Quick and Easy Approach to Knowledge Transfer


January 17th, 2013 : By Anna Griffith :

tell a story

How Do You Get Inside the Heads of People You Know?

In my previous blog, Discover How Knowledge Makes Strategic Objectives Achievable, I discuss how to find knowledge assets. In this blog, I focus on getting the story from the knowledge asset.

There are two quick and easy steps to follow.

  1. Describe your problem.
  2. Let a mentor tell you a story about how he or she solved a similar problem.

It’s easy to get inside the heads of mentors if you know how to get them to tell good stories.  Getting someone to tell a good story is, well, another story and one which we will focus on in a later blog.

A mentor needs a well defined problem.

  • A person has to be bold enough to ask for help.
  • The problem statement must be well thought out and researched.  You have to at least try to solve the problem on your own first.
  • In addition, the right story teller must be found.

The mentor must personalize the story.

  • The mentor must understand where you are coming from and be able to relate to you.
  • Does the mentor know your background and level of expertise?
  • Will the mentor be able tell the story with details at the right level – not too simple, not too hard – so that knowledge transfer occurs?

A good story has several parts.

  • What resources were required,
  • What did you expect to happen,
  • What happened,
  • What went well,
  • What could have gone better, and
  • What were the results?

Sometimes one story isn’t enough.

Several  stories that occurred under different conditions are helpful to identify different ways to look at the problem.

  • Did the same or similar problem happen more than once?
  • Did you solve it different ways?
  • Did you have different resources?
  • Did you learn something different?

Determine when it is time to codify stories.

  • Is it difficult for the mentor to be innovative and creative because he or she is solving the same problem over and over?
  • Has the organization developed a methodology that needs to be stated explicitly or risk losing the valuable expertise if mentors leave the organization?
  • Has the knowledge become transactional and critical to organization profitability?
  • The first step to codifying stories is to collect enough to address a strategic objective.  Model all of the stories at a sketch level.  Find the similarities and differences in the sketches.  Fill in details.  Specify special conditions.  Before going any further in the codification process you should have a clear understanding of how the expertise in the stories will be deployed in the organization.

In my next blog, Is a Designed Framework Required for Knowledge Flow,  I will go into more detail on how Discovery Machine codifies stories. See 6 Steps to Boomerang Expertise for our full approach.

One thought on “Quick and Easy Approach to Knowledge Transfer

  1. Pingback: Is a Designed Framework Required for Knowledge Flow? | Discovery Machine Blog

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