Here is an equation:

Better tools for communication + sharing what you know = endless possibilities

Well, where could sharing the knowledge take us – all manner of places I would suggest. On a personal level it will help others and help develop yourself, on a team level it will help the team become more effective and at an organisational level it will unlock enormous potential for doing things in new ways, better ways, more productive ways – it will unlock creativity, knowledge and probably more happiness.

Knowledge creates value and with hyperconnected people around the globe – the reach and benefit of that value is potentially huge.

And what we know is what sets us apart as businesses as does not acting on what we know. For example, Kodak knew how to build digital cameras before anyone else but the organisation chose not to develop the ideas that had been developed from within – and look what happened to Kodak and the development of digital photography (more on the Steve Sasson story here).

We now have the tools to help surface and share what we know. When we think about using social media tools it is useful to think about the value of sharing what we know because it does have a value. This is why social tools are transformational.

I recently interviewed futurist Gerd Leonhard about information overload and during our conversation we discussed knowledge. He felt companies are too stuck on ownership of information rather than seeing the value in sharing knowledge.

Companies are more concerned with what they own and can claim for themselves rather than what they know . . . the future is about being networked and creating value for everyone.

Listen to the interview with Gerd Leonhard:

listen to ‘Gerd Leonhard on information overload in L&D’ on Audioboo