Tuesday 5 March 2013

Using the "voice of experience" in knowledge transfer

I blogged a couple of years ago about the power of "the voice of experience" in Knowledge Transfer, and thought it was worth revisiting this topic.

One of the 8 demand side principles of KM is that People won’t use knowledge, unless they trust its provenance. They want to know where this knowledge has come from, because they want to be able to judge it's authenticity. They want to know if it can be trusted, if it is based on solid fact, and whether it is the true "Voice of Experience" - that voice that says "I know this - it has happened to me."

In many ways, you can look at much of Knowledge Management as being a systematic approach to identifying, distilling and transmitting the voice of experience around the organisation.

So how do we make this voice heard? Here's some ways -

  • Always attribute the source of the knowledge. Give its provenance, put people's names against it. It shows that it comes from a real and experienced source.
  • Use people's own words if possible. Include quotes.
  • Include pictures of the people who provided the knowledge. Knowledge seems more authentic of you can "see" the person who provided it.
  • Capture the stories. Provided they are true stories, told in the words of the people involved, they convey authentic experience.
  • Include the case studies. These are the record of experience.

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