What Is Tacit Knowledge? An Overview!

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Tanya A Mishra
on November 23, 2023 · · filed under AI Tacit knowledge

We often say, "Knowledge is Power!"

But how can knowledge contribute to business innovation?

Tacit knowledge makes it possible!

A study of employees' tacit knowledge-sharing behaviour reveals that 80% of knowledge in a company is tacit knowledge. Therefore, one can understand the importance of tacit knowledge and how essential it is to document such knowledge and ensure proper dissemination.

In this article, we will look into some examples of tacit knowledge and learn more about knowledge management. You will also get a glimpse of Docsie - one of the leading documentation tools in the industry.

What is Tacit Knowledge?

Tacit knowledge is all about learning by doing. You can think of it as a knowledge hub containing all the skills, abilities and knowledge you can gather through life experiences. Quite naturally, this knowledge differs from one person to another as it depends on individual subjects and his or her environment.

Real-life situations often provide us with different examples of tacit knowledge. But what happens in the professional/employment sector?

In the context of an organisation, tacit knowledge is very crucial. Employees gain their abilities, skills and expertise by doing things practically and through onsite training, work placements, internships, etc. If organisations need to reap the benefits of tacit knowledge, the first step is to document the knowledge and ensure proper knowledge management.

What is the importance of Tacit Knowledge?

In today's professional world, employers prefer candidates who stand out from the crowd, have a unique perspective and can think out of the box. When your team members develop tacit knowledge, you know they are reliable with important and urgent tasks.

If you are the owner of an organisation, you can also emphasise the importance of tacit knowledge. By giving them appropriate resources and relevant opportunities, you can develop your new hires or existing employees.

As a result of going through examples of tacit knowledge in an organisational setup, professionals can adapt to different professional situations and handle them accordingly. With proper documentation, organisations can promote tacit knowledge thinking company-wide and identify knowledge gaps in its various departments.

What are the Benefits of Tacit Knowledge?

There are multiple benefits of tacit knowledge. Let's dive into the top advantages of tacit knowledge:

Benefits Importance
Experience-based When your employees learn from each others' experiences, they grow as a team and minimise the existing knowledge gaps.
Communicate knowledge Through proper knowledge management, you can maintain documents and articles and transfer more knowledge among your employees.
Beat competitors Companies can stay ahead of their competitors and utilise the knowledge base to further serve their end users.
Increase productivity As a result of knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer, companies allow employees to gain newer perspectives and promote out-of-the-box thinking.
Enhanced organisational innovation If you practice regular documentation, you open up possibilities for your employees to perform better.
## Examples of Tacit Knowledge

We can understand this form of knowledge by going through the examples of tacit knowledge. Let's dive straight in:

  1. Leadership: Experienced project leaders use tacit knowledge to handle complex projects. The previous knowledge helps them to understand team dynamics, handle risk reduction strategies, etc.

  2. Intuition: Intuition, especially for company sales, works as a great boon. From navigating complex customer interactions to handling circumstances logically, people with strong intuition go a long way.

  3. Hard skills: Whether it is learning a new sport or developing the ability to work with complex software, hard skills help individuals improve their muscle memory and gain hardcore skills.

  4. Innovation: All excellence begins with innovation. By nurturing innovation and creativity, companies can encourage their employees to use tacit knowledge and learn from practical activities.

  5. Efficiency: The importance of tacit knowledge lies in the fact that it helps organisations streamline workflows and optimise their processes and systems.

How to Promote Tacit Knowledge in Your Organisation?

It's clear that tacit knowledge is important for an organisation to flourish in terms of increased efficiency and enhanced customer satisfaction.

But how can you encourage documentation and management of knowledge through all your systems and departments? Here are some quick strategies for you to start with:

1. Foster a Learning Environment:

Continuous learning makes a team develop a wide array of strengths and capabilities. Document your current knowledge content and identify the knowledge gaps. Create intentional learning opportunities to close such gaps and guide your team to share information with each other.

2. Provide Mentorships:

Introduce mentorship programmes where juniors can follow their seniors and learn from their working styles, decision-making approaches, etc. New joinees can learn from experienced members and understand how to tackle complex organisational challenges. From performing tasks together to participating in brainstorming sessions - give opportunities for the newcomers to find their way through different projects.

3. Offer Training and Development Opportunities:

One of the greatest benefits of tacit knowledge is that it binds employees as a team and helps the organisation to grow. Prioritise employee training and give them scope to try different projects, difficult assignments, etc. Offer practical exposure in terms of on-the-job training, client handling expertise, etc., so that employees can actually learn while performing tasks and gaining skills.

4. Support healthy discussions:

Disagreements and healthy debates are part of our everyday lives. Encourage collaboration across departments and let teams come together to achieve business goals. Use technology and tools to promote a healthy organisational culture where people can discuss company strategies, policies, etc., and move towards a shared goal. Conduct regular discussion sessions and events where everyone can share their presentations and perspectives on various burning issues within the company.

5. Break Barriers:

While knowledge management is an important aspect of maintaining tacit knowledge, being welcoming to all members, irrespective of their roles and levels, goes a long way in ensuring inclusivity and equality. When it comes to problem-solving, consider suggestions from all departments and make a note of their viewpoints. By having diverse perspectives, you will be able to approach a problem more scientifically. Once you reach a solution, make sure that it is documented and made accessible to all employees.

Knowledge Management Tools

Do you want to ensure proper knowledge managementof tacit knowledge? You need to choose the right tools that can help you streamline your thoughts and articulate them in the best possible way.

If you do a quick survey of the market, you will find a wide variety of standardised tools that can help you document your knowledge base. What is important here is to understand the features of the different knowledge management tools and find out the one that can capture tacit knowledge and convey all the relevant information.

Docsie - Features at a glance:

As a documentation tool, Docsie comes with powerful features to help you create, edit, maintain and share your documents. Here are some of the top features of the software:

Enterprise-Grade Documentation

Whether you want to create a document from scratch or wish to export an already existing file, Docsie lets you create documentation, knowledge base, etc.

API Documentation Tool

Helping you to value the importance of tacit knowledge, Docsie lets you automate API docs. From creating to maintaining API documentation, you can help your customers access the required information.

Multiple Versions and Languages

Want to improve your international SEO? Create documents in your language and create multiple versions in the required languages. Deploy seamless updates and have different URLs for documentation updates.

Integration and Embedding

Today, businesses work with a plethora of services and platforms. To ensure proper knowledge transfer, Docsie provides custom and hassle-free integrations with your favourite and most-used tools.

AI language translation

Translate your content with zero effort using the platform's powerful AI capability. Localise your content and gain better visibility of your products and services.

So, if you are struggling with proper documentation and want a reliable platform to unleash the benefits of tacit knowledge, choose Docsie as your software partner and create documents that your customers love!

Final Thoughts

Documenting knowledge plays a significant role in developing and sharing tacit knowledge. When you value the importance of tacit knowledge, you provide insights to individuals to excel in their roles and contributions. Now that you know about the top examples of tacit knowledge, you can share your journey of documenting and sharing this mode of knowledge.

Do you wish to embrace the benefits of tacit knowledge and witness your company reaching greater heights? Use the power of Docsie documentation and write your firm's future using the platform's powerful and exciting features!

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