Organizational Learning & Knowledge Management LO24027

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 02/22/00

Replying to LO23998 --

Dear Organlearners,

John Zavacki" <> writes:

>I snipped some conversation here to get back to the
>point: AT said:
> >> When articulating tacit knowledge into formal knowledge
> >> AND THEN MAKING SURE that the formal knowledge do
> >> indeed express the tacit knowledge, there are also costs
> >> involved. It means that this process is NOT reversible
> >> because SOMETHING gets used up. The LOSS of this
> >> SOMETHING is manifested in the tacit knowledge getting
> >> depleted FASTER than the formal knowledge getting filled.
>I still don't see the depletion of tacit knowledge because of its
>description. Do I stop digesting your proteins and acids, AT,
>because you have told me how I do it?

Greetings John,

No. I can tell you to imagine something which actually does not happen
except in your imagination. But I can also tell you to become aware of
something which does happen, but you may not want to imagine what my words
mean. Which case it will become depend on the LO-dialogue.

Let me use a different example. Think of letters as experiences, words as
tacit knowledge and sentences as formal knowledge. When I type the word
"word", I have used the letters (experiences) "w", "o", "r" and "d"
twice. Technology makes it seem as if I merely had to copy them. When I
write the word "word", I will have to create the letters "w", "o", "r" and
"d" twice.

Since I use up more letters than creating words with them, I am depleting
them faster than the words which I create with them. The same goes for
words used up in sentences. Little Jessica discovered this "advanced
depletion" about three years ago with a set of magnetic letters. She
begged me to buy some more sets of letters because she could not go rich
enough with the three (not one) sets which I gave her as a present.

So much for letters, words and sentences.

You have mentioned that you are a "river" person. I wish you would write
more about it.

Anyway, think of your river experiences. Why do you go back to rivers to
experience life there some more? If there is no depletion of experience,
should one experience not be sufficient to be used over and over again.
Should an experience be used over again in creating tacit knoweldge, how
does the mind copy the original experience faithful like a keyboard does
with a letter rather than locking it up in a byte of tacit knowledge?

I myself am acutely aware how I have to experience again and again the
very things which I make so much use of. My explanation is that these
experiences are depleted faster than my tacit knowledge emerges from them.
Similarly, I am aware how my tacit knowledge gets depleted faster than my
formal knowledge emerges from them. This weekend my brother and I made a
trip to the Limpopo valley -- the first one after many weeks. While
driving back I became aware how a new wave of tacit knowledge manifested
itself in my mind. If my body was not so tired I could have worked all
night jotting them down.

>Gemba Kaizen is the latest manifestation of the Japanese
>writer Imai on "kaizen" or incremental improvement.
>Gemba means workplace, not just the factory, but the
>kitchen, the study, the classroom, the mind. Imai posits
>cleanliness, order, antientropic activities, unending attention
>to details or space and time as a beginning to excellence.
> I am Polak. The -ski (Polish -cki with the 'c' pronounced 'ts')
>an adjectival ending. This makes me "An incremental improver
>of the workplace".....

Thank you.

Once you get beyond the hurdle that entropy measures not chaos, but rather
"details of both being and becoming", you will comprehend how the two
        antientropic activities
        unending attention to details

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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