April 24, 2009

Tacit to explicit

One of the greatest challenges of any KM policy is how to transform all the huge amount of tacit knowledge that is part of an organisation in explicit knowledge. People want write manuals or fill in systems. The most practical way to do that is through communities of practise or creating in-house training. Based on what I have seen over this years, if a company wants to to somehow make people write down or fill useful information of some sort that has to be connected with some bigger aspect (some prize or being considered a natural part of some other activity). A few years ago we had a structure to allow all projects conducted on the company to leave some kind of information. We managed to have over one hundred projects properly completed on our database. Quite a good number. We did that by establishing that in order to be appreciated over one recognition program we had, all information had to be filled. Some other people also filled because they believed on the idea (and we set example, doing the same on the projects conducted by us). The problem, looking back, was how useful, how frequently those information was used and valued on other initiatives.

But the challenge of making people share and use the available knowledge by turning tacit to explicit persists.


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I totally agree with u about ‘if a company wants to to somehow make people write down or fill useful information of some sort that has to be connected with some bigger aspect (some prize or being considered a natural part of some other activity)’
    otherwise, there is no incentive of sharing knowledge in form of the book. Then knowledge of each one will keep secretly on their own which is a bad thing in an organisation.

    25 Apr 2009, 12:25

  2. Hmm… getting people to change is the tricki bit, I fear there is no one single easy solution, otherwise people would have found it by now. A good start is to communicate the need (like setting role model as you have done) then provide them with the tools (or removing the barriers of sharing)

    18 Jul 2009, 05:30


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