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These 5 Things We Learned About Knowledge Will Make You More Resilient in 2017

In 2016 we set out to help teams capture knowledge before it is lost. We learned many important things along the way, and we would like to share a few of them with you.

Without further ado, here are the top 5 things we learned about knowledge that will make you more resilient in the new year.

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1. Tacit knowledge can actually be captured

No amount of technical documentation can capture tacit knowledge. But with the advent of voice technologies and artificial intelligence, narrations and captured conversations are becoming a practical way to get knowledge transferred from one head into many others.

By capturing screens, whiteboard doodles, sketches and other problem-solving artifacts while telling their story, we can now capture the important details that are otherwise bound to be lost — and still find them in seconds.
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2. Knowledge and Trust fuel each other

Trust keeps us together. If I trust you, I might ask you for advice or share something I learned.  But you cannot "turn trust on", no matter what the organization dictates. Trust emerges over time by working out loud, that is, by regularly capturing and sharing the things we learn.

In circles of higher trust, knowledge travels faster. This makes trust essential for collaboration. This also means that the more knowledge you share, the more trust you gain.
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3. Shared knowledge moves the conversation forward, faster

Knowledge shared with everyone in the organization moves the group conversation forward. It has the amazing effect of skipping fear-induced discussions ("What are these people working on?", "Why are they doing things this way?", etc.) and instead promotes learning and collaboration ("Have you tried this approach?", "Can you tell me more about this?", etc.).

Your team will be a few steps ahead of the game, and your organization will be collectively more intelligent.
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4. Lost Knowledge costs organizations large amounts of money — and grief

Mark Bailey, director of HR for General Mills, admitted that when employees leave after 5 years, it sometimes costs the company millions of dollars in lost knowledge. The British Petroleum company failed to react quickly in 2006 after a corrosion engineer left the company, letting a quarter-inch hole in a pipe turn into 250,000 gallons of crude oil — in just five days. A high-rank official at NASA confessed that "If we wanted to go to the moon again, we will be starting from scratch because all of that knowledge has disappeared."

But you don't need to be NASA or a Fortune 500 company to suffer from the hidden costs of knowledge loss. As Baby Boomers and Gen Xers step aside and Millenials step up, all organizations are affected.
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5. Capturing knowledge prepares your organization for the future

Constantly capturing and sharing knowledge promotes a culture of continuous learning. Continuous learning creates the kind of environment that permits new ideas to flourish: diverse perspectives and ideas are what drives a culture of innovation.

We live in a state of discontinuity. In this context, continuous learning lets you evolve quickly. And adjusting to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as they appear is what defines tomorrow's winners.

The good news is that it is easy to get started in the right direction. Capture the things you learn as you learn them, and share them with your organization. You will gain trust, your team will shine, and your organization will start developing a culture of persistent innovation.
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We wish you and your team a successful 2017!

Always be capturing,
Team Luffa

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