At a recent #pgalum event, “Meeting the Moment” in D.C., my former CEO AG Lafley talked about the power of tacit learning.

Zoom is great, sometimes.

AG led with how tacit learning can be difficult on zoom. That’s because we need time to mull things over, chew on ideas, explore different possibilities. You see, as opposed to formalized or explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge is that brand of wisdom which is passed along in person, and through collaboration.

tacit learning

Tacit learning can be difficult to express and to extract… this is why it’s more difficult to transfer to those around us. It’s not easily written down or spoken. Rather, tacit knowledge includes the building blocks of personal wisdom, experience, insight and intuition.

How does one collect tacit knowledge?

AG talked about how we need to slow down and show up in order to absorb the full benefits of tacit learning, which is best accumulated when we collaborate at a higher level. The power of tacit learning comes when we find unlikely connections through shared brainstorming and discovery.

brainstorm tacit knowledge

You see, the written word can miss out on civility and it can value extreme views. Further, media sometimes reflects the most strongly held and weakly informed opinions. And most algorithms ensure that we immediately see more, and more extreme versions of what just captivated us. As a result, our ability to holistically consider and solve issues has been slowed. In today’s virtual world, we are beginning to lose our socialization and personal skills. And these are hugely important when it comes to developing balanced perspectives to solve big problems.

The tougher the problem to solve, the stronger the relationship

I loved this point: if relationships aren’t strong, our opinions can become more sensational… it’s possible that some are not based in facts at all! But when we solve tough problems together, the social fabric that knits us together tightens and bonds us to one another.

This brings up another great point: inclusion is required for diversity to work. And the value of inclusion is required for diversity to be unleashed. OK, this isn’t impossible in a virtual world, but as tactile and emotive humans, investing in one another can accelerate a sense of community and inclusion.

So, instead of digging in to things that make you feel right, expose yourself to different views. Slow it down in order to think. Spend time with different people. Sit in the silence of a shared coffee. Ask each other questions that are off the agenda. And appreciate the power of tacit learning.

For related articles, check out:

#HybridWorkplace #WorkplaceCulture