(credit: The Seven Minute Scientist)
I work in the University environment and when it comes to idea-sharing, we are benefited from a well-round of idea contribution from different age groups, academic disciplines.
Within our department, ideas are collected in both formal setting like meeting rooms, round tables…and informal setting where ideas are shared down the hall, in the University’s cafeteria, even group chats on Whatsapp, Facebook messenger… This is an ideal environment, a great condition for great ideas to be developed.
For me personally, I feel more comfortable sharing ideas in an open, informal environment where I don’t have the feeling that I am being judged. I feel more anxious when I am asked to raise my ideas in a meeting room, in front of my management and co-workers. Sometimes, in such formal meetings, there’s someone whose voice is more dominant than others and he/she likely to take up the majority of time to talk about his/her ideas, this might shy away others from speaking up their ideas, especially those who are introvert and less likely to talk.
In contrast, when sharing in the informal environment, I can pick someone who I am comfortable to talk with and tell them about my ideas. We don’t have a “coffeehouse” like what Steven used in his Ted talk on our campus, but we do have “cafeteria” when we often gather together during lunch time or sometimes after-hour and to talk and share ideas.
In educational context, research shows that a collaborative network of sharing information would benefit academic performance of students, according to Thomas-Lowde (2017): “Within the research I undertook the academic performance of students who are taught by teachers who were collaborative across a wider faculty achieved higher levels of academic progression compared to those students who are taught by teachers that have less of a collaborative network”.
Through the readings and videos this week, we all recognize the benefits of sharing. However, in order to create a sharing culture, the management needs to have an empowerment approach for employees where everyone is encouraged to share ideas without the fear of being judged, all ideas are valuable and respected.
Recognition of employee sometimes turns into competition if the management doesn’t direct the employees towards a shared-goal and objectivity, group recognition should be enhanced so everybody is likely willing to team up and exchange ideas among team members.
What other strategy would you adopt to develop a culture of sharing within your own context? I would love to hear your opinions and ideas. Thank you for reading!