Why do I share my knowledge? Well, actually, I don’t. I could not share my knowledge with you, if I wanted. There is no such thing as knowledge transfer. Data and information can be transferred, but not knowledge.
So what is the idea behind behind personal knowledge mastery and the Seek>Sense>Share framework if knowledge cannot be shared in the first place? For me, PKM is a set of practices I can use to better articulate my knowledge. Seeking information from diverse sources gives me a better chance of seeing a fuller picture of our complex environment. Taking time to put my thoughts into words forces me to reflect and try to make some sense of the divergent voices coming from all over. Sharing the results of this sense-making gives back to the networks from which I drew my information and also provides more feedback loops from a variety of perspectives. It enhances serendipity.
Sharing information and viewing it through our individual filters is the best that we can hope for in terms of knowledge transfer. But not sharing would be much worse. As Luis Suarez writes on a very related post:
To me, since we are all embarked on a lifetime learning experience of what we know, what’s around us, who we are, what we do and why we do it, who we connect with, etc. etc. knowledge sharing is innate to our human nature of wanting to connect and collaborate with others. We, human beings, are social beings, and as such have been bound to share what we know with others, so that our learning curve never becomes flat. On the contrary.
While knowledge cannot really be shared, our knowledge-making experiences can. Perhaps that is why we love stories. They are a glimpse into others’ knowledge, more nuanced than any other communication medium. Sharing is essential for our own sense-making. So share as much as possible. Nobody can steal your knowledge anyway. But we will all lose, if we don’t share it.