Harnessing the flow of Implicit Knowledge

Posted on September 15th, 2010 in presentation by siddharta || 4 Comments

I gave a presentation yesterday at the KCommunity Chennai meet. The presentation was about how a large majority of all knowledge is implicit (tacit) and how we can encourage implicit -> implicit information sharing as compared to the more common way of trying to make the knowledge explicit first. Attached below is the prezi (though it probably doesn’t make too much sense standalone)

Here is a quick attempt at a summary:

  • 4 types of knowledge transfer: Implicit knowledge -> Implicit knowledge (eg: talking to someone), Implicit -> Explicit (writing a book), Explicit -> Explicit (combining multiple articles into a textbook), Explicit -> Implicit (Reading a book and doing something)
  • 98% of all knowledge is implicit
  • Spend less time documenting stuff (Implicit -> Explicit) so that someone else can read it (Explicit -> Implicit) and spend more time getting people together (Implicit -> Implicit)
  • Increase connection points where people meet informally – water coolers, cafeteria…
  • Gerald Weinberg, Psychology of Computer Programming: When a company removed a water cooler to stop developers hanging around it and wasting time chatting, productivity and effectiveness dropped as an informal knowledge transfer source was cut out
  • Learning:
    • Encourage user groups & knowledge sharing at different levels (within a team, between teams)
    • Replace cubicles with open sharing team rooms
    • Bring together people who need to work together
    • Hackathons can encourage pairing between those who know new stuff and those who have the curiosity to learn
    • Internal unconferences / open space events
  • Question: In your organization, do the performance appraisals, bonuses and compensation plans encourage or discourage knowledge sharing?

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4 Responses to “Harnessing the flow of Implicit Knowledge”

  1. toolsforagile Says:

    @dorait @rsukumar @narayananh My presentation from yesterday – http://toolsforagile.com/blog/archives/4… #kcc9

  2. toolsforagile Says:

    [New Post] Harnessing the flow of Implicit Knowledge – http://toolsforagile.com/blog/archives/4… #agile

  3. narayananh Says:

    @silvercatalyst Excellent presentation Sid! If only someone had shot a video to be put on YouTube.. #kcc9 @dorait @rsukumar

  4. toolsforagile Says:

    @narayananh @rsukumar thanks, glad you liked it! #kcc9

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