Originally published June 5, 2019

This is the 45th article in the Profiles in Knowledge series featuring thought leaders in knowledge management. Dorothy Leonard is the William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration, Emerita at Harvard Business School, and Chief Advisor at the Leonard-Barton Group. She specializes in knowledge transfer, innovation management, team creativity, and assessment of organizational knowledge assets. I met Dorothy when she delivered a keynote at the 2018 APQC KM Conference in Houston.

Dorothy’s principal interests are in the generation and management of knowledge:

  1. Transfer of knowledge/expertise across professional, cultural and geographic boundaries
  2. Design, development and commercialization of new technologies
  3. Development of strategic technological capabilities
  4. Management of creative teams

Her research interests fall into three broad, interacting categories:

  1. Group/team creativity and innovation
  2. The identification, capture and recreation of experience-based expertise
  3. The culture of a learning organization

Creating and Exploiting Knowledge-Based Assets

Dorothy’s research has focused on how companies develop and exploit strategically advantageous knowledge assets. In her 1995 book, Wellsprings of Knowledge, she identified and described in depth, activities that create and channel technological knowledge to invent, import, integrate and commercialize technology. Her 2005 book, Deep Smarts, focused on the business-critical, experience-based knowledge that underlies both current operations and future innovation. In 2014, she and co-authors Walter Swap and Gavin Barton provided a practical guidebook for managers, Critical Knowledge Transfer, on how to nurture and preserve deep smarts. She researched how this type of expertise can be identified and transferred to less experienced personnel — especially its tacit dimensions.

Dorothy continued to expand on the topic of deep smarts. Since writing the book, she co-created a diagnostic of deep smarts. She refined the process of identifying and capturing (in so far as it is possible and desirable) the elusive but often valuable tacit knowledge held in the heads (and sometimes the hands) of organizational experts. This process is especially important to organizations that are in danger of losing critical knowledge as key employees retire or move on to other positions. However, by their very nature, deep smarts cannot be wholly captured or transferred in any text or oral form. Therefore, they must be re-created through an actively managed learning program.

Experiential Learning and Knowledge Mentors

Dorothy’s research on innovation and knowledge transfer has always emphasized learning by doing. She has explored how organizations can foster faster skills learning. While there are generational differences in today’s workforce in preferences for technological enablers, how people gain practical know-how has not changed. She therefore focused on how experiential learning can be introduced into onboarding and early professional development programs in organizations.


Dorothy joined the Harvard faculty in 1983 after teaching for three years at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has taught MBA courses in managerial leadership, knowledge management, new product and process design, technology strategy and innovation management. At Harvard, M.I.T., and for corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, and 3M, Professor Leonard has conducted executive courses on a wide range of innovation-related topics such as cross-functional coordination during new product development, technology transfer and knowledge management. She has initiated and served as faculty chair for executive education programs such as Leveraging Knowledge for the 21st Century, Leading Product Development, and Enhancing Corporate Creativity. She also served as a Director of Research for the Harvard Business School and Director of Research and Knowledge Programs for Harvard Business School’s non-profit organization, HBS Interactive.

Dorothy’s major research interests and consulting expertise relate to managing knowledge for innovation and stimulating creativity in group settings. She has consulted with and taught about these topics for governments (e.g., Sweden, Jamaica) and major corporations (e.g., IBM, Kodak). She served on the corporate Board of Directors for American Management Systems for twelve years and for Guy Gannett Communications for three years — in both cases until the company was merged or acquired.

Her numerous writings appear in academic journals (e.g., “Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities in New Product Development” awarded Best Paper for sustained impact on the profession by Strategic Management Journal), practitioner journals (e.g., “Make Yourself an Expert” in Harvard Business Review) and books on technology management (e.g., “Guiding Visions” in The Perpetual Enterprise Machine). In addition, Professor Leonard has written dozens of field-based cases used in business school classrooms around the world. Her book, Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation, was published in hardback in 1995 by Harvard Business School Publishing, reissued in paperback in 1998, and has been translated into numerous languages. Professor Leonard’s book, When Sparks Fly: Igniting Group Creativity, (co-authored with Walter Swap) was published September, 1999 by Harvard Business School Press. Also widely translated, it has been reissued in paperback in 2005 and was awarded Best Book on Creativity by the European Association for Creativity and Innovation. Her book Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business Wisdom, (co-authored with Walter Swap) was published in January, 2005. Her latest book (co-authored with Walter Swap and Gavin Barton) is: Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company’s Deep Smarts, published in 2014 by Harvard Business Review Press. Before obtaining her Ph.D. from Stanford University, she worked in Southeast Asia for ten years.

Member, Editorial Board

  1. The International Journal of Innovation Management
  2. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management
  3. Journal of High Technology Marketing
  4. The Journal of Knowledge Management
  5. The Journal of New Product Development
  6. Organization Science (Senior Editor, 1992–94)


  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1979
  • M.A., University of Virginia, 1968
  • B.A., Principia College, summa cum laude, 1963




  1. Human Capital Institute
  2. ResearchGate
  3. Semantic Scholar
  4. HBR
  5. Develop Deep Knowledge in Your Organization — and Keep It
  6. Why Don’t We Know More About Knowledge? with Michael Hammer and Thomas Davenport
  7. The Factory as a Learning Laboratory
  8. Beating Murphy’s Law with W. Bruce Chew and Roger E. Bohn
  9. Applying innovation diffusion theory to the management of changeAmazon
  10. Horizontal diffusion of innovations : an alternative paradigm to the classical diffusion modelAmazon
  11. Diffusing innovations when the users are not the choosers : the case of dentistsAmazon
  12. Introducing production innovation into an organization : structured methods for producing computer softwareAmazon
  13. 5 Ways to Ensure Critical Knowledge Transfer
  14. Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities: A Paradox in Managing New Product Development
  15. The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Group Innovation with Sylvia Sensiper

Articles by Others

1. Deep Smarts and the Passion Factor by Patti Anklam

2. Three Books Every KM Professional Should Read by Nancy Dixon

3. Interview by David Creelman

4. Interview: Marrying Distance and Classroom Education by Sean Silverthorne

5. Interview: Empathic Design: 5 Ways to Get Your Innovation Mojo Back by Roland Alston

6. Interview: Leonard and Swap on ‘Deep Smarts’ — ACM Ubiquity

7. Finding the right expertise using your networks by Shawn Callahan

8. Interview by Steve Denning

The Role of Storytelling in Innovation

STEVE: Dorothy, you’ve done an enormous amount of work with organizations on innovation. How does storytelling relate to innovation?

DOROTHY: To my mind, storytelling can have both a positive and a negative effect on innovation. On the one hand, stories can be a powerful deterrent to innovation.

One of the stories I tell about innovation is the time I went to a company and, as I often do, when I’m on a quest for understanding the innovation climate, I asked whether there was room to fail in this company. And the answer I got from a bunch of people was, “Well, our new CEO who came in about three years ago, says that he really supports failing forward, but you know, you really can’t take chances here.”

So I said, “Tell me about that. Give me an example?”

They looked at each other and one of the people said, “Remember Mary in Sales, how she tried that new promotion in stores and she got sent off to Siberia, or the corporate equivalent thereof.”

I asked, “When did that happen?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe seven years ago.”

“And remember George,” one of them said. “He got into trouble too.” And they gave me a big story about George, how he had tried something new, and it failed, and he got fired. And that had happened seven or eight years ago.

What was clear was that they had these stories in their mind about things that had happened three or four years before the current CEO had come on board, and he had not yet managed to counter them with new stories. They were still focused on what had happened under the prior CEO. So there was no room in their heads for understanding whether there was a new mentality at the helm or not.

So that’s a negative example of how stories can linger on. People can hold on to stories and believe in them, long after they should have been superseded by new stories. It behooved that CEO to make sure that there were new stories of success, new stories of recovery from failure.

STEVE: What about the positive impact of storytelling on innovation?

DOROTHY: Well, if you go to 3M, say, you have all stories about how the Post-It notes were discovered and everyone knows that story. But they also have a lot of other stories about creativity in the company. And there are not only stories of invention. There are also stories about how they have taken a particular technology, a platform, and have expanded it into new markets and new products. These kinds of stories stretch peoples’ minds about what is possible.

So stories have helped them to keep alive the idea that they are an innovative company, have helped them define their culture.

Stories can also convey ideas about innovative thinking. When we hear that the idea of Velcro came from a smart guy noticing how burrs clung to his dog’s coat after a walk in the woods, we realize that nature can inspire invention.

So stories can have a positive or a negative effect. They are certainly powerful ways of communicating process and routines and norms in an organization.

STEVE: I was struck when I went to the website for 3M and looked at the material on the Post-It Notes innovation. I had heard the story about the guy in the choir who couldn’t keep his place in the hymn book and then realized that the glue didn’t stick very well might be the perfect solution, and so on. I had heard that story, but when I went to the website, I saw that this was just the beginning. In fact, there was a whole saga that followed, in order to get the idea accepted by the company and into production. The story that I had heard was only a fraction of the story that had actually happened. It’s much harrowing than the way the story is normally told, or indeed, the way that I had heard it told.

DOROTHY: Right. People sometimes imagine that once you find something new, then it is very easy to get it implemented. In reality, if you look at the story of the founding of 3M, it took them 12 years to figure what the company was going to be: it was the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company.

And people sometimes refine stories down to the essence or the moral, which doesn’t always convey the full meaning of the story. But stories can be very useful, but they can also be dangerous if they are out of date or lack context.

STEVE: You mentioned how tough it can be to make innovation happen? How do you cope with these difficulties?

DOROTHY: That’s a third overlap between innovation and storytelling. Organizational innovation can be very painful. When I’ve dealt with people who are innovating in an organization, they all seem to go through something like what John Bunyan calls in his novel, Pilgrim’s Progress, “the slough of despond”. This is a deep bog into which the hero sinks under the weight of his sin and his sense of guilt. People undertaking innovation all seem to go through a period of doubt and discouragement. And it can help to normalize the emotions that people on an innovation team have of despondency, if you have stories to tell them about how others got through that slough in a prior time. The stories can communicate: “This too will pass.”

I remember one woman in Best Buy, during one of their efforts to implement a massive innovation project. They brought in a team from Strategos consulting to help guide the Best Buy employee teams. This woman charted out in graphic form her emotional rollercoaster ride. At first, she felt like, “This is really going to be fun, you know, innovate! Wow! This is going to be great!”

And then she felt confusion, as she went down in the rollercoaster, and felt the apparent chaos as to what was happening: “Do we really know what we’re doing? My gosh, this is hard work! You know, I don’t think our leader knows what the heck he’s doing!”

And then later on, she felt, “Well, I guess it is beginning to work!” as the roller coaster went up the other side. “By golly, we’re making some progress! Is he just lucky or is he smart?” By telling the stories of innovation, managers can normalize that emotional rollercoaster ride — prepare people for it.

9. Three Books Every KM Professional Should Read by Nancy Dixon

Critical Knowledge Transfer

In her book, Leonard is not addressing the transfer of all knowledge in an organization, rather she is focused on “critical knowledge,” expertise that is largely undocumented and is in the heads of employees, particularly employees considered experts who have vital knowledge that is likely to leak out of the organization during transitions. Leonard categorizes knowledge into three levels, explicit, implicit and tacit, explaining that each must be transferred differently. This book is primarily about the last two.

Explicit knowledge can be transferred through written documents and community Q&A.

Implicit knowledge is that knowledge which an expert can articulate, but only with the help of skillful elicitation techniques. Those techniques require training and experience to develop.

Tacit knowledge, that which even an expert may not be aware of, is transferred through the learner’s observation of an expert, followed by supervised practice and coaching. Leonard calls this process OPPTY (for Observation, Practice, Partnering and joint problem solving, and Taking responsibility). She explains that OPPTY works best when knowledge is transferred, not to novices, but to “near experts”.

The book has advice for managers in terms of how to determine what knowledge is critical to transfer. Leonard says, “First you have to be confident that you understand what know-how, skills, and other capabilities underlie your company’s success.” She devotes three chapters to the various techniques to elicit and capture knowledge, make sense of it, and then massage it into a form that can be transferred, with lists of knowledge elicitation questions for each. This is an in-depth look at knowledge transfer from one the great experts on the topic.

10. Knowledge retention, really? by Jack Vinson

The topic of knowledge retention and the aging workforce came up in my KM class this week. It is generally acknowledged to be a problem to have long-experienced people retiring or otherwise leaving companies. The class asked the sensible question of “how real is it?” In conjunction with this, Dorothy Leonard (of the wonderful Wellsprings of Knowledge) has an article on the issues of knowledge retention in the May 1, 2005 CIO Magazine in conjunction with her new book with Walter Swap, Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business Wisdom.

CIO, May 1, 2005, Dorothy Leonard, How To Salvage Your Company’s Deep Smarts:

The approaching exodus of retiring baby boomers will severely erode the knowledge base of many companies. Fortunately, there are ways to re-create this crucial expertise.

… But people with deep smarts can be indispensable. Why? Because their particular brand of expertise is based on long, hard-won experience. They are the go-to people known for their swift, seemingly intuitive judgments. Such experts differ from their less experienced colleagues in having the ability to view a problem at a system level and yet dive into the details when necessary — and identify a familiar pattern.

There are a slew of good comments to the article as well, including some that do not completely agree with the sentiments expressed. To that end, a couple students questioned the premise of knowledge retention — that long-term employees are retiring in great numbers, creating huge risk for companies. Some counter-arguments or questions that test the premise:

  • Is it real? Has the cost of this retirement been documented, or is the risk all anecdotal?
  • What is the real distribution of employees in the at-risk companies? (Distributions in terms of age, longevity and nearness to departure)
  • How many people stay at one company for more than five years to accumulate “deep smarts” about the company? We are told that the current workforce will be in many companies and careers through their lives. Thought of this way, it really sounds like these programs are “brain dumps” that the experts will resist with all their might.
  • How much can truly be “salvaged” this way? (The Leonard article, and I assume the book, talk about establishing processes that ensure training of less experienced people to help them understand the thinking of the experts.)

11. Interview: The knowledge by Simon Lelic

She talks about her career so far and the impending crisis facing companies across the world.

As with so many of the early pioneers of knowledge-management thinking, Dorothy Leonard’s involvement with the discipline owes as much to chance as it does to design. Leonard, now William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, started out after college by joining the Peace Corps. She spent the next ten years in south-east Asia, where she also started working as a freelance journalist. It was during this period that Leonard’s interest in the subjects that would eventually fuse into a broader understanding of the issues surrounding knowledge management and innovation really began to blossom.

“My late husband and I spent a total of five years in Thailand and five years in Indonesia,” she says. “During that time, I began looking at technology transfer, and the way that technology often failed to transfer. For example, in 1975 the Indonesian government’s oil company, Pertamina, wanted to give something back to the country’s people, so it sent $1m-worth of oceanographic equipment to the University of Aceh in Sumatra, which was really only a couple of buildings. I was privileged to go up to Aceh at the time, and I met the person who was supposed to direct the use of all this equipment: he had a Masters degree in chemistry from the US, and a small diesel engine from which to run the equipment.

“I saw lots of examples like that — of the transfer of knowledge that was embedded in equipment for which there were no receptors of knowledge, no ability to use it because there was no knowledge about how to operate it and no infrastructure to support it.” Since that time, Leonard has been fascinated by knowledge flows and the diffusion of innovation. By the time she wrote her first book, Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining Sources of Innovation[1], in 1995, Leonard had been studying these subjects for more than 20 years. “When I wrote Wellsprings, it was before people were talking about knowledge management, but it was already apparent to me that knowledge was absolutely key to innovation,” she says.

Leonard cites Everett Rogers as having a huge influence on her work. It was Rogers who first coined the term ‘diffusion of innovation’ in 1962 with the publication of his book on the same subject.[2] More recently, Ikujiro Nonaka’s work on tacit/explicit knowledge and the process of knowledge creation has also impressed her, although before The Knowledge-Creating Company[3] was published in the same year that her own book appeared, Leonard was unaware of just how well Nonaka’s work complemented her own. “I met Ikujiro in the early 1990s, but we had never talked about knowledge per se,” Leonard recalls. “We had talked a little about culture but it’s as if those two books simultaneously and spontaneously sprang from a similar interest in innovation and organizational culture.”

Since then, Leonard has continued to work at, as she puts it, “the intersection between knowledge and innovation”. After Wellsprings, which focuses on organizational capabilities and strategies for developing knowledge, Leonard went on to co-author When Sparks Fly: Igniting Creativity in Groups[4] with Walter Swap, a book that looks much more closely at ideation and sources of knowledge, in particular how companies are able to generate innovative ideas. Right now, Leonard is working with Swap to produce a follow-up, which Leonard maintains will sit between Wellsprings and When Sparks Fly in that it will focus primarily on how ideas are taken to implementation.

“Walter and I have spent a couple of years working on this,” says Leonard. “We started in 2000 and finished data collection about eight months ago.” Fortunately for Leonard and Swap, their research period coincided with both the height of the internet boom and the bursting of the bubble, allowing them to study how the entrepreneurs of the time, who needed to learn very quickly in order to survive, managed that learning process. As Leonard says, “We were observers during what you might think of as an international experiment in rapid knowledge transfer and knowledge acquisition.”

Neither the publication date nor the title have been confirmed as yet, but Leonard is confident the book should be released a year or so from now. “At the moment, we’re calling it Ways of Knowing, but it turns out there is a book by that title already,” Leonard says. “Basically, though, that is what it is about: both the benefits and limitations of the ways people access knowledge when they’re trying to learn rapidly.” And while writing is now commandeering the majority of Leonard’s time, she is already looking towards her next topic of research.

“I’m very intrigued by the issue of knowledge loss,” she says. “I’ve always known that knowledge is partially experience based, but it has really become apparent to me how imperative it is for those interested in knowledge management to recognize the role of experience in knowledge development. In the next few years in the US, and indeed worldwide, we have a demographic bubble of people retiring. With them will go an enormous amount of knowledge, some of which should be replaced and some of which is irreplaceable. At the moment, nobody is doing much about it except wringing their hands, and that’s partially because we don’t really understand how to identify and preserve the knowledge worth keeping.”

In Leonard’s mind, this is one of the biggest issues that knowledge-management practitioners will have to grapple with over the coming years. Already, as Leonard says, the defense industry, the pharmaceutical sector and the larger oil and gas companies, among others, have started to comprehend the depth of the crisis they are facing, although in many cases it may already be too late for them to do anything about it. “The trouble is,” says Leonard, “you really have to anticipate it. By the time you realize that valuable knowledge is walking out the door, it becomes much harder to capture it. It really is an extraordinarily large issue that we need to think about.”

A second concern, which Leonard feels isn’t even on the radar screen for many companies yet, is the process by which companies are able to acquire innovative knowledge. “Knowledge management is still very internally focused, looking at ways of re-using the knowledge that we have,” she says. “That is totally appropriate, because it’s a good place to start, especially in a bear market, but it seems to me that an issue coming up is how to help companies acquire new knowledge.” Leonard points to the number of alliances that modern companies are forced to enter into in order to bridge the gap left by the closure of so many industrial research centers and laboratories, but argues that not enough attention is given to structuring those partnerships to support knowledge flows effectively.

Underlying both these issues, according to Leonard, is the role of experience in developing knowledge, something she feels is still not understood on a deep enough level. “For example,” she says, “talking about knowledge loss, if you ask people in an exit interview to transfer their critical knowledge to you, they are likely to give you the most common experiences of their careers. They are not going to think about those rare occurrences or events unless you create a way for them to do so.” While the internet has given people access to tremendous amounts of structured knowledge (‘know-what’), Leonard continues, they don’t have access to skill-based knowledge (‘know-how’), which is only learnt through practice.

“Knowledge management as a field has to come to grips with how one can stimulate guided experience,” says Leonard. “At the moment we are still too focused on data and information.” Already there is a danger, she continues, that knowledge management will go the way of re-engineering — that the freight the discipline now carries will obscure its original meaning. She nevertheless maintains that the majority of the concepts KM embodies retain a great deal of value, and is encouraged by the increase in understanding and sophistication she has seen since the mid-1990s. Yet at the heart of the majority of the issues knowledge management currently has to contend with, says Leonard, is the need for people to understand that you cannot create experience over night. Only if practitioners recognize this and work to further this level of understanding will the discipline continue to prove its worth.


  1. Leonard, D., Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining Sources of Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, 1995)
  2. Rogers, E.M., Diffusion of Innovations (The Free Press, 4th Ed, 1995)
  3. Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H., The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation (Oxford University Press, 1995)
  4. Leonard, D. & Swap, W., When Sparks Fly: Igniting Creativity in Groups (Harvard Business School Press, 1999)

12. Interview: What’s the key to implementing knowledge management?

From Knowledge Management Magazine, August 1999

Put your work in an historical context.

For 30 years my work has focused on innovation; understanding the flows, aggregation and exploitation of knowledge. So we’ve been practicing knowledge management for some time. But workplace changes now make it worthwhile to focus on KM as a topic. We know that an understanding of how minds work makes tacit knowledge as important as explicit. And the quality movement helps us engage workers’ minds and hearts while the information technology revolution helps us understand what can be managed by available tools and what can’t.

How does this apply to KM?

Strategy derives from an understanding of core capabilities and how they become core rigidity. Core capabilities include an interactive system of knowledge assets about how we know as well as what we know. It is as important to understand the channels through which knowledge enters and flows through our organization as it is the content that flows through those channels. These depend on the kinds of knowledge we value, how we interact with the marketplace, our suppliers and our partners and how we screen and import knowledge.

How does one avoid core rigidity?

Guard against core rigidity by designing your organization with innovation as a core capability. Organizations that encourage innovation keep their structure flat, maintain a history of risk-taking and failing forward, distinguish between intelligent and stupid failures, establish a culture of confrontation, plan dual projects over just one approach, enable middle managers to make decisions on their own, constantly send people throughout the world to search for new ideas and excel at formal and informal experimentation.

How does one maintain innovation?

Appoint a devil’s advocate when making decisions, establishing a formal dissenting voice that elicits alternatives. Compose a group with intellectual diversity to assure different perspectives and therefore a menu of ideas from which to choose. Then manage the resulting “creative abrasion” to produce the desired output. Don’t restrict innovation to R&D.; It is needed throughout the organization-sales, service, human resources. Homogenous groups tend to think alike, use the same toolsets and solve problems in the same time-honored ways they understand, often completely ignoring alternatives.

How can tacit knowledge be shared?

Tacit knowledge grows through shared experience. The tacit dimension of my knowledge goes through my experience, yours through your experience. Right now, the only known way to transfer tacit knowledge between us is to work together or for me to experience a simulation of your knowledge through apprenticeship, mentoring and co-located work.

What are the steps to innovation?

Establish divergence by bringing in interns, visitors and consultants, and by taking knowledge workers out to meet customers and on other visits that will expose them to unexpected points of view. Allow incubation, providing time to think without having to act immediately upon available options. This time is tremendously important in the creative process. Then establish convergence by having everyone focus on the option that’s chosen. Manage this process of divergence, incubation and convergence to repeat itself in a cyclical fashion throughout innovation. Information technology allows communication across distance and time to help both the divergence and the convergence.

How do customers fit in the process?

Observe people in their work, play and home environments to understand their unarticulated needs, creating new channels for information to flow from your market into the organization. Rather than asking people what they want, send out a team like anthropologists, empathizing with potential users, anticipating what they want. This results in the evolution of new product concepts that otherwise couldn’t have been identified.

How can innovation advance?

Focus on right-brain thinking, the non-numeric, nonrational, nonanalytical side of intelligence. Develop an understanding of how tacit knowledge grows and transfers. We’ve been preoccupied with low-hanging fruit, the explicit dimensions of knowledge that can be codified and captured inrepositories. We do not understand the tacit knowledge that underlies many best practices and how they are transferred. We need to better understand human behavior.

What’s missing?

Design the physical environment to encourage innovation via spontaneous, unplanned encounters as people move through open, varied spaces.

Any unanswered questions?

How does tacit knowledge accumulate? How do we best transfer it? Cognitive scientists don’t necessarily talk to the other scientists who might understand that. Can we help serendipity, which is a very important force in innovation? We systematically cut off most of the avenues in which serendipity occurs because we are running so lean that there’s no slack. We talk to each other purposefully over email but not so much in the halls. How do we figure out what we don’t know?


  1. How KM Can Capture Deep Smarts
  2. Developing and Capturing Deep Smarts
  3. Creating the User Experience Clients Want but Can’t Describe


  1. Critical Knowlege Transfer: What Happens When Your Company’s Deep Smarts Walks Out the Door?
  2. Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company’s Deep Smarts
  3. Learning What Wiser Workers Know
  4. SIKM presentation: Sharing Deep Smarts — Experience-based Knowledge





  1. Chapter 2: Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design with Jeffrey Rayport
  2. Chapter 3: Putting Your Company’s Whole Brain to Work with Susaan Straus

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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