Human Intellectual Capital – Tacit Knowledge
Beyond the boundaries of our own knowledge, employees often find that seeking out company knowledge can be time consuming, and typically not easy. Companies today spend millions of dollars to boost employee productivity on transactional related activities as well as pushing these in many cases out to the consumer, but what they have yet failed to realize and adjust for are tacit interactions.
These tacit interactions, call them one-to-one, or one-off’s, are costing companies millions of dollars and hindering companies additional economic growth. Companies need to raise the bar by boosting worker productivity and making these workers most effective at what they do. With the increasing baby-boomer generational shift to retirement, these key employees will take valuable company knowledge with them as they retire, leaving those that follow and the companies in some instances struggling to maintain. So, finding ways to retain this information should be in the forefront of executive leadership strategies and initiatives.
McKinsey Quarterly reports that in the United States alone, over 41% of job types require tacit interactions. Invariably this means that this work needs to be evaluated and improved just like the transactional modifications made within organizations over the past few decades. New technologies are aiding this transformation of the “information era.”
Scott C. Beardsley, Bradford C. Johnson, and James M. Manyika have a great piece from McKinsey titled, “Competitive advantage from better interactions.” “Tacit interactions are becoming central to economic activity. Making those who undertake them more effective isn’t like tweaking a production line.” Read more in their full article.