An interesting commentary on the ‘use it or lose it’ adage …
Knowledge Futures notes
how organisations lose knowledge if they do not continue to exercise the knowledge in the people. You can have lots of wonderful documentation that lists how to do things but that it is still important to have the knowledge of the people who wrote those documents to describe the context and translate that knowledge into meaningful action
I have recently noted that when I am asked how to do something on the computer I need to come to the computer, turn it on, open the application, and then explain to the asker what I do, as I do it.
I have, much earlier, noted that the computer has taught me to not bother trying to remember … there is too much change, too quickly, to warrant expending the effort in ‘learning to remember’, or learning to the memorised stage. And yet, with multiple activity, and continuing activity, I can ‘know what to do’, do it, and spell out to another how to do it: so there is memory, but not down pat in ‘propositional’ terms.
My recent excursion (starting July 2008) to recommence riding a bike showed me some of this patterning and its kinesthetic nature: yes, when I wanted to brake my first reaction was to back-pedal; yes, the first sensations were about being, or not being, balanced, and how balance is maintained in ongoing movement, not in stopping the bike; yes, when I fell off my bike (January 2009) I knew, almost immediately, it was irretrievable, and what I had to do to minimise the damage, and now I know, earlier, when the position of the bike is likely to approach that tipping point.
The Knowledge Futures item also reminds me that process documentation, to be good, needs to have a minimum, and to stay good needs to stay with the minimum appropriate; but that, of itself, this appropriate minimum is not enough – there is other knowledge developed, and in the doing.