I have chosen Quiet is the New Loud as my motto for January, and for the rest of the year 2011. With that I refer to tacit knowledge and its value.

I am inspired by the idea of tacit knowledge flow, a flow that relies on trust-based relationships. In these times of huge amount of data, paradoxically it is tacit knowledge that best supports value creation.

Rich flows of tacit knowledge are needed for success:

  • Tacit knowledge plays an essential role in our learning processes.
  • Tacit knowledge flow supports creativity. There’s lots of research on how diverse working groups are more creative, less dependent on old paths, and easier makes linkages between different domains.
  • Strategic success of an organization is depending how well it manages to blend available explicit and tacit knowledge.
  • Survival in competition is more and more based on capability to create and maintain fruitful and learning relationships with colleagues, partners, competitors, and customers.

We have unforeseen number of software tools and technologies available to support these flows. Still it is primarily not about the tools and processes. Most of all it is about an attitude – an attitude of the individuals forming a team, working group, or an organization. An attitude that embraces learning, openness, and transparency.

This is not happening overnight but I do believe that Quiet will be more valuable than Shouting Out Loud.

If you haven’t read John Hagel’s latest blog post about tacit knowledge, trust-based relationships, and talent development, please do so. It is an excellent read. Here’s a snippet from it:

As we enter a new decade, the greatest wealth will be created by a new set of entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs will understand and address the unmet needs of those who want to participate in environments that foster deep, trust-based relationships across both virtual and physical space. These environments will focus participants on the opportunity to learn faster by working together in addressing challenges that draw on the tacit knowledge of each participant.

I hope that I can live up to what John Hagel calls for: being that new kind of entrepreneur. One of the first steps for me is to apply Quiet is the New Loud Attitude.

Have a great long weekend!

PS. My headline ‘Quiet is the new loud’ is actually album name of a Norwegian indie band Kings of Convenience.


  1. Unequivocally my favorite theme yet. Big fan of John Hagel/Power of Pull (he’s in our NextNow Collaboratory) and wholeheartedly agree that tacit knowledge, trust-based relationships, and talent dev trump all of the ’Klout’ style chatter fests and analytics screamed across the digital deluge daily.

    Great post, thrilled to find you, and my only caveat on the ’quiet is the new loud’ would be when it comes to shouting about injustices to humanity, as I just wrote about in yesterday’s media missive on Shaping Youth.

    Thank you for the ’piece of quiet’ a great read to start the day…