Information is machines. Knowledge is people.

Information becomes knowledge only when it takes on a “social life” (Brown & Duguid, 2000). Most organizations have invested heavily in technology and training, but hardly at all in knowledge sharing and creation. And when they do attempt to share and use new knowledge, they find it enormously difficult.

Leading in a Culture of Change

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A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste!

Moving beyond the primary technical view of knowledge as data and considering it to be something that is connected to humans. Once it is external of one’s mind, it becomes information. If knowledge is what is in people’s heads, you cannot manage it. What you can manage though is the flow of knowledge between humans. So knowledge flow management (or KFM) is a much better term to use.

Polanyi's (1966) now famous statement, ‘we know more than we can tell’ highlights that much of what constitutes human skill remains unarticulated and known only to the person who has the skill. Polanyi went on to define two types of knowledge: explicit and tacit.

    • Tacit knowledge is that which is exceedingly difficult to describe or express. It is knowledge, which is usually transferred by demonstration, rather than description, and encompasses such things as skills.

    • Explicit knowledge is that which is easily written down or codified. It is easy to articulate and communicate and is easier to transfer between individuals and organizations. Explicit knowledge resides in formulae, textbooks, or technical documents.

Connecting Organizational Silos: Taking Knowledge Flow Management to the Next Level with Social Media

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