June 13, 2012

…a circle in the head

I have this friend who is so bright, she always has good ideas and brilliant solutions to problems.
anyway,....it is not easy for her to communicate her ideas or thoughts to others.

I found out that she is a bright person not because she showed me or told me about her thoughts, but because I was trying so hard to understand what she spelled out and putting it all together.

I believe it is typical for a bright mind to be articulate,...in this case it is not.

She explained to me that when she tries to speak, her thought goes round and round in circle which make it impossible for her to communicate to another person, and thus, she usually keep quiet, and most of the time, she loses chance to speak out her good ideas.

If valuable knowledge is trapped in a person like this, what can a firm do to draw it out?
Suppose KM system is in place, what can they do to capture knowledge from their employees effectively?

A machine (e.g. IT system) alone will not be enough to extract what inside employees'heads, in the case of my friend, she need a medium, a human being that she is comfortable enough to explain things to, to be patient with her, like an interpreter or a translator.

- 5 comments by 5 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Majdi Bdewi

    I completely disagree with you about the inefficiency of an IT system in such situations. Actually, persons that have difficulties of communication with people, often have those difficulties because of psychological problems (that might be minor and not severe) resultant from their experience with people, most probably bad experience, which left them uncomfortable of expressing their ideas to others. IT systems proved to help in such cases by offering a mean to express one’s thoughts without the need to interact with another person.

    On the other hand, when you say that anyone (not perticularly your friend) have an idea about a solution to some problem or issue, unless it has been tested in practice and proved to be true, it remains imaginary and not applicable. Aren’t we all able to resolve all the problems of the world by laying on the grass on our back (in a sunny day) and thinking that we have the most brilliant ideas.

    What I mean is, concerning knowledge that is important to the organisations, it is the idea that has proved to be true in practice by generating some value or results that were tangible in some aspect. The KM system should be capable of capturing that knowledge and saving it. Chasing the ideas in the heads of the employees should not be part of it.

    13 Jun 2012, 23:49

  2. Pauline Mmbaga

    That’s a really good question Nini…in my last blog I talked about how art could possibly be used to represent knowledge as the human mind works better with images (but that was in a different context). On the other hand, I think art could be used in the context you described as well. I can relate to your friend because I can be very quiet sometimes and not communicate some great ideas that I have through speaking, but I could draw abstracts of what is on my mind and scribble lyrics on what is on mind better than I can speak out…so if organizations allowed people to get a bit artistic and be open to move away from the status-quo, “perhaps” people could express themselves better.

    Although being able to speak out is a very important skill that we all need to master, especially in business management. However, other options should be up for grabs as well.If you think about the mute for instance who cannot speak, most of them are the most brilliant people…and they can express themselves in other forms…so why not give other options.

    14 Jun 2012, 02:34

  3. Oghenetega Inoni

    In one of the articles i was reading where a study was done on 800 managers by ee Pulse Inc, they found out that 78% of people share information and knowledge through personal and informal channels compared to 19% that share through technological driven systems.

    So my opinion on this Nini in the case of your friend, could be through a one on one mentoring and coaching session. I think its the duty of the manager to be able to identify the best possible way in which she will be comfortable in passing her ideas across whether through art or blogs or discussions etc. Among all the places where knowledge resides – databases, documents, cabinets and in people’s heads. The inability to extract and transfer the knowledge stored up in people’s head seems to be the hardest bit.

    My view is that there is no straight way for implementing knowledge management in organisations. Being creative, being willing and the ability for each employee to know what works best for them in sharing what they know might be more effective.

    14 Jun 2012, 04:14

  4. Ungsutorn Thavornlertrat

    @ Mujdi,....my friend does not feel uncomfortable talking to others or had past experiences that inhibit her ability to be articulate LOL, she simply find it difficult to put it in words,....also thank you for pointing out that IT is actually a solution for this, could you please share some examples, I want to see how that will help my friend. Oh,...and I know that she has good solutions because it was me who tried to put pieces of what she said altogether ;D

    @Pauline,.... wow Pauline,..the artistic bit you talked about is cool, how would a KM system with that hint look like?

    @Tega,...”78% of people share information and knowledge through personal and informal channels compared to 19% that share through technological driven systems.” is exactly what I was implying,....the willingness to share to your friends or close colleagues is much more higher than to the system. KM also relies on relationship b/w ppl i guess heeheee :>

    14 Jun 2012, 09:02

  5. Pinthida Thanatipanont

    Yep, it’s like we don’t really tell our work colleagues about what we do, who we are, or how we feel much. On the other hand, we tell strangers a lot about ourselves – both explicitly and implicitly through social network!

    Funny that huh

    15 Jun 2012, 15:39

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