December 13, 2017

Knowledge-sharing as a social process

Three senior managers talkingWe often need to transfer knowledge from one person to another.

And yet, how effectively do we really do that?

Quite often our approach is to turn the knowledge into information on paper (or perhaps Powerpoint slides), usually in objective, dispassionate, businesslike terms—all very professional and proper.

The trouble is…

We’ve converted something we actually hold in direct sensory form—images, sounds, and other sensory experience—the stuff of real expertise, into something sterile—accurate, no doubt—but sterile.

And that’s hard to assimilate. In fact, we’ve created a barrier: We’ve interrupted the social connection through which information can flow rapidly and effectively.

Better sometimes to share knowledge messily, socially, and, yes, “unprofessionally.”

Worth pondering sometimes whether the paperwork is getting in the way.

Might be better just to talk.