KM – Social networks, co-operating and benefits

I have been pondering about the competitor/colleague concept introduced by Abelone Glahn and Margrete Bak and wondered if there are other examples of people with comparative skills actually realising that working together is one of the key tenets of knowledge Management; the only way to gain experience, keep abreast of new trends and ideas – and to grow – is to generously share information and experience, the key word being sharing. One-sided relationships end up by being perceived as exploitation and do not prosper.

I was therefore delighted to come across the following (cut from Seth Godin’s excellent blog, posted on the 22nd January 2007). He is commenting on the principle of competitors co-operating, in this instance, thriller writers, to provide publicity for all.

“There are some real insights here. The first is that having ‘competitors’ band together to gain attention is really smart and really rare. Lee Child doesn’t compete with David Morrell. Lee Child competes with TV or boredom. As Tim O’Reilly says, his enemy is obscurity. By using the Net to coordinate their audiences, they all win.

The second brilliancy is that the only people who want to win the prize are the people who’d like to get the newsletter… an iPhone would be a lousy prize, because it would be an irrelevant bribe. Instead, what they’ve done is created an easy way for one thriller reader to introduce the newsletter to another… “hey, I know you like Stuart Woods, check this out…” “ I can recommend Seth Godin’s blog, it is entertaining and perceptive.