They say sharing is good, but try telling that to insurance executives overseeing individual business units. Actuaries, underwriters, sales and marketing executives and claims adjusters have long regarded their departmental knowledge as sacrosanct, with the thought of sharing that information akin to giving up one's first-born.Perhaps out of necessity, this cloistered approach to knowledge-sharing might be loosening its territorial grip. Keeping departmental knowledge close to the vest might protect a business's so-called secrets, but reciprocally this approach also prevents a business from tapping into the knowledge that resides within other corporate units, industry experts relate.

Take, for example, the overall state of employees' knowledge of corporate strategy. In a survey conducted by Bermuda-based global management consulting firm Accenture, employees role in executing corporate strategies is considered weak, with only 12% of respondents indicating that more than 75% of their workforce fully understands the company's strategic goals. Meantime, just 17% indicated that more than 75% of the workforce fully understands how their jobs contribute to the company's achieving strategic priorities.

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