Tacit Knowledge

How can Generative AI help with knowledge management? Why is talent knowledge capture important?

Leveraging Tacit Knowledge via Generative AI

By David H. Deans

Tacit knowledge, often referred to as the 'know-how' or 'unwritten wisdom', is the type of knowledge that is difficult to express or codify formally. It is often acquired through experience, intuition, and skilled judgment — the intangible aspects of expertise that set exceptional individuals apart.

This valuable reservoir of insights and wisdom remains untapped in many organizations, limiting their ability to make informed decisions, foster innovation, and fully capitalize on their collective intelligence.

GenAI: A Catalyst for Tacit Knowledge Capture

Generative AI (GenAI), a transformative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, has emerged as a powerful tool for capturing and sharing tacit knowledge -- both within the enterprise and externally. Knowledge can be extracted from a subject matter expert's professional portfolio, academic CV, and other resources.

By analyzing vast amounts of data, including phone calls, emails, documents, and client interactions, Generative AI can identify subtle patterns, hidden connections, and unspoken assumptions that would be difficult for humans to detect and codify.

This ability to uncover and capture the intricate tapestry of tacit knowledge provides organizations with a unique wealth of actionable insights that can be harnessed for strategic competitive advantage.

Business Transformation from Tacit Knowledge

The impact of Generative AI on tacit knowledge management extends far beyond simply capturing and storing information. It empowers savvy organizations to transform their knowledge into actionable insights, driving innovation, enhancing decision-making, and optimizing employee productivity.

Let's explore some of the transformative applications of Generative AI in this domain:

Expert Systems: Institutionalizing Expertise

Generative AI can be used to create expert systems that capture the accumulated knowledge and experience of seasoned professionals.

These systems can serve as a repository of tacit knowledge, providing guidance, training, and decision support to less experienced employees, effectively democratizing expertise across the organization.

Automated Capture: Streamlining the Process

Generative AI can automate the process of capturing tacit knowledge from various sources, including telephone calls, emails, project documents, and team or customer conversations in online meetings.

This automation frees up valuable time for subject matter experts, allowing them to focus on sharing their knowledge in more interactive, collaborative, and exponentially impactful ways.

Personalized Learning: Tailored Knowledge Transfer

Generative AI can personalize learning experiences, adapting to the individual needs and learning styles of each employee. It can also provide the knowledge transfer foundation for peer-to-peer coaching.

By tailoring training materials and recommending relevant knowledge resources, Generative AI can accelerate the acquisition of tacit knowledge, ensuring that employees are equipped with the skills and insights they need to excel in their roles.

A Transformative Knowledge Management Strategy

While Generative AI stands out as a revolutionary tool for tacit knowledge capture, its effectiveness is further enhanced when integrated with complementary business technologies:

Talent Inventory Databases: Mapping Expertise

Talent inventory databases provide a centralized repository of employee skills and experience captured from continually updated employment Resumes or academic CVs. Moreover, it's a training and inference resource for purpose-built Large Language Models (LLMs).

By integrating these talent databases with Generative AI, organizations can create a comprehensive knowledge map, identifying and connecting subject matter experts with relevant knowledge seekers, fostering knowledge transfer and proactive collaboration.

Expertise Networks: Fostering Knowledge Communities

Expertise networks facilitate connections between employees, and/or outside subject matter experts, based on their shared knowledge and experience.

These networks promote knowledge exchange, peer-to-peer learning, and the development of Communities of Practice, fostering a culture of continuous learning and knowledge transfer.

Unlocking the Full Potential of Organizational Intelligence

By harnessing the power of Generative AI, talent inventory databases, and expertise networks, organizations can create a comprehensive knowledge management system that captures, codifies, and applies the valuable tacit knowledge embedded within their workforce and outside collaborators.

This collective intelligence empowers organizations to make informed decisions, drive innovation, and enhance employee productivity — unlocking the full potential of their commercial knowledge assets.

The Future of Applied Wisdom: Tacit Knowledge + GenAI

Generative AI marks a paradigm shift in knowledge management, providing organizations with an unprecedented ability to fully leverage all the hidden applied wisdom of their strategic talent assets.

By embracing this transformative approach, leaders can unlock the full potential of their collective intellectual property assets, propelling them toward a future of innovation, informed decision-making, and superior employee productivity.

Discover applications of applied wisdom within the enterprise through our Future of Work research.

To learn more about the use cases of tacit knowledge empowered by GenAI, Contact Us now.