In working with HP to identify tribal knowledge transfer, I developed a model to encourage the subject matter experts within the organization to share experiences with junior members. This was the genesis of a two-year research program conducted in association with the University of California, and aimed at discovering ways to translate the tacit information in someone’s head to make it more explicit for others in the workplace. This topic was so popular that more than 40 other companies participated in the research effort with hundreds of their workforce contributing a wide spectrum of insight through surveys, information interviews and focus-group discussions.
The results from this project laid the groundwork for dozens of Community of Practice endeavors adopted by several high tech and life science-oriented companies. Tribal knowledge transfer became the touchpoint for implementing change and developing workforces.
Recently, these endeavors have expanded to include Flash Mentoring via just-in-time conversations (or searchable video clips) embedded within company intranets containing interactive directories, and sophisticated employee profiles.