Harnessing to the power of experience

Miriam Reichmuth

The transfer of knowledge from those who need it is often seen as the holy grail of knowledge management.

KM systems have routinely managed this transfer by relying on users creating knowledge through the tedious burden of content authoring, approval, and publishing. This approach allows for the transmission of explicit knowledge like reports, databases, documents, policies, procedures, etc.

However, explicit knowledge is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the entire value of knowledge in an organization. It’s easy to conduct a search in a knowledge community and find the company’s standard procedures or rules on a topic, but it’s not as simple to understand specifically how someone worked through the process or overcame challenges that arose.

Most of the ideas, thoughts and know-how that employees possess are gathered from their experience and reside only in their minds. This means that every employee in an organization is a treasure trove of knowledge - knowledge that is latent, unstructured and incredibly valuable: Tacit Knowledge.

Why isn't every organization using it if it's so valuable?

It is quite simple. Tacit knowledge or expertise is hidden and difficult to capture. Traditionally it has been confined to verbal exchanges, one to one or through time wasting meetings and resource wasting trainings. As geographical and structural barriers impede the free dissemination of know-how, employees had to rely on luck and good connections to find the right expertise.

So, how is it leveraged?

Channelling informal discussions into a collaborative workspace is a great way to begin: Office chit chat or indiscriminate mass emails are replaced with a single well-integrated tool that automatically finds the right people to solve any particular situation. By contacting the right expert every single time, employees are empowered to provide higher quality solutions.

Making it scalable comes next: No more need for documentation management or content moderation. By systematically capturing already shared expertise and automatically keeping it up to date experts are relieved from answering questions over and over again. The next time there is a similar situation, knowledge workers can tap into relevant information while reducing resolution time at a lower overall cost.

By successfully tapping into the invaluable information source that is tacit knowledge and ensuring seamless dissemination of expertise any organization can benefit from tremendous payoff in increased efficiency, the advancement of innovation and improved competitiveness.

Find out how to take advantage of the combined expertise of your organization tapping into the tacit knowledge pool of your employees. Request a live Starmind demo today.

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