A term I picked up on a while ago was from the e-gineer description of an aspect of the new knowledge flow concept of tacit exchange as a “work in progress” culture.
Rather than just sharing a finished product into a database, what about also sharing the experience of how you got there. This type of know-how; trials and tribulations, connections you utilised, ideas, musings, progress, can be shown in a blog, wiki, and research pages bookmarked.
If you read the deliverable, and then supplement that with the “work in progress” material, you are going to have so much more insight into the deliverable…the know-how behind the document.
For the creator whilst working on the document, taking a work in progress approach opens them up to attracting the knowledge and new connections from people who read the “work in progress” material. Managers get a progress of what’s going on, and can chime in at anytime…everyone can watch and be involved in the organic growth of the deliverable.
There you go, sharing tacit knowledge as a part of doing work.
In the offline world as you write a document you talk to lots of people and email…you have conversations, feedback, etc. Social tools allow this type of natural human experience to happen online as well.
The Transparent Office blog really honed in on this way of working, comparing it to traditional ways. There is more opportunity to learn and share know-how as it happens by being open and visible in the “workings out” stage, compared to reading a finished polished product.
You often hear it’s more about the journey, than the destination.
I also like the idea of a Shared memory.
The reason I’m going over this ground is that the Living By Design blog has a great metaphor for this:
“Steam - The thoughts, ideas and concepts that rattle around in our heads.
Ice - Books and polished documents that we reference from time to time.”
But it is mentioned that this is a dualistic view, and favours more a flux view with “knowledge as a dynamic, continuously flowing stream, with resulting artifacts passing through various stages of a knowledge lifecycle.”
This is all true, but when you isolate it, until now the steam was not open and visible, people usually like keeping unpolished fragments to themselves. Social tools enable our “steam” to be seen by all, before it solidifies into a polished product.
Next time you let off steam make sure everyone gets a serve of it