1121Re: [cp] RE: Tacit-Explicit & Implicit
- May 1, 2001Here'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
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
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
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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