I came across a video yesterday, collected in a Chemicals plant in the US, which seemed to me to be a good illustration of an embedded culture of knowledge seeking and knowledge sharing. The plant engineer was being interviewed by my old friend Brad Meyer, and he was asking about knowledge-seeking behaviours. She told him
"Most of my sharing has been within our company's wholly-owned facilties, and the trust there is 'a given'. I know that if I pick up the phone or email someone in another facility, I just know they will help me to the best of their ability. It's just a given - it's the way we operate"
She then goes on to describe a recent example
"A month ago I was working on scoping a project to add a singificnt amount of automation to a couple of our boilers, and with the project team I had written out a certain scope - certain things we wanted our boiler operators to be able to handle from the control room. So I sent out a note to my contacts in the other plants, and I asked for input. It was almost like an informal Peer Asist, and I got back some great input.I like the way she described this open asking, and open sharing, as "a given - it's the way we operate."
Getting inout from similar facilities within the US, within the world, Malaysia, Belgium - it was a very worthwhile exercise and it will make a signifcan improvement in this partiular project"
That's a truly embedded culture; asking and sharing and resuse are "just the way we work around here".