Re: Reference resources, case studies about managing tacit knowledge? #case-studies #definition


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Patrick,

Nicely put. I'm not entirely convinced that the separation is as clean as Polanyi would like though, because it only considers individual knowledge and not that of the group.

[I'm still working on how to express this elegantly -- bear with me.]

Language is fundamentally a mechanism for social communication. In fact it can't exist without a social group. It has evolved along with the multiplicity of nested and overlapping groups we belong to, many acting as cohesive and coherent systems that evolve and dissolve constantly and dynamically.

Just as our neurons signal to each other to yield emergent, complex behaviour based on past and present inputs, language is the internal signalling mechanism that achieves the cohesion necessary for systemic group behaviours.

From the group's perspective, it has capabilities that are not easily expressible; nor are the exact limits of its knowledge. Thus, I would posit that articulated knowledge / language still retains the form and function of tacit knowledge so long as it remains inside the context of that group.

Cheers,
Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Executive, Information Management
Cordelta
E: stephen.bounds@...
M: 0401 829 096
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On 9/09/2020 10:35 pm, Patrick Lambe wrote:

Great to see Gary Klein’s work being brought in Rob.

It seems to me that explication is an entirely different kind of knowledge activity than understanding or knowing, or knowing how to. They are of course connected. Explication requires reasoning, observation, contextualisation, knowledge integration and translation. In fact it could be said to be a form of knowledge building. 

If I’m working on a piece of writing, I am of course working out of "the ground" of what I know (in my head and body), but there’s a long and venerable tradition of thinking from Ryle through Polanyi and McIntyre that says that this tacit ground of knowing is inarticulable, and once you articulate you’ve created an entirely different form of knowledge that connects only in a loose way to the “knowledge ground” that produced it, you have not simply “converted” the tacit knowledge. Polanyi does acknowledge that articulation can provide a feedback loop to deepen our tacit knowledge (so explication of techniques can improve piano playing) but he was adamant that they are fundamentally different kinds of thing. Tacit and explicit knowledge forms in their various degrees of combination follow each other around, but they are not blood relatives. Neither is reducible to the other.

If I am working on that piece of writing, I’m not simply trying to represent what’s in me. I’m also trying to connect it to what I know about (out there in the world), which I may need to explore or think about more deeply, and I’m trying to connect to it to what I know about my audience, which I may need to observe and reflect on more carefully, so there’s a sense in which it feels like a journey of discovery, as much as simply expressing something I know. The whole thing feels much more like the interaction of various cognitive activities, and it feels like an iterative process full of feedback loops, interacting back and forth with the world, not at all like a simple “produce something out of my head” kind of activity. I’m building something, not converting something. And my building blocks are out there in the world as much as in my head and body.

And I’m with you Rob, that explication/articulation is only one mode of moving knowledge around (or replicating it) - “creating the conditions to accelerate the discovery of tacit knowledge” is a nice way of putting it. To bring this back to Laurie’s contribution, this is why an understanding of networks and collaboration is useful - because they can provide enabling or disabling conditions.

P

Patrick Lambe
Partner
Straits Knowledge

phone:  +65 98528511

web:  www.straitsknowledge.com
resources:  www.greenchameleon.com
knowledge mapping:  www.aithinsoftware.com


On 9 Sep 2020, at 7:51 PM, Robert L. Bogue <rbogue@...> wrote:

Re: 10,000 hr rule … the original research never said that.  That’s Malcolm Gladwell’s simplification in Outliers  (https://thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2009/07/29/book-review-outliers/)  Anders Ericsson clarified in Peak (https://thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2016/07/11/book-review-peak-secrets-from-the-new-science-of-expertise/) that the factor was purposeful practice.
 
For me, this merges both “the perfect form” and practice.  If you practice enough, and you’re willing to accept performance setbacks to try new forms, you’ll eventually settle on the “perfect” one.  However, even discovering the “perfect” stance doesn’t mean you’ll be able to explain it.  (ala tacit)  Observers can only get to the observable factors, many unobservable factors remain.
 
I don’t know that I think about teaching tacit (and therefore requiring the articulation that Murrey explains) rather, I view tacit as creating the conditions to accelerate the discovery of the tacit knowledge.  See Gary Klein’s work in Seeing What Other’s Don’t (https://thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2014/12/23/book-review-seeing-what-others-dont-the-remarkable-ways-we-gain-insights/)  and Sources of Power (https://thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2011/10/23/book-review-sources-of-power-how-people-make-decisions/)
 
When I relax the conditions from teaching to coaching on tacit, I realize that I don’t have to be able to articulate every nuance as long as I create situations that accelerates the learning process.
 
Rob
 
-------------------
Robert L. Bogue
O: (317) 844-5310  M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog
Are you burned out?  https://ExtinguishBurnout.com can help you get out of it.
 
From: main@SIKM.groups.io <main@SIKM.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Weidner via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 7:38 AM
To: main@sikm.groups.io
Cc: plambe@...; llocklee@...
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Reference resources, case studies about managing tacit knowledge?
 
Excellent discussion on an age-old topic: tacit vs. explicit.
Some have long claimed tacit is knowledge and explicit is just information. The ISO 30401:2018 argues otherwise. I do as well.
 
Here's a few further arguments on topics already raised.
Physical K - whether a hitter is good or not is probably less dependent on exactly correct form than the essence of a 10,000 hr. rule.
 
As for "but I do really believe that you can't know something until you can articulate it," I agree and would go one step further. For me, the detailed articulation is the intellectual challenge that provides great insights. Almost as if the articulation forces you to open and inspect every nook and cranny of your brain's synapse connections.
 
Lastly, if you strive to formalize a tacit to explicit process, for whatever unique purpose such as retirement, consider some truths: if the articulation is one-on-one (Mentoring?) it may be less efficient than a one-on-manyprocess; and, if you can easily codify as you articulate, you expand the effective use even further.
 
Sometimes, merely paying attention to obvious truisms can provide great benefit.
 
Douglas Weidner
Exec Chairman, 
 
 
On Wed, Sep 9, 2020 at 3:42 AM Murray Jennex via groups.io <murphjen=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

I hear you Patrick and mostly agree, to me understanding something means I can articulate it to someone else, this is perhaps something I've learned by being a professor, I can't teach something I can't articulate (and this means you can't transfer what you can't articulate).  Of course I talk about tacit knowledge and in particular use sports metaphors, however, you will not disrupt my serve or strokes by asking me to explain them as I've been a tennis coach and the same applies there, you can't coach what you can't articulate.  All that said, I don't worry about instinctive knowledge, I understand that to be something buried in my brain that comes out when I need it, however, when it does come out I strive to articulate it.  I agree with you that it isn't a clean 1:1 swap, nothing ever is and so don't take my statements as being 100%, but I do really believe that you can't know something until you can articulate it.  I don't worry if that means there is no tacit knowledge, that is just a gut feel of mine, but hey, it does spur some really good discussions!  I love to use Tony Gwynn as an example of someone who was perhaps the best hitter in baseball but when he coached our college team we were only average hitters.  Does that mean Tony didn't really understand the knowledge of hitting?  I don't think so, he just had special physical tools that made it so that he could do what he said while others couldn't.  Perhaps we combine instinct and other physical attributes with what we call knowledge?  I'd argue we have the knowledge and are confusing that with performance or putting the knowledge in action, sometimes we know what we want to do but just can't do it!....murray

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Lambe <plambe@...>
To: main@SIKM.groups.io
Cc: llocklee@... <llocklee@...>
Sent: Tue, Sep 8, 2020 11:32 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Reference resources, case studies about managing tacit knowledge?

Hi Murray I would just swap out one word in your sentence 
 
My own feeling is that all knowledge is explicit once you [understand] can articulate it, i.e. tacit knowledge is simply knowledge we haven't learned to express yet.
 
Speaking for myself, I often think I understand something without being able to articulate it (maybe that’s an illusion!!), and sometimes I can articulate the same understanding in quite different ways depending on the context. 
 
In relation to tacit knowledge, of course there’s the whole area of somatic knowledge (things my body knows how to do) where words can be descriptive but virtually useless - i.e. the articulation of the knowledge “hold the violin bow at an angle of 30 degrees to the strings” doesn’t really express the knowledge in the same way that a recipe might. So being able to express how I ride the bike doesn’t accurately represent the tacit knowledge involved.
 
I have a friend who regularly (and deliberately) disrupted his (very skilful) tennis buddy’s serves by asking him to explain how he did it. Shifting his buddy’s focus from his bodily knowledge to a poor verbal expression of it, distracted his body from actually being able to deliver the serve effectively.
 
So while I agree with your general point, we do need to recognise that there isn’t a clean 1:1 convertibility from explicit-tacit or vice versa. In fact the dualism between tacit and explicit is far too simplistic - which I think is where your first comment was going.
 
P
 
Patrick Lambe
Partner
Straits Knowledge

phone:  +65 98528511

web:  www.straitsknowledge.com
resources:  www.greenchameleon.com
knowledge mapping:  www.aithinsoftware.com

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On 9 Sep 2020, at 2:05 PM, Murray Jennex via groups.io <murphjen@...> wrote:
 

Actually, many would argue that there is no such thing as purely tacit knowledge or purely explicit knowledge, that both have degrees of tacitness and explicitness and that the degree of each varies with the knowledge user/holder.  Capturing tacit just means we've made it more explicit, it doesn't reduce its value and actually may increase it.  My own feeling is that all knowledge is explicit once you understand it, i.e. tacit knowledge is simply knowledge we haven't learned to express yet....murray

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurence Lock Lee <llocklee@...>
To: main@SIKM.groups.io
Sent: Tue, Sep 8, 2020 4:15 pm
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Reference resources, case studies about managing tacit knowledge?

Many would argue that once tacit knowledge is captured it is no longer tacit, and therefore degraded. If your intention is to benefit from online exchanges through the sharing of tacit knowledge it is therefore far more important to identify the holders of that tacit knowledge and to connect with them one on one for knowledge exchange and skip the translation to explicit knowledge and back to tacit processes. Organisational/Social network analysis is a good way to find experts. Our business conducts ONA/SNA online through Yammer Teams and Workplace by facebook (not Slack though ...that is another story) ... we have lots of case studies on our site www.swoopanalytics.com.
 

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