3 types of Tacit Knowledge

In an interesting New Scientist article, Harry Collins (author of “Tacit and Explicit knowledge“) describes three types of Tacit Knowledge. 

Image from wikimedia commons

We know about the concept of tacit knowledge, which originally was described as knowledge which cannot be expresses (although often nowadays people use the term for knowledge which has not been documents. Collins describes it as “knowledge that is not and sometimes cannot be made explicit”.

Tacit knowledge is “unspoken knowledge” and it remains unspoken for one of three reasons.

Collins describes Somatic Tacit Knowledge, which is the knowledge stored in the muscles, nerve pathways and synaptic connections. This is theoretically describable – “in principle, if not in practice, science could describe all of this. We still wouldn’t be able to use it to guide our actions, because we aren’t built for that”. In other words, you can read a book that gives you the basic tango steps, but you can’t learn tango from a book.

 You can express the way to balance a bicycle as follows – “In order to compensate for a given angle of imbalance α we must take a curve on the side of the imbalance, of which the radius (r) should be proportionate to the square of the velocity (v) over the imbalance r~v2/α.” – but the only practical way to learn this is to feel it (and to fall off a few times as well).  The only way to transfer somatic tacit knowledge to someone is through long term coaching, demonstration, observation and feedback.

He describes Relational Tacit Knowledge, which is about social interaction and how this keeps some knowledge unspoken. Basically its the things you could explain but don’t, for one reason or another. It includes secrets, the things you don’t know that you know, and the things you can’t explain because you don’t know what the other party needs to know.  This knowledge remains tacit for social reasons, and the work of the knowledge manager is to go through the social barriers and retrieve this knowledge through questioning processes – for example in Knowledge Interviews.

Finally, there is collective tacit knowledge. This is about the way WE work. Its about knowledge held socially and collectively. He gives the example of riding a bike. The mechanics of riding a bike are all about somatic tacit knowledge, but the knowledge of riding a bike in London traffic are collective and tacit; you need to understand the unspoken social conventions, otherwise the taxis and buses will get you.  It is the collective tacit knowledge that the interviewer seeks for in team knowledge processes such as After Action Review and Retrospects, and the facilitator seeks to exchange in Peer Assists and Knowledge Exchange meetings.

Tacit knowledge is not always tacit because it CANNOT be made explicit. Some of the knowledge from some of the three types may be shared and documented, some may not.

The role of the knowledge manager is to ensure the right approaches are applied to the right knowledge.

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

What can happen if you don’t capture the "know-why"

Know-Why is important in KM, but sometimes neglected. Let’s see what happens if this is not captured.

Image courtesy of keesler.af.mil

Know-how is one of the cornerstones of Knowledge Management.  If we capture how things should be done, we empower people who need to perform a task, but have no experience of their own. Capturing know-how allows you to build a “recipe book” for repeat tasks, which allow them to be replicated in similar circumstances in future.

However unless you also capture know-why, the know-how can trip you up, especially when the know-how is applied in a different context.

Here is an example of when know-how was misapplied, through lack of know-why. 

This story comes from oil-well drilling back in the 90s, where one part of the organisation was learning from another part about a particular technique for drilling in deep water. The details of the technique were transferred, but not the reasoning behind it, and when the team applied the technique in their own part of the world, where the sea-bed was different, it failed, and several days were spent recovering the situation at a cost of over a million dollars.

One of the partners involved with the well, however, picked up the technique and also the rationale behind it(the know-why)  and applied it successfully, at a saving of several million dollars per well.

If we capture the  Know-how of a technique, but not the Know-why, then

  1. others can “follow the recipe” when the context is the same, but
  2. when circumstances change, people do not have the knowledge to adapt the technique, and either proceed to failure, or tinker with the technique, which often leads to failure as well

If we capture the  Know-how of a technique and also capture the Know-why, then

  1. others can know when the recipe is inapplicable, and
  2. know what can be safely changed
How do you capture the Know-Why?

There are a number of ways to capture the Know-why.

In After Action Reviews and Retrospects, the questioning includes a “Root cause analysis” step, that shows why the lessons were derived, and why they are worded the way they are. The observers and participants understand the context, and this is also recorded in the lessons management system. There should always be a paper trail between any changes to procedures made as a result of lessons, and the know-why recorded in the lessons themselves.

The A3 approach used in product design also captures the context and the root cause.

Some equipment designers use a document called Basis of Design. This captures the rationale behind a design of equipment or design of a process. It explains why the design is the way that it is.  The Basis of Design can be updated as design continues, to capture any changes, and the rationale behind these.  As one Alaskan drilling engineer said to me, “With a good Basis of Design, I could come up to this oilfield and put a quality well program together in a week, and there hasn’t been a rig drilling here for two years”.

Toyota capture the Know-why in “checksheets”, attached to each technical drawing, which captures the rational behind the design, its impact on performance, and any known issues. Rolls Royce Aero Engines have an even more sophisticated system called the Design Rationale Editor, which captures the reasons behind design choices, and the reasons why other choices were rejected, as a Functional Analysis diagram.

In each case, the knowledge product contains not just the final design of a product or product, but the rationale behind it. This preserves crucial knowledge for future use.

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

How to select a methodology for a CoP event

You want to plan a face to face event for your Community of Practice in order to transfer knowledge, but which event style do you select?

This is a discussion I have been having recently, and it struck me that this might be a useful blog post.
Now there may be many reasons for a CoP event; to launch the CoP, to celebrate CoP achievement, or to agree on the CoP charter, work plan, objectives and knowledge focus areas. For these purposes you may use many styles of meeting – Open Space, World Cafe, Knowledge Market etc. 

However if we assume that the purpose of the CoP event is to transfer knowledge among the members on one or more topics of interest, then the primary driver of the choice of event style or methodology is driven by two factors:

  • The number of CoP members who have knowledge and experience on the topic (“knowledge holders”, and
  • The number of CoP members who actively need to acquire the knowledge (“knowledge needers”). These are not just “interested parties” – these are people who will apply the knowledge they gain to improve the way they work. 
  • Please note that many people can be both holders and needers – they hold some knowledge but need to acquire more. 
The crossplot of these two factors above is used to suggest some methodologies or styles of knowledge transfer meetings, all of which should be based on positive dialogue between the knowledge holders and knowledge needers. Also note that if your CoP meeting addresses many topics, then you may need many styles of meeting at the same event – either one after the other, or in parallel in separate spaces. How do you find out the topics, and the number of holders and seekers within the CoP? You either conduct a survey, do some knowledge mapping, analyse the questions in the community forum, or hold a Knowledge Market
If you have a relatively small number of knowledge holders and a large number of knowledge needers, then you can hold a lessons learned discussion. This requires active moderation, and should be driven by questions from the knowledge needers. The discussion will create reference content for the CoP. Alternatively, a storytelling session may be appropriate. Or if the knowledge is very polarised, with one or two experts and everyone else in the CoP novices, then a training session may be the best approach, but try to drive the training by the questions of the needers as much as possible.
If you have one or two people with experience in the topic and a moderate number of knowledge needers, then in some cases a knowledge site visit may be appropriate. Here the CoP meeting is held at the premises of one of the knowledge holders (a factory, or a working office) who can demonstrate the knowledge in application.

If you have many knowledge holders and many knowledge needers, then a knowledge exchange may be appropriate. Here the CoP members discuss the topic, and all its subtopics, exchanging experience, answering questions, and discussing and co-creating best practice. The process is driven by the questions of the knowledge needers, and is suitable when there are one or more areas of practice applied by most of the CoP members, but where approaches differ. This process can develop good practice reference documents for future use by the CoP. 
If there are a moderate number of knowledge needers, then you can run a Peer Assist to enable knowledge transfer to the needers. Generally the process adds value to others as well.

If there is a topic where there are a few holders and a few needers, it may be best not to make this the focus of a CoP event, but to create a small action learning group, which will report back to the CoP through the online portal, or through short briefings.

Finally if there is a new topic which the CoP wants to explore, but currently has no experts or knowledge holders, then a more open process such as Open Space or World Cafe/Knowledge cafe.

However if transfer of knowledge is your aim, use one of the processes above to ensure effective dialogue between the knowledge holders and the knowledge needers. 

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

How to select a methodology for a CoP event

You want to plan a face to face event for your Community of Practice in order to transfer knowledge, but which event style do you select?

This is a discussion I have been having recently, and it struck me that this might be a useful blog post.
Now there may be many reasons for a CoP event; to launch the CoP, to celebrate CoP achievement, or to agree on the CoP charter, work plan, objectives and knowledge focus areas. For these purposes you may use many styles of meeting – Open Space, World Cafe, Knowledge Market etc. 

However if we assume that the purpose of the CoP event is to transfer knowledge among the members on one or more topics of interest, then the primary driver of the choice of event style or methodology is driven by two factors:

  • The number of CoP members who have knowledge and experience on the topic (“knowledge holders”, and
  • The number of CoP members who actively need to acquire the knowledge (“knowledge needers”). These are not just “interested parties” – these are people who will apply the knowledge they gain to improve the way they work. 
  • Please note that many people can be both holders and needers – they hold some knowledge but need to acquire more. 
The crossplot of these two factors above is used to suggest some methodologies or styles of knowledge transfer meetings, all of which should be based on positive dialogue between the knowledge holders and knowledge needers. Also note that if your CoP meeting addresses many topics, then you may need many styles of meeting at the same event – either one after the other, or in parallel in separate spaces. How do you find out the topics, and the number of holders and seekers within the CoP? You either conduct a survey, do some knowledge mapping, analyse the questions in the community forum, or hold a Knowledge Market
If you have a relatively small number of knowledge holders and a large number of knowledge needers, then you can hold a lessons learned discussion. This requires active moderation, and should be driven by questions from the knowledge needers. The discussion will create reference content for the CoP. Alternatively, a storytelling session may be appropriate. Or if the knowledge is very polarised, with one or two experts and everyone else in the CoP novices, then a training session may be the best approach, but try to drive the training by the questions of the needers as much as possible.
If you have one or two people with experience in the topic and a moderate number of knowledge needers, then in some cases a knowledge site visit may be appropriate. Here the CoP meeting is held at the premises of one of the knowledge holders (a factory, or a working office) who can demonstrate the knowledge in application.

If you have many knowledge holders and many knowledge needers, then a knowledge exchange may be appropriate. Here the CoP members discuss the topic, and all its subtopics, exchanging experience, answering questions, and discussing and co-creating best practice. The process is driven by the questions of the knowledge needers, and is suitable when there are one or more areas of practice applied by most of the CoP members, but where approaches differ. This process can develop good practice reference documents for future use by the CoP. 
If there are a moderate number of knowledge needers, then you can run a Peer Assist to enable knowledge transfer to the needers. Generally the process adds value to others as well.

If there is a topic where there are a few holders and a few needers, it may be best not to make this the focus of a CoP event, but to create a small action learning group, which will report back to the CoP through the online portal, or through short briefings.

Finally if there is a new topic which the CoP wants to explore, but currently has no experts or knowledge holders, then a more open process such as Open Space or World Cafe/Knowledge cafe.

However if transfer of knowledge is your aim, use one of the processes above to ensure effective dialogue between the knowledge holders and the knowledge needers. 

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

The two accountabilities in effective knowledge transfer

Transferring knowledge is like passing a ball – both the thrower and the catcher share accountability for an effective pass.

Imagine an experienced practitioner transferring knowledge to a younger colleague or group of colleagues. Who is accountable for ensuring effective knowledge transfer?

The answer is that the accountability is equally shared. It’s like a football pass – both the thrower and the catcher are responsible for making a successful pass.

Not only is the accountability equally shared; both parties need to be equally involved, and both need specific skills.

The experienced person (the thrower of the knowledge) needs to be willing and able to share their knowledge. They need a good overview of what knowledge needs to be shared, and they need to have thought through the best way to share it. They need to understand the difference between showing, teaching, coaching and questioning, and know when each technique needs to be used. If they are writing their knowledge, they need to be aware of the curse of knowledge, and have to write it in such a way that it can be fully understood.

The junior person (the catcher of the knowledge) needs to be willing and able to learn. They need a good overview of what knowledge they need to acquire, and they need to have been trained in knowledge elicitation techniques such as open questioning and root cause analysis. If they are reading the knowledge, they need to pay attention; to “read, mark learn and inwardly digest.”  Also they need a structure for storing the knowledge they acquire, so it can be useful to themselves and also to their colleagues. Learning blogs and a shared wiki can be powerful tools. They may also find it useful to video record their coach at work, and to analyse the video afterwards together with the coach.

So to make sure knowledge transfer works, you need to prep the passer and the receiver, just as in a game of football.

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

The twin KM approaches of Connect and Collect

I have blogged quite a bit recently on Connect and Collect approaches to KM, aka the transfer of tacit and explicit knowledge. Here is a reprise and extension of a useful table which describes the two.

Three of my recent blog posts have touched on

Each of these deals with knowledge transfer through tacit and explicit knowledge, comparing the use of the two, its efficiency and its effectiveness.  These two approaches to knowledge transfer are the connect approach, where knowledge is transferred by connecting people, and the collect approach, where knowledge is transferred by collecting, storing, organising and retrieving documents.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages, as summarised in the table below and the blog posts referenced above.  Effective Knowledge Management strategies need to address both these methods of knowledge transfer. Each has its place, each complements the other. These are not “either/or” choices, they are “both/and”.

Connect

Collect

Advantages Very effective
Allows transfer of non-codifiable knowledge
Allows socialization
Allows the knowledge user to gauge how much they trust the supplier
Easy and cheap
Very efficient.
Allows systematic capture
Creates a secure long-term store for knowledge
Knowledge can be captured once and accessed many times
Disadvantages Risky. Human memory is an unreliable knowledge store
Inefficient. People can only be in one place at one time
People often don’t realize what they know until its captured
Ineffective. Much knowledge cannot be effectively captured and codified.
Capturing requires skill and resource
Captured knowledge can become impersonal
Captured knowledge cannot be interrogated
Transfer medium Conversation, whether face to face or electronically mediated, or in team processes such as knowledge exchange, retrospect, peer assist

Content in the form of documents, files, text, pictures and video.

Need for balance Managing conversation without content leads to personal rather than organisational learning. Unless new knowledge becomes embedded in process, guidance or recommendations, it is never truly “learned”, and without this we find knowledge becomes relearned many times.

A focus on content without conversation results in a focus on publishing; on creation of knowledge bases, blogs, wikis, as a proxy for the transfer of knowledge; on Push rather than Pull. But unless people can question and interrogate knowledge in order to internalise it, learning can be very ineffective.

Types of knowledge suitable for this form of transfer Ephemeral rapidly changing knowledge, which would be out of date as soon as its written down
 Knowledge of continual operations, where there is a large constant community
Knowledge needed only by a few
Stable mature knowledge
Knowledge of intermittent or rare events
High-value knowledge
Knowledge with a large user-base
Organisational demographics which suit this approach  A largely experienced workforce A largely inexperienced workforce
Comments One traditional approach to Knowledge Management is to leave knowledge in the heads of experts. This is a risky and inefficient strategy. A strategy based only on capture will miss out on the socialization that is needed for culture change, and may fail to address some of the less codifiable knowledge.

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

Why transferring knowledge through discussion is over 10 times more effective than written documents

Connecting people is far less efficient than Collecting while being far more effective – but how much more effective?

Knowledge can be transferred in two ways – by Connecting people so that they can discuss, and Collecting knowledge in written (explicit) form so others can find and read it (see blog posts on Connect and Collect). 

Connecting people is less efficient than transferring documented knowledge, but more effective.  We can never be sure about the absolute effectiveness of knowledge transfer without some good empirical studies, but there are 2 pointers towards the relative effectiveness of these two methods. These pointers are as follows;

First, the often repeated (and sometimes challenged) quote that “We Learn . .

  • 10% of what we read 
  • 20% of what we hear 
  • 30% of what we see 
  • 50% of what we see and hear 
  • 70% of what we discuss 
  • 80% of what we experience 
  • 95% of what we teach others.”

This is similar to Media Richness theory, which ranks media on the basis of it’s richness, with unaddressed documents as least rich, and face-to-face as most rich.

Second, David Snowden’s principle that

  • We always know more than we can say, and 
  • We will always say more than we can write down
Our assumptions
Let’s make two assumptions here, firstly that the percentages in the first list are correct, and secondly that we equate the “more than” in Snowden’s principle to “twice as much as.” OK, the fist assumption is highly dubious and the second is entirely arbitrary, but I want to see what the consequences are.

With these assumptions, the effectiveness of the Connect route (knowledge transfer through discussion) is as follows
  • I know (100%)
  • I say (50%) 
  • You learn through discussion (70%)
The effectiveness of transmission of knowledge through Connecting is therefore 35% (100% x 50% x 70%) provided there is discussion involved.

If you connect people through video (seeing) the effectiveness drops to 15%. Through hearing only (eg podcasts) it drops to 10%. The most effective way to transfer knowledge would be to work together, so the knowledge donor does not need to tell or write, they just have to show, while the knowledge receiver learns by experience. That way you minimise the filters.

The effectiveness of the Collect route for knowledge transfer through documents is as follows
  • I know (100%)
  • I write (50% x 50% = 25%)
  • You learn through reading (10%)
The effectiveness of transmission of knowledge through Connecting is therefore 2.5% (100% x 25% x 10%)
Transfer through discussion is 35% effective, transfer through documents is 2.5% effective. In the first case you can transfer a third of what you know, and in the second case you transfer one fortieth.

Therefore transferring knowledge through Collecting is 14 times less effective than transferring knowledge through Connecting people.

If we change the proportions in Snowden’s principle then we change this conclusion. If for example 

we always know 3 times more than we can say, and we will always say 3 times more than we can write down, Collecting becomes 21 times less effective, and so on.

I know all these figures are arbitrary and inexact, but what we are looking at here is some sort of estimate of relative efficiencies.

Note that this does not mean that Collecting knowledge has no place in Knowledge Management – quite the opposite. Despite being very ineffective, it is very efficient. Knowledge has only to be documented once, to be re-used one thousand times. Efficiency can trump effectiveness. However we can conclude the following
  • Because of these relative efficiencies, Knowledge should shared in explicit form (the Collect route) only when it is relatively simple and when it can be codified with minimum loss of context. 
  • Where efficiency is more important than effectiveness (i.e. broadcasting relatively straightforward knowledge to a large number of users), the Collect route is ideal.
  • The Collect route is also necessary when a Learner (a recipient for the knowledge) cannot be immediately identified, so no Connection is possible (see “speaking to the unknown user“).
  • Even then, it is worth “keeping the names with the knowledge” so that readers who need to know more detail can call the originator of the knowledge and have a discussion.
  • Where knowledge is more complex or more contextual, it should be shared through discussion (the Connect route) – for example through conversational processes such as Peer Assist.

Given that transfer of knowledge through documents is so ineffective, choose your KM strategy carefully!

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

The two chambers of the KM heart

The heart of KM keeps knowledge flowing, and that heart has two chambers. 

Image from wikipedia

You can think of the organisation as a body, and knowledge flowing round the organisation like blood flows round a body.  But what is at the heart of KM? Is it knowledge sharing? Is it communities of practice? Is it knowledge creation?

The answer is that if there is a heart, it is not a single thing, but two chambers working together.  The two chambers are our old friends Connection and Collection; the Connect and Collect routes for knowledge transmission through Conversation and Content respectively. 

Connection

Connection refers to connecting people so that they can share knowledge between them; through discussion and conversation. 

Collection 

Collection supports knowledge transfer through collecting documented knowledge, synthesising it, sharing it and making it findable.

  • In the Collect route, Knowledge is transferred through documentation (“Knowledge capture”), through organisation and synthesis of that documentation, and through connecting the user with the documents, through search or through push.
  • It can be supported by processes such as Retrospect, Lesson Learning, Interview, creation of Knowledge Assets, and Knowledge Synthesis. 
  • It can be supported by technologies such as portals, lessons management systems, search, semantic search, blogs and wikis

You Need both routes!

In the past, Connect and Collect have been positioned as opposites, for example in the rival Personalisation vs Codification strategies described by HBR.

However they are not opposites; they are two sides of the same heart.  The two different approaches address different sorts of knowledge, both of which exist in your organisation. 

  • The Collect route is ideal for relatively simple non-contextual knowledge which needs to reach a large audience, for knowledge that needs shelf life, for knowledge where no immediate user is available, and for knowledge which needs compiling and processing (such as lessons). 
  • The Connect route is necessary for complex knowledge, advanced knowledge, deep skills, and highly contextual knowledge. 
  • Collection without connection results in bland knowledge bases which answer basic questions, but often lack nuance and context.
  • Connection without collection preserves no corporate memory, and runs the risk of overloading the experts with basic questions, and of loss of knowledge as the experts retire.
In reality, the two chambers of the heart work together. 
People can unite around collections of knowledge, connected people can collect what they collectively know. Conversation is where content is born, and content is something to talk about. In combination, both Connect and Collect drive the engine that makes knowledge flow. 

Keep the two chambers of Connection and Collection at the heart of your Knowledge Management strategy  if you want to succeed!

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

The four contexts for Knowledge Transfer

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for knowledge transfer, because not every transfer context is the same.  However we can look at four main classes or types of knowledge transfer, by looking at the dimensions of TIME and LOCATION.

There are other dimensions as well, such as whether the transfer is Expert/Expert, Expert/Novice etc, but let’s stick with 2 dimensions at a time, as that helps build a Boston Square, as shown here. 
This particular Boston Square, based on location and time, allows us to identify 4 contexts for knowledge transfer, described below. 

OTJ (On The Job) Transfer

The transfer of knowledge between people or teams who are co-located – doing the same sort of work at the same time in the same place – can be done on the job. This is the sort of context you see within a project team. The knowledge does not need to be documented in order to be transferred, and because everyone is working with the knowledge every day, then your focus should be more on conversations about knowledge rather than building knowledge bases. Knowledge can be transferred through embedding processes like mentoring, coaching, and particularly After Action Reviews, as well as through numerous informal conversations. 

Serial transfer

The transfer of knowledge within a series of projects in the same location, one after the other (and often with the same team) is called serial transfer. Much serial transfer can be accomplished by the transfer of project plans, designs, basis of design documents, and so on, as well as by transferring lessons learned, and transferring core team members. Project knowledge handover meetings can also be useful – sometimes known as baton-passing. The focus here is less on conversation, and more on transfer and continuous improvement of artefacts. This can results in excellent examples of steep learning curves.

Knowledge transfer between individuals working in the same place but at different times is accomplished by personal knowledge handover – a planned set of conversations, and compilation of a set of key documents, contacts, lessons and tips and hints. This can be part of a Knowledge Retention Strategy.

Parallel transfer

The transfer of knowledge between a series of projects running simultaneously but in different locations, or between many individuals doing the same work in different parts of the business, is called parallel transfer. This can rely heavily on face-to-face activities such as peer assist, and knowledge visits, as well as real-time transfer of knowledge through communities of practice, online forums and enterprise social media. Because operations are simultaneous and continuous, much knowledge can remain tacit, and the focus is on conversation rather than content.

Far Transfer

The transfer of knowledge between projects running in different times and different places, or from person to person separated by time and distance, is called far transfer (a term coined by Nancy Dixon). Far transfer cannot rely on real-time conversations, or on simply transferring project plans, as the next project may take place in a completely different country in several years time. Knowledge will need to be transferred in written form as a knowledge asset, or as a series of Lessons Learned. Far Transfer relies on captured knowledge, the development of knowledge assets, and careful attention to well written and easily findable advisory and instructional content.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Knowledge Transfer; it depends on the specific context, which may  be one of the four described here. 

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.

How knowledge can be "the thread through the labyrinth"

“The thread through the labyrinth” is a metaphor for allowing others to follow our steps safely. This is what Knowledge can do. 

When Theseus negotiated Daedelus’ labyrinth in order to kill the Minotaur, he left a thread behind him (provided by Ariadne, daughter of Minos) so that the way through the Labyrinth would be clearly marked.

Cave divers do something similar, unreeling a line behind them as they explore the labyrinth of flooded passageways; both so they can find their own way out, and also so that others can follow the path without getting lost, or without having to explore the same dead ends and blind alleys that the first divers did. 

Sometimes, negotiating our projects feels like making our way through a labyrinth, especially when the project has to negotiate complex regulatory or bureaucratic hurdles, or technical difficulties.

When we successfully negotiate these hurdles, which sometimes can be long and taxing, we need to leave a thread behind us for the sake of the next project.

Imagine the first project of its type in a country – the first factory, or the first branch office. Imagine you have eventually worked your way through the maze of rules, regulations and red tape, contracts and logistics. The thread you leave behind is not string, but the collected knowledge (the “knowledge asset“) that enables the second factory, or the second branch office, to successfully follow the path of the first.

That knowledge might include;

  • The list of activities you need to undertake
  • The order in which to undertake them
  • The people you must contact, and how to contact them
  • The letters you must send, and how to write them
  • The evidence you must collect, and how to best present it
Without leaving this trail of knowledge behind you, the second factory or the second branch office will approach the maze of logistics and legislation with the same ignorance as the first, and may get just as lost and confused.

If you are the first to try something, then leave a guideline of knowledge for others to lean from.

View Original Source (nickmilton.com) Here.