I started to read legendary manual How to Adapt to the Mountain by Jimmy Odén. On first pages Oden reminds how mountaineering skills are divided to tangible and measurable knowhow and to abstract part that he calls mountain sense. According to Odén, mountain sense can be learned slowly through experience, evaluation and reflection.
Odéns duality reminded me not only about organization psychology, but also of my ancient post that compared challenges of free skiing and design process.
Also competences in the office have dual nature, divided similarly to explicit and tacit know how.
As organizations have their mountain tops as goals, the most tangible means are naturally seen the most obvious to get there. -The abstract and non measurable traits of competences can get overlooked although it might lead to compromising the innovation.
Then, how to nurture competences to promote innovation?
One example comes from the discussions we had while making the new sitting arrangements in our office.
It was acknowledged that two types of communication is needed to get creative organization working effectively. The first one being obviously the communication required to make progress in your tasks. Second being the communication that supports the values, learning and openness in the company.
The solution here is to support the primarily the latter - tacit - communication goal, although it might sound controversial. Rationale is that this effort is not on the cognitive level and should come effortlessly - almost unconsciously. Further, mutual learning, shared values and general openness enhances competences and creates good motivation to deliver the innovation - giving good base for the first - explicit - communication goal.