I blogged yesterday about the interesting article from McKinsey on Giver (or Asker) cultures. The article introduces "Reciprocity circles" (a sort of face to face Community of Practice question session, or set of mini Peer Assists - a technique Texaco used to call "The Round Table"), and mentions some of the quantified monetary benefits.
"The monetary value of the help offered can be significant. One pharmaceutical executive attending a reciprocity ring involving executives from a mix of industry players saved $50,000 on the spot when a fellow participant who had slack capacity in a lab offered to synthesize an alkaloid free of charge.
"And that’s no outlier: the Bakers find that executive reciprocity-ring participants in large corporate settings report an average benefit exceeding $50,000—all for spending a few hours seeking and giving help. This is true even when the participants are from a single company.
"For example, 30 reciprocity-ring participants from a professional-services firm estimated that they had received $261,400 worth of value and saved 1,244 hours. The ring encourages people to ask for help that their colleagues weren’t aware they needed and efficiently sources each request to the people most able to fulfill it".