Jeff, we have a number of common relationships and one of these, Miki
Wallaczek, has reported some great things about the work you are
doing. His report didn't impact me much at the time because I was
working on other things. I'm now very interested in this area and
would like a copy of your paper. My various addresses are at the
You mention something in your abstract, however, which I consider an
inaccurate and narrow interpretation of corporate - or any other -
memory and a necessary condition for that to occur or work. That is
the statement "to be captured and managed this information must first
be made explicit."
Where is the "explicit knowledge" located - exactly - in the human
mind or brain? Where is the "explicit knowledge" located - exactly -
in the human body or nervous system of a great athelete?
Can anything but a small portion of that knowledge ever be made
I think that we have domonstrable evidence that it is not necessary
to first be made explicit in the results produced by great teachers,
great coaches, great masters of all kinds who transmit enormous
amounts of knowledge without it ever becoming explicit. Most of
these, in my experience, talk rubbish when they attempt to make their
knowledge explicit even though they are good at transferring it.
Another possibility from another domain. Organisations - as
corporations, as ashrams, as monastaries, even as universities -
manage to develop a great deal of knowledge in those who participate
in them beyond what is ever made explicit.
Come to think of it, we all developed most of the knowledge we have
about how to get along in our culture without it ever being
transferred in an explicit way.
I see one (flawed) source of this thinking in our linear,
reductionist thinking that suggests that we aren't dealing with
knowledge - something to do with generation and integration - but
with mere information.
All of this is said in a spirit of partnership in what you are
working on. First, although I consider the approach you are
proposing limited, I also consider it important and that much
valuable work can be contributed from it. Second, I am merely
joining all those who are floundering productivity in this arena to
create practical tools, aides and approaches.
Please send a copy of the paper to me at Badgers, Bigfrith Lane.
Cookham Deam, BERKS SL6 9UQ UK
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk