How Can You Spread Tacit Knowledge in Virtual Settings?

One of the areas their people forget about when they go virtually is the amount of knowledge that is spread informally within an organization. One of the best descriptions I think of is to look at your virtual meetings from a writer’s perspective; first, second, and third-person points of view.

Your meeting notes are generated from the perspective of the first-person, the character within the story. The second person narrative is when you tell other people about the meeting either through writing or spoken word. But to spread informal knowledge throughout the organization, it can typically be done from a third person’s point of view, and those three areas are Objective, Limited Omniscient, and Omniscient.

From the 3rd-person Objective POV, we are a detached observer. It’s a great way to observe the Process, People, and Platform. Often, this is a facilitator with limited input during the meeting. I prefer someone that works before and after, while during is more like a fly on the wall. Many times this person can handle the operation or platform.

In the 3rd-person Limited Omniscient POV, the story is told from the viewpoint of one character. Think of someone that is a direct counterpart to others in the meeting; another person from Sales, Marketing, IT, Operations, etc.

The 3rd-person Limited Omniscient POV is when the person has unlimited knowledge and can describe every character’s thoughts and interpret their behavior. In this setting, I think that someone the next step up that could look at the meeting from a more systemic point of view would be ideal. They should see how decisions and actions are being made that will affect the overall company. Also, suggest ways that might empower this group’s outcomes by suggesting other meetings they should attend.

If you want to spread additional knowledge throughout the organization, I would highly encourage you to create time for people to be part of other meetings from a 3rd-person point of view. However, to make this happen, you will have to create more slack time into your system by setting realistic expectations, which probably means to do less, not more.