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 doing research, synthesizing multiple viewpoints, and crystallizing ideas
  2. Improves your personal brand by showcasing your expertise
  3. Creates demand for your expertise: increases opportunities for sales, revenue, appearances, publications, etc.
  4. Encourages people to request that you apply the information you shared; knowledge is information in action, and this is what people actually want, not just written documents
  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. Strokes your ego: when people ask for your help and then thank you for providing it
  9. Strengthens your knowledge: others can confirm, point out flaws, or improve what you know
  10. Aids your career: you can advance based on a reputation for getting results and helping the organization succeed

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?

Also see:

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

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