Knowledge sharing

Knowledge sharing together with serendipitous encounters form the most distinctive characteristics in the co-creation culture. Knowledge sharing occurs when diverse groups of people meet without fear of shame, member’s information and expertise information is known and the environment is open for perceptions.

Elimination of shame

Peter Sheahan, the CEO of ChangeLabs: “The secret killer of innovation is shame.” The very basic groundwork for establishing trust lies in perceived goal congruity, or the belief that both parties are working towards shared or complementary goals11.

Expertise information

Privately held information does not get automatically shared with other team members as teams have a tendency to focus their discussion on information that is commonly possessed in the team. When it comes to innovative projects where the interdisciplinary team needs to be able to solve complex and ill-defined problems, the integration of each member’s information and expertise is key12.

Individuals may at times falsely assume that certain knowledge is commonly known and be unaware of others lacking some of the knowledge they have12.

A centrally located face wall gallery with photos of regulars along with their names, affiliations and expertise makes it easier to find people who might know about the problem one is working on13.

Transparent activity

With glass walls and see-through doors we can enable propinquity, the feeling of closeness, while enhancing nonverbal communication and visibility. Opportunities for eye contact and nonverbal communication have been shown to have an influence on the communication patterns, cooperation, and social interactions in a space14.

In many companies, the physical workplace has been reconceived: Private offices and cubicles have been removed and space has been opened up for more flexible, communal, and transparent workspaces15.

Network relationships can potentially be both beneficial and detrimental to the discovery and exploitation of opportunities due to their effect on openness and trust within a network and on the effectiveness of mechanisms for knowledge transfer16.

Diverse group of people

Cognitive diversity in terms of knowledge and skills also means broader access to information and knowledge. When an individual has contact with a diverse group of people, the likelihood for obtaining knowledge about different approaches to the problem at hand is greatly increased17.

In order to benefit from the diversity of knowledge, experience, and perspectives, team members need to recognize the need for both their own and other’s input to good performance in order to understand the contribution of dissimilar others and, furthermore, to be able to integrate these contributions in valuable manner18.

Co-creation practices and co-creation culture facilitate the challenges of diversity and can maximize interactions and innovation in ecosystems and generate greater value across stakeholders, organizations, and individuals in the ecosystem20.

Various studies on innovation ecosystems as well as practice underline that innovation processes and knowledge sharing can benefit enormously from diversity21.

The more diverse perspectives that are brought in to the development phase, the greater the variety of potential solutions the organization will end up with. A variety of employee roles and including people with diverse qualifications and expertise are crucial to innovation22.