Re: Tacit Knowledge LO2057
Wed, 12 Jul 1995 09:41:32 CDT

Replying to LO1979 --


I really enjoyed reading the following. It is very intriguing to me.
I've never thought much about tacit knowledge, rather have off and on
given some thought to intuition, learning and being or becoming. I guess
I want to resist the idea that learning is a dynamic and evolutionary
process versus a static (tacit?) one, and that knowledge is never silent
(tacit?) within a person. More importantly, as you write below, there is
a difference between 'being' a leader, and doing the things leaders do.
This is something I reflect over quite a lot, not in terms of leadership,
rather in terms of being an adult educator. I think what happens is that
some people have learned that it is not enough to just do it, they need to
reflect upon the doing, what happens because of, whether this is what
should happen, why it happened, all of which requires the person to
examine assumptions, attitudes, values and beliefs that serve to inform
the people about actions they take - should take. To the extent that
these 'mental sets' coincide with the person's expectations about what
ought to happen when I do it, then the assumptions etc. are seen to be
valid underpinnings for the doing. When they are not consistent, they are
seen as invalid informants, and are seen in need of some form of
reconstruction or replacement. All of this processing takes place within
the individual who is committed to being within a context greater than
him/herself, and requires open dialogue within the community that forms
that context.

Thanks for listening!

> >We all met these tacit knowledges in our private life (swimming, cycling)
> >and in professional life (the knowledge of a good salesman is mostly
> >tacit). How do we learn these tacit knowledges? can this education be
> >improved? Can this knowledge be analysed? stored in a database?
[...snip by your host...]
> Simply doing something, does not mean doing it well. I've only
> been able to research 11 people in leadership positions to any
> great extent over the past 10 years. Almost all of them DID similar
> things - communications, planning, budgeting, rating people,
> giving raises, making decisions, interacting with people on a
> personal basis, etc, you name it.
[...big snip by your host...]

John P Wilson