Creating a Sharing Organizational Culture (Excerpts from “Navigating Conversations in the Workplace: A Communication Map”)

“Navigating Conversations in the Workplace” is my first e-book, published by in December 2016. It is a practical guide to everyday improved communication at an interpersonal, team and organizational level. The book proposes and details a communication map exemplified by real life stories and best practices, while also offering hints and tips to communicate successfully.

The “Me, My Team and the Organization” communication map is anchored in the transactional model of communication. Elements of psychology of self, social interaction, networking and organizational culture emerge throughout the book to sustain the model.

Self-awareness (“I” perspective) is the core concept of the first part of the book. The second part refers to interpersonal communication (“You and I” relational perspective).  Stakeholder management and building trust with stakeholders (systems perspective) complete the third part of the book and the communication model.

The concept of “sharing” plays a central role in the model, and is defined as “enjoying something jointly with another”. I am happy to share parts of the e-book in a series of blog posts, starting with… sharing. Hope you will like it.


“If the Internet teaches us anything, it is that great value comes from leaving core resources in a commons, where they’re free for people to build upon as they see fit.” – Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Professor of Law

Sharing and Communication in the Workplace

Why sharing and communication in the workplace, when supposedly a “sharing economy” is a contradiction in terms? One of the reasons is that recent studies have shown that cooperation is superior to competition in achieving business results. A second reason is linked to the expansion of sharing through digital media – including free sharing of knowledge and information. Last, but not least, from neuroscience, through social psychology to spirituality, there is a common understanding that humans are connected in various ways.


The initial meaning of ‘sharing’ was related to distribution of goods. “Navigating Conversations in the Workplace” looks at sharing in relation to communication, e.g. sharing information or sharing knowledge between people in relationships. Sharing creates connection and a feeling of belonging so that people are more engaged with their work, and it ultimately leads to higher performance and better business results.


Organizational awareness is augmented by employees sharing information. People are more aware of what is expected from them, while – through sharing, it becomes clearer how to prioritize and how to allocate resources – including human resources. Both internal and external communication are enabled by sharing, becoming more focused, with timelines easier to respect.


At a deeper level, sharing is about human connection, and the workplace plays such an important role for people in so many different ways. Sharing is caring.


“Because every one of us is a complex human system in ourselves, constantly impacting and being impacted, whatever goes on in our lives will affect those around us” (“Creating Intelligent Teams”, Rød & Fridjhon, 2015)

 Creating a Sharing Organizational Culture

Some questions to get you started in creating a sharing culture in your organization are:

  • How much of your organizational culture is about sharing?
  • What does sharing offer to the organization and its people?
  • How could sharing impact positively your bottom line?
  • How will you get the message of sharing across the organization?
  • How do you expect people to contribute individually to a culture of sharing?


A Story: Sharing Best Practices for Collective Benefit

Raven Savings is a global financial institution. Its latest expansion consisted in a chain of mergers and acquisitions, the most important one being the fusion of two European banks both active in central Europe, with local branches in more than 20 countries. The new European leadership has decided to capitalize on the rich local experiences and encouraged its human resources function to create a culture of sharing best practices. This resulted in the acceleration of the merger process, a smooth integration of people and the deft creation of a common culture based on shared values.


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