The Knowledge-Creating Company

Today what we bring is somthing really valuable for any LEINNER, Aline Chopra from our team company “Kippit”, wrote her deepthoughts on the book called “The Knowledge-Creating Company”. We really hope you like it.

It is so much what can be learned from this book / manual of Nonaka and Takeuchi that it is complicated to summarize it all in an essay. It really would be necessary to read it in order to extract everything from it and be able to apply all his teachings.

• The two types of knowledge

The explicit knowledge is the rational knowledge, the theoretical one. It is the one that can be learned in manuals, books, articles, which is easily transmitted from one person to another. In addition, it is the knowledge recognized as the only way of thinking in the vast majority of Western organizations (Europe and America).

On the other hand, tacit or implicit knowledge is the one that is not transmitted through mathematical operations, but in a practical way through experience. This knowledge also depends on the person, their beliefs and the environment in which they develop. Intuition, ideas and know-how are also part of this knowledge.

This tacit knowledge is much more used in the oriental culture. For example in Japanese companies, they believe not only in the knowledge acquired explicitly but also that they consider much more important those that have been acquired implicitly, by experience.

Considering these two types of knowledge, the innovation method used by companies in Japan is to seek knowledge in people outside the company such as customers, suppliers, distributors or even staff of the competition, in order to be able to establish a connection between the outside and the interior of the company. Thus, they use the information from abroad and then expand it throughout the organization and develop new technologies, products or whatever corresponds to this information. Thanks to this, they manage to be in constant innovation and generate competitive advantages.

• Organizational knowledge creation process

This process goes through four phases and begins with socialization, which consists in sharing with others tacit knowledge (experiences and technical skills) in order to expand it in the organization.

The second phase is called externalization, and it is here where the implicit knowledge becomes explicit, for example, when we explain our ideas to others and for that we put them into a scheme or drawing; This is how our implicit knowledge takes the form of a new concept, and this will be justified in the third phase that is the combination phase and in which the company or organization exchanges and combines knowledge through documents, meetings, emails or by telephone and will determine if this new concept is worth developing. Finally, we have the internalization phase, in which we convert our ideas or concepts into prototypes and experiment.

• Organizational conditions that facilitate the creation of knowledge

There are 5 conditions proposed by Nonaka and Takeuchi, which we require at the organizational level to allow the creation of knowledge within the company.

– The intention, which must be understood as the aspiration that the company has to reach its objectives and that, generally, assumes the form of strategy.

– Autonomy means that the members of the organization should, as much as possible, act as automatons as they can, since in this way they are more motivated and create new knowledge through the production and dissemination of ideas. – Fluctuation and creative chaos consists of adopting an open attitude towards the signs of the environment and facing ruptures of routines, habits and established knowledge.

– Redundancy can be achieved in two ways, one is to provide redundant information, which allows to share the implicit knowledge of people; and another way is to strategically rotate the personnel in different areas, which allows the members of the company to know different points of view of the same.

-The variety of requirements within the organization must be as broad and complex as the environment that surrounds it. This is achieved by designing an organizational structure where all members are interconnected through an information network.

Analyzing what I learned in this book, I have come to the conclusion that I personally believe a lot more in tacit knowledge than in explicit, which means, in learning by doing (probably that is why I am in LEINN). I think the explicit is totally necessary and that helps us to expand our knowledge but without the implicit, without the practice, all that knowledge does not serve us for nothing. That is why I can not stand the hiring model in most Western companies: where you studied and what note you got. I think that there are many people who have acquired knowledge in other ways and who will probably perform much better than people who have taken honors in the best university.

Today it is crucial to know all aspects of your company, both internally and externally and you need to know your competitors, your customers, your suppliers, everyone and also their opinions and knowledge so that you can always stay up in terms of innovation and organization. Of course this must happen internally as well: who knows if for the big problem that is happening in your company right now, the secretary is who has the best idea of the whole team. On the other hand I strongly share the 4 phases that happen to the knowledge to move from implicit to explicit and each of them has its importance. Socialization is essential to share knowledge with the rest of your team and to learn new things while telling your new learning; The same happens with outsourcing, combination and internalization.

The last one is especially important in the sense that it is in which we experience our idea, we prototype with it and see if it is really what we are looking for. About the five conditions that facilitate the creation of knowledge, I think it is a must that these are rapidly implemented in the companies, I speak now of mine, since I believe that they will help us to create knowledge at an organizational level within the company. On the other hand I want to emphasize that all knowledge at the level of Team Company begins in the individual knowledge ; If I do not learn anything individually and I have nothing to contribute to my company, this is not going to grow. But if I read, I take courses in Foxize, I visit clients and I really get great learning from all that I then share with the rest of the Company, I am enriching my team with knowledge, and once this exists we can grow together always towards above. But it all starts in oneself.

That was all for today, we will be back tomorrow with even more interesting stuff for all of you readers out there.



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