The ability to create knowledge together

I would like your opinion. I have, for the last few months, been playing with these ideas.

To create a new product, the team is all about knowledge creation. Not management of existing knowledge, but creation of new knowledge.

Note: The picture to the right relates to Nonaka’s ideas about knowledge creation, and tacit and explicit knowledge. Nonaka and Takeuchi are the godfathers of Scrum (per Jeff Sutherland).

So, in forming a team, it is not about bringing together people who have existing knowledge, but about bringing together the right people to create knowledge.

My hypothesis is that, if we really believe in this, then who we bring on the team changes fairly substantially.

Let’s remember that the only thing that knowledge workers really do is play with knowledge.  Ultimately, when software guys deliver good code, they have ‘only’ created new knowledge, as shown by the new code.

Now, we don’t do this foolishly. There is explicit and tacit knowledge in several domains that is important — that takes years to develop. It is probably not wise to start a team with six really smart 18-year-olds, but I do think our criteria have been much too skewed toward who has explicit knowledge at the start of the project, rather than which group of people, together, would create the most knowledge, the most innovative knowledge over the course of the project.

There remains still some sort of magic in pulling together a great team.

So, how important is the knowledge creation part to you now?
And how should it affect the team members chosen?



« « Against Central Planning || To know ourselves » »


2 thoughts on “The ability to create knowledge together

  1. Oliver McPhee


    I agree that its extremely important to strive towards creating knowledge in a team… just as I believe its important to manage the knowledge you already have.

    So, why cant the knowledge base you have also play a role in HOW you create knowledge.

    I have been using a website called 'knowledge genes' that discovered the 'code of knowledge'.

    As a company, or individual, you can actually use the site as a personal knowledge base and management system… BUT

    just as excitingly you can use the unique technology to CREATE knowledge.

    It seems to work on any subject and the process of authoring your own knowledge genes is fantastically illuminating.

    If you fancy giving it a go take a look at these examples…

    Optimizing Governance, Risk & Compliance

    Build an Agile Business

    Code of Knowledge Page

    I'd be interested to hear what you think…

    Kind Regards,


Leave a Reply