Information: Do Not Share, Just Commoditize?

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Information, is it mine or yours?

In today's social globe, information travels much faster than what the author expected. While this brings in great reach for the author, within an organisation, this does not get any great degree of acceptance.

The power of social brings great visibility to the author. The information shared is nearly public domain and is published to offer visibility to the author or the subject.

Within the organisation, the situation is very different. The concept of visibility is directly linked with career growth.

Common perceptions on information sharing include:

  • If i am indispensable, I'm more secure at work. So why should I share?
  • Information Sharing is parting away with my Ideas. How will I claim its mine after its shared?
  • Users of my information would get mileage which they don't deserve.
  • If they like the information, let them get back to me on how to use it
  • I will not get the credit for my information if I share.

and a whole lot more...

Sharing normally means I own the content, and I'm OK for you using it.

I usually am amused when I get an Spreadsheet for simple utilities that is password protected.
While I appreciate the ownership of the concept, the very fact that its in public domain implies that we offer others the right to use and interpret the content. "Its ours while we think through, visualise, scribble, give it a shape, rehearse, feel proud, and click send from our mail box" - isn't that a great experience. Once sent its the social globe that owns it.

The two decades of industry experience, has taught me a few basic realities on information sharing.

  • Information is processed data and is available for everyone to interpret and customize the way they like it
  • An idea gets more powerful as it reaches unconditionally to more people
  • You the owner still intrinsically know the seed which is not visible in the information that is shared.
  • Imitation is the best form of flattery
  • An idea shared only makes you more creative.
  • There is never an empty pocket in idea generation and sharing

While I fully appreciate and understand IP and Patents, the drive to creativity is driven by sharing and letting others improvise.

It would be a better place to live, if we are to organically grow on social creativity..

While GNU, Creative Commons, Open Source are all for declaring these as public assets (with certain limitations), in my experience, anything that cannot be enforced by design is extremely costly to enforce by inspection.

Back to the start. "Information, is it mine or yours ?". My take "Concept Mine, Interpretation Yours, Benefit Ours".

Im sure you are also facing such challenges, what do you feel?

This blog was originally posted by Srinivasan Ramasamy, Vice President – Technology at Ramco Systems on Innovation Insights Blog.