Capturing tacit knowledge through storytelling

Gary Klein was the international keynote in the second day of the 2011 KM Singapore conference. Gary is the author of Sources of Power (named one of the best books of the millennium) and Intuition at Work. He is a research psychologist renowned for his pioneering work in the field of naturalistic decision making.

In his presentation, Gary highlighted the importance of capturing tacit knowledge that experts have. Experts see “patterns we don’t see” and we have mental models more sophisticated. How to capture this tacit knowledge is essential and very difficult at the same time.
According to Gary, one possible way to succeed in the efforts of expertise retention is through storytelling. Stories are a medium for communication and representation; they are not just mere illustrations but are the way “you calibrate what’s in the bullet points.” Moreover, stories can rescue us from the problem we often encounter when different people mean different things with the same words. Through stories, these difference can surface and we can have a richer dialogue.

Tags: expertise retention, kmsg, kmsingapore2011, knowledge management, storytelling, tacit knowledge