Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Thinking about the mojo

As an expert in something, have you ever been asked 'just how do you do that' and not being able to really say how? Working in knowledge transfer, it is sometimes better to just observe expertise rather than get the expert to try and describe what comes naturally to them. Have a go at writing down how you tie a shoelace. See what I mean? This is why video is such a great medium for conveying complex or technical processes for knowledge transfer.
There is a fascinating article in this week's New Scientist about Ralph Guldahl, the PGA champion of 1937 and 1938. There is a story that after writing a step-by-step guide for golfing beginners, he completely lost his mojo and his ability to win. The suggestion was that by 'capturing' this knowledge he lost his natural golfing ability; was he thinking too much about what he had previously done instinctively? A cautionary tale for those of us in the knowledge transfer business? No. It seems Guldahl, having a young family and being fed up with life on the road just got bored with that life. Getting an expert to describe what they do is not risky, just difficult.
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