Strategy Dynamics Briefing 85: Grasping tacit knowledge

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Briefing 78 explained the importance of the intangible resource of knowledge to the performance of a firm’s tangible resource-system. For effective learning, knowledge must be captured. Since we are concerned here with the ability to get things done, this discussion is about know-how (how to do things), rather than the know-what of factual information.

A framework for understanding better the effectiveness of group learning starts with a distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge. The discussion of the retailer’s building of ...

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Big Data needs architecture

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SD models offer a rigorous enterprise architecture for firms’ data. Pharmaceuticals firms are  blessed with huge amounts of data on just about everything. But a competitive war-gaming project just completed for one of the big players was surprising. Sure, we could get data on things needed to model the firm and its rivals, but this seemed to come from lots of different sources, in many different forms – mostly big spreadsheets and slide-decks.

The data was inconsistent ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 84: Drivers of learning and forgetting

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Some further features need to be added to the standard architecture of learning dynamics in Briefing 83.

Limits to learning. Like most asset-stocks, there is a limit to how far capabilities can be improved, even if everything went perfectly, and all internal processes were instantaneous and 100% reliable.

Learning from failure. There is much opportunity to learn from failure, both on acquiring and retaining resources – product launches that did not work, bids for projects that failed and marketing campaigns ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 83: Capabilities and learning

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‘Learning’ clearly implies ‘increasing capability’, but this Briefing clarifies how this mechanism actually works. First, we must distinguish this collective learning that grows an organization’s or team’s capability from the individual learning that adds to their personal skills. Briefing 26 explained how to capture the dynamics of the skills held by individuals in a call-center team – in simple terms, that model looked at how the number of specific skills of average team members is increased or depleted.

In contrast, ...

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Strategy Dynamics Briefing 82: Capabilities and business processes

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The mapping and deliberate design of effective business processes has become almost ubiquitous amongst larger organizations since business process re-engineering (BPR) came to prominence in the 1990s. At the time, many businesses were using information technology to automate activities that were pointless, rather than redesigning processes to incur the minimum essential activity. The result of redesigning or re-engineering the process would often be a considerable improvement in speed, reliability and cost efficiency.

In summary, BPR first identifies the activities involved ...

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