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Goodbye Knowledge, Hello Tacit Knowledge

        posted by , April 19, 2013

Knowledge isn't what it used to be.

Let's say you're a technology consultant in the 1980s. The internet hasn't been commercialized yet. Much like in ancient times, libraries are are primary repositories of knowledge. The knowledge in your head has a great deal of value.

If you could list 10 best practices for implementing a sales system — people would look at you with respect because that's the type of knowledge that's difficult to find at your local library.

Today's consultant lives in a different world. The internet has come along. The quality of information available to the 2.4 billion people connected to the internet improves dramatically every month. Search for the "best practices for sales system implementations" and you'll get millions of results. At least a few will be of reasonable quality.

Knowledge is quickly documented, shared and hardened with social feedback. It's available freely. So why hire consultants?

Luckily for consultants, there's another dimension to knowledge known as tacit knowledge. It's almost impossible to represent on the internet (as of yet).

A good example of tacit knowledge is riding a bicycle. You can share an article that describes how to ride a bicycle — nobody who reads it will be able to ride unless they've experience it.

The global economy and the education system that support it are about to undergo a major shift. Explicit knowledge is a commodity. Tacit knowledge is everything. Education will shift from teaching knowledge to cultivating abilities.

The knowledge economy has become the innovation economy.


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