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1121Re: [cp] RE: Tacit-Explicit & Implicit

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  • Chris Macrae
    May 1, 2001
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      Here's a stretch (hopefully not too far) on Scott Allen's advice to
      publish knowhow through a company's online channels of communicating

      Its about a communal organisational practice I call Chartering.
      Leaders decide on a shortlist of questions whose "answers"
      are worth making continuously open book, online for all employees. The
      list is chosen to feature questions whose "answers" link to
      be more than the sum of their parts. Many of the questions
      are so big that you don't actually have "precise answers" ,
      so everyone can participate in an online message board,
      and the "answer" is the current summary of where our groupthink is,
      what more research etc we need to do to be better informed etc

      The whole process of shortlist questions featured and current answers
      is accessible online by everyone - we tend to call chartering's
      homepage the company's living script; essentially everyone in the company
      has permission/duty to try to contribute any knowhow that goes to improving
      living script. And the sanction against those who don't participate is
      that their views won't have a chance of being actioned because
      the charter is what we all agree we're communlally actioning/learning

      If you've got a rough idea of the process, how about a sampler of candidate
      Well some will always be company or community specific, but we find these
      ones get
      a lot of repeat use:

      What would the outside world (consumers/clients, channels, partners)
      miss if we didn't exist?

      Apart from making money, are we agreed on one humanly compelling
      purpose that aligns our company? what? ..and do we use it pervasively:
      eg 1 in our measurements of performance, eg 2 in simplifying what
      knowledge we need to share and what knowledge we don't need

      Do we celebrate the most heroic on-purpose efforts our people make?
      What has our recent history of celebrations been?

      Are we lowest cost in our industry? If not, do we offer higher quality
      in a way that our best customers want? (or how do we justify
      our costs?)

      Are there companies (even ones we now see as competitors) which
      we really need as parters? If so, how can we shape the market visibility
      of our competences, so that these companies see they need us as partners?

      Are we currently profiting most from clients who are the least
      knowledgable about options available to them? If so, is this
      good for the future of our business model?

      In 5 years time, what are the biggest scenarios that could change our
      If any one of these starts to happen, are we organisationally better placed
      than our
      competitors to quickly enjoy making changes needed to leverage the scenario?

      Which CoPs matter most to our company? Does each have the right level
      of visibility to both do its job and inform relevant organisation-wide


      One other note. If your company already practices chartering
      or something similar, your leaders gain huge conversational flexibility.
      Suppose an urgent change challenge appears overnight: just add it to
      the chartering shortlist asking everyone to start replying
      how they see it impacting the activities they're responsible for?

      Its extraordinary if you facilitate the right questions how
      valuable insights can come from anyone in the company and how
      this permission can energise everyone in making a difference
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