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How do you get your employees ready to turn today’s business challenges into game-changing opportunities?

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Traditional training programs with their focus on one-way ‘Explicit Knowledge’ transfer are not going to be enough.  You will need to acquire and leverage ‘Implicit Knowledge’, which comes from hard-earned experience, and blend it with core Explicit Knowledge and situational context to create engaging learning tools.  You will also need to distribute this knowledge consistently and effectively throughout your company, and be able to measure the results with precision. 

Skillpad STRATEGIC e-Lesson Suites:
Experience-Based Knowledge for your Business

Skillpad has been tracking several hot trending topics that have a huge impact on businesses in the Pharma, Biotech and Health Sciences industries.  These topics are in areas where new challenges have arisen due to technological advances and regulatory changes.

Companies striving to remain competitive in the face of these challenges will need their employees to reach new levels of job performance and error management as a broad integration of systems, departments, sites and enterprise infrastructure takes shape.  This will rapidly tie teams of employees and their business functions and systems together across the traditional silos and boundaries of legacy business units.

The pace and scope of these changes are often beyond the capabilities of traditional company training departments, where the focus is rightly on compliance, new-hire onboarding, basic knowledge and skill development, and equipment/process training.

In order for companies to survive and thrive in the face of these challenges, a new approach is needed to manage the knowledge and skills essential for employee and operator readiness.  The new training approach needs to do more than present traditional Explicit Knowledge (manuals, SOPs and regulations) in the latest medium – it must have a method of capturing critical elements of Implicit (experience-based) Knowledge gained through years of working in the industry and its regulatory and technological framework.

Author David W. DeLong, in his book “Lost Knowledge”, describes Implicit Knowledge as follows:

  • Implicit Rule-Based Knowledge: The increased complexity of organizational life today means our minds are loaded with knowledge that could readily be made explicit and codified if we just had the time and inclination to do so.  It is rule-based or fact-based explicit knowledge that hasn’t been articulated.
  • Implicit Know-How: This is another type of unarticulated knowledge that an individual or group can readily communicate, but it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to codification because of the contextual complexity involved.  This type of knowledge, while not normally made explicit, can readily be transferred, if the expert is asked the right question.*

*David W. DeLong, “Lost Knowledge”, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp 83-84

As explained in Mr. DeLong’s descriptions, Implicit Knowledge defies easy categorization and collection because it is inherently rooted in the experience-based operational side of the business.  Employees acquire the necessary knowledge and skills mostly through ‘on-the-job’ training and work experience with supervised process/system exposure using trial & error, motor-memory skill reinforcement through task repetition, and gradually making small adjustments that optimize key areas of a process or system – which are passed on directly (verbally and by demonstration) to those working with them on the same processes and systems.

This knowledge development path takes time and the results are usually localized in a person or small group.  As a result, the hard-earned knowledge and skill combinations are not broadly known outside that group, and are often difficult to record and transmit to other employees within the organization.  Nevertheless, there are elements of this Implicit Knowledge that can be identified, analyzed and leveraged when examined using the right approach – or by asking the right questions.  When this happens, the benefit to your company is greatly improved performance and consistency.

Unfortunately, Implicit Knowledge is often lost through employee attrition or it simply fades from memory before it is properly documented or passed on to others (how many times have you felt like your company is re-learning the same lessons? –or making the same mistakes over again?). 

Occasionally certain elements of Implicit Knowledge are captured and transmitted in a “Best Practice” document or some other pool of localized knowledge such as a video library, but these efforts are usually peripheral and secondary to the process mechanisms they are designed to help because they span the “areas of responsibility” of Training, Production and Quality Departments without being championed by any one of them.

In short, the problem is both technical and organizational, because it is very hard to capture and describe Implicit Knowledge and few departments are equipped with the cross-functional resources (people, time, and budget) to take ownership of harnessing Implicit Knowledge.

Skillpad’s STRATEGIC solution…

In response to this problem, Skillpad has developed its own teams of experts in strategically important areas of the industry.  Skillpad’s experts have acquired Implicit Knowledge through years of experience, and are active consultants in their fields where they are abreast of the current and developing trends.  Combined with proven expertise in Knowledge Management and e-learning course design, Skillpad has built a series of STRATEGIC e-Lesson Suites specifically designed to harness and transfer critical elements of Implicit Knowledge within the core subject matter of the e-Lessons.

No other e-learning company has the equipment, plant and process experience combined with advanced Instructional Design capability to build e-Lessons that harness Implicit Knowledge in this way.

Skillpad STRATEGIC e-Lessons are current, clear, easy to take, and flexible around your schedule.  They are also fully supported by the MySkillpad LMS, giving you record-keeping and result-tracking functionality.

Turn challenges into opportunities.  Get your employees and operators ready using Skillpad STRATEGIC e-Lessons.

Demos for the Serialization and GCP Inspection Readiness suites are available and evaluations can be setup on request. Contact us