Did you know that almost 80% of the knowledge in your organization is invisible. This ¨tacit knowledge¨ is the lifeblood of your organization or team - what makes it tick. Failure to unlock this tacit knowledge and use it well is like failing to use a large part of your brain!
One of the most challenging jobs creative leaders & innovators face is making their organization's or team´s tacit knowledge more productive & effective - a high-impact strategy.
This capability is even more critical in public sector organizations due to typical staff and budget limitations - which are becoming more pronounced as a result of the economic crisis.
I had the privilege of working with a county public health department to help make the expert knowledge and insights of public health nurses visible and accessible for all members of the department - community health & environmental health. The agency director, a very creative and capable leader, wanted the community health and environmental health groups to be more integrated in their use of core public health concepts to guide their daily work and decisions.
In the process of the tacit knowledge elicitation, we created new knowledge tools for the environmental health team to use to prioritize its response to citizen complaints. The shared vision and common language across both community & environmental health have helped the public health department become more integrated and effective.
The insights offered by one long-time and very knowledgeable community health nurses - were "Ah has" for other staff. Her clear explanation of how the core public health concept of "prevention"enables her to make tough decisions - like filing a child protective services report.
Several community health nurses described the "ecology of caring relationships" in their department that made it possible for them to function in the emotionally demanding context of their work with families in need.
I'd be happy to send you a copy of the paper describing this work - send me an email and note whether you want the English or Spanish version.