Monday, January 09, 2006

Capturing knowledge

This weekend I helped my seven-year old daughter and her friend prepare their science project. We spent around four hours building water filters and running a variety of tests. It was great fun. Everything was going great up until the time we had to write the lab report. At that point, the mood rapidly changed from fun and excitement to tears and frustration. She finally ended up with a report and did a great job (for a second grader). Of course, the report missed some of the important details, and it was difficult to see the excitement that she had. The excitement returned when got a chance later to describe the experiment to her grandmother and answer questions. She was easily able to articulate how we did the experiment, how the filters worked, and the challenges we ran up against. At the end, grandma had a good understanding and I was peppered with more detailed questions later in the evening about water treatment. Her excitement was passed on!

This speaks volumes about capturing knowledge. Next time I think about how great it would be to capture tacit knowledge, I will remember this example. Writing things down is difficult to do and especially hard to capture the excitement. It's much easier to verbalize what you know, it's more interesting, and a much better way to exchange knowledge.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger jackvinson said...

Good stuff, Jeff. Linked: Capturing passion


At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Luis Suarez said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your two weblog posts on the subject, Jeff, and I have also linked to it with another twist.


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