Tacit knowledge, culture and informal learning
Tacit knowledge and culture. Tacit knowledge can be defined as implicit, non-conscious and unacknowledged knowledge. It is silently acquired through practice, socialization and habits. Routines are a form of this non-conscious knowledge, as are cultural values and norms. Tacit knowledge was formulated by philosopher Polyani. “We know more than what we can tell” is the crucial insight of his theory.
How to enhance and use tacit knowledge? The way we acquire tacit knowledge is in interaction, like in peer-to-peer relationships. Most (intercultural) training trajectories can be classified as formal learning environments. One could easily argue that getting familiar with the implicit and non-conscious layers of (different) cultures or the depths of intercultural competences can only be learnt in informal learning environments. One could even argue that online communities are an important way where experienced professionals can exchange among peers and learn while reading, writing and sharing.
The art of combining formal and informal learning. If we underwrite the importance of tacit knowledge for the fine-tuning of personal intercultural development, how then should we design our training programs? This is the main question that I would like to explore with you during this webinar. In my opinion the art of intercultural training trajectories anno 2015 should be the optimal blend between informal and formal learning in order to add on to tacit knowledge.
Yvonne van der Pol is a member of Sietar Netherlands and works as an intercultural trainer, coach and consultant. She supports professionals in developing their intercultural effectiveness: in connecting to people with other cultural backgrounds, in performing in an international work environment, in managing uncertainty and last but not least in enjoying intercultural encounters.