was on a baseball team
I was in eighth grade.
My class only had nine boys, so they had to put
me on the team to have enough players. Because of an
injury I suffered at birth, I was by far the worst hitter
on the team. I couldn't hit at all (though I could run
teammates gave me a hard time, of course: They were
fiercely competitive and wanted every edge they could
get. When my father saw how unhappy I was about the
situation, he bought me a copy of Ted Williams' The
Art of Hitting. My father didn't know much about
baseball but he loved books, so it was the one thing
he could think of doing to help me.
Williams understood hitting as well as any man alive,
and he tried to put what he knew into his book. I couldn't
hit, but I could read, so I read it twice -- practically
I still couldn't hit much. I made only a very modest
improvement, perhaps based on a newfound confidence.
Of course, I wasn't very much of an athlete. But even
if I were, I'd say that hitting can't be taught by a
book. The skills involved are to o complex and subtle,
too internal; they can't be expressed in words that
can be put to much use.
is a story I tell people who insist that knowledge can
be codified, that humans are interchangeable. There
are still many facets of life and work that are art
not science, and wise managers understand how to manage
are not machines.
being said, we can build the social processes to facilitate
knowledge exchanges between people -- experts and novices,
and even more importantly, build a culture that values
me How >>
can knowledge be nurtured in organizations?
is trust built throughout an enterprise?
is a knowledge-oriented corporate culture created?
can employees be encouraged to make efficient, productive,
and innovative decisions?
do some global companies build successful knowledge
projects, while others fail?
can managers harness the experience and wisdom within
their organizations more effectively?