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Learning 3.0: How to uncover hidden knowledge in your organization

• 2 min read

We recently published a report in collaboration with Aberdeen Group entitled: The New 70:20:10: The Changing Face of Learning. We delve into Aberdeen’s findings in this blog post and examine how leading organizations support learning in forward-thinking and innovative ways.

This post is the second of a two-part series. Read part one: “Learning 3.0: How does your organization stack up?”

Best-in-class organizations measure learning program effectiveness

The Aberdeen study revealed that 49 percent of organizations struggle to ensure that what is taught in a formal learning event is actually understood and utilized on the job.

What is being taught in a formal setting is not actually being applied on the job. In fact, only 20 percent of organizations have a process to reinforce formal learning by discussing the material with the employees and assess their progress.

Uncover hidden knowledge through conversion

The knowledge conversion process supports the need for organizations to focus on knowledge creation (when learning takes place), starting at the individual level where it’s first internalized and then shared with others.

There are two things at play: socialization and tacit knowledge — or, knowledge that is personalized and that’s difficult to formalize and communicate but is deeply rooted within an individual.

The challenge for organizations is converting that tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. How can you externalize it for the benefit of all?

Explicit knowledge is information that can be electronically captured and stored so it can be managed and shared with others. Tacit knowledge should be converted and made accessible so a learner can combine that shared explicit knowledge with their own knowledge.

This kind of conversion, internalization and sharing of knowledge creates a spiral effect that illustrates social learning, and is a primary reason organizations should cap their most valuable assets and leverage user-generated content to help uncover hidden knowledge inside the organization.

Harness technology to facilitate efficient knowledge conversion

Technology helps to support the knowledge conversion process by taking the tacit knowledge that exists within each individual, converting that to explicit knowledge, and then sharing that information across the organization.

Let’s look at an example of using video technology to capture and share knowledge, as we discussed in part one of this series.

If someone captures video of an assembly line worker installing a part on a newly built car, that video can be uploaded to the LMS from the mobile device. Tacit knowledge has been recorded and uploaded.

Then, a subject matter expert (a line manager or a trainer, for example) can validate the video content, comment on it, categorize the content and align it to specific competencies.

The video can be shared with learners on the organization’s LMS, where it can be used to coach others and reinforce on-the-job training.

The technology – mobile video device (an iPhone, GoPro or Google Glass, for example) and the LMS – work together to convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge, and that conversion process supports the spread of learning from the individual to the entire team.

Mobile technology can help identify who your most valuable employees really are, and where the real knowledge is in your company. You can then address how to make that knowledge available in the organization.