The Evolutionary Provocateur

Oct 31 2007 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The Evolutionary Provocateur is our new bi-monthly podcast series for executives, managers, and supervisors - in fact, for leaders at all levels - who have noticed that it is not what you know but who you are that has the biggest impact.

Dawna Jones, the show's host, believes that by raising awareness and understanding we can make a quantum leap to a new level of innovation in business - but it has to be done collectively.

Dawna's first show is all about tacit knowledge. Despite being one of the single most important competitive asset an organisation can possess, mention it and most people say: What?

Tacit knowledge is innate, natural know-how that is grounded in the knowledge one has gained from experience with life. But with four generations in the workplace there are very different views about the source of knowledge particularly as it relates to experience.

Generally the belief is the more experience you have the more knowledge you can contribute. Paying attention to this is important given the exodus of senior managers and the need to ensure knowledge transfer.

Yet the whole assessment of age and experience related knowledge ignores what we know about tacit or innate knowledge which is unique to all; it is not time dependent.

To make matters worse, in the quest for performance overly mechanistic business cultures have devised all sorts of systems and processes to 'manage' performance which ignores or inhibits the process of natural collaboration. Similarly, many people perform according to outside expectations without realizing that their most valuable asset is their natural innate talent, one they rarely can see but others can recognize quite readily.

Dawna argues that the secret to creating innovation that matters is embedded in two things: first gaining personal clarity that your talent is unique to you; and second, organizational clarity on what systems and processes unintentionally block the contribution of innate or tacit knowledge, both individually and collectively.

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It's thought-provoking stuff. Have a listen! If you like it, head on over to the Podcast page to sign up for the Evolutionary Provocateur RSS feed.