“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”. Vernon Saunders Law
Well, I wholeheartedly relate to the idea that no training can replace experience. In the previous post, we spoke about how experience becomes knowledge. In very simple terms there is a cycle (David Kolb’s learning cycle) we follow:
Concrete experience – Observation of and reflection on that experience – Formation of concepts based upon the reflection – Testing the new concepts – (repeat).
This cycle develops a knowledge-base in our mind, and that is of value that we cannot decipher.
Now, remember we spoke about 70-20-10 learning model in the previous post? To get into a tiny bit more details, I share with you the knowledge from the man who actually ideated it. Please have a look at the following video:
Do you relate to this? Do you also think you learnt a lot from your peers and on the job, much more than you learnt in the formal training you had gone through?
Now the burning question that arises is: Given the fact that: 20% we learn from peer + 70% learning is based on our experience, will any new worker not need this knowledge-sharing also to come to speed at his/her work sooner?
Knowledge is invariably a matter of degree: you cannot put your finger upon even the simplest datum and say “this we know.” T.S. Eliot
Knowledge for sure is a matter of degree and we all might be at different degree-points at the same time, for the same topic, in spite of us being a part of the same team, and same project.
Reason? We all are unique and we all have been blessed with a very unique machinery, our brain.
Another plausible reason? We all made our own individual “learning-journeys”, as I would call it. Remember the 70-20-10 learning model we spoke about in the last post?
When these two reasons combine, what we all have in “our minds” is the “tacit knowledge”. Very broadly, tacit knowledge collects all those things that we know how to do but perhaps do not know how to explain (at least systematically).
This is our “intellectual capital”. This “collective knowledge” is the companies’ greatest value. This knowledge that a company’s employees have is the most strategic asset of any organisation. And this asset, knowledge, is socially constructed and moreover this knowledge has socially mediated nature. This tacit knowledge needs construction, transformation and commodification also to some extent in any organisation.
In the past people used to pass on their accumulated knowledge and commercial wisdom on to future generations by telling stories about their work and experiences. But what do we do to share this “know-how” now?
Sure, we all have been sharing this tacit knowledge we have with our peers. But do we have the tools to do it in a structured way?
What was the last thing/platform/group/technology you used to share your very-individual-tacit-knowledge to a newbie or a peer?
“We can know more than we can tell” (Polanyi 1966, p. 4).
Want to take a minute and think about what Polanyi said?
Do we really know more than we can tell? And if yes, how did we learn all that?
We had a few years of formal education, and then each job we took-up came with a few instructions, but then what we learned at the battle-ground (workplace) is something we learnt on-the-go.
How about taking a minute and reflecting on how we became this knowledge body that we are?
They say a picture says a thousand words.
Source: Charles Jennings 70: 20: 10 model of organizational learning in Winston noronha’s blog
Did you also learn like this?
Do you think now we (can) know why we know more than even we can tell?
Let’s talk more soon!