertise: increases opportunities for sales, engagements, appearances, publications, etc.
  5. Comes back to you in the form of help when you need it
  6. Gets others to also share, which may ultimately benefit you
  7. Increases your personal morale: people feel better when they can help others
  8. Boosts your confidence and strokes your ego: when people ask for your help and then thank you for providing it
  9. Strengthens your knowledge and helps you innovate: others can confirm, point out flaws in, or improve what you know through collaboration
  10. Influences your organization, your field, and the thinking of others

Organizational benefits: From 15 KM Benefits, knowledge sharing improves profit by:

  1. Avoiding redundant effort
  2. Avoiding making the same mistakes twice
  3. Taking advantage of existing expertise and experience
  4. Making scarce expertise widely available
  5. Showing customers how knowledge is used for their benefit
  6. Increasing and accelerating sales
  7. Accelerating delivery to customers
  8. Enabling the organization to leverage its size
  9. Making the organization’s best problem-solving experiences reusable
  10. Stimulating innovation and growth

Why do you share your knowledge? What benefits do you and your organization receive?

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Stan Garfield

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/