The Pandemic Disruption
Is tacit knowledge on the precipice of extinction?!
Pre-pandemic, organizations were suffering in the areas of productivity, competitive advantage, and the future state of sustainability due to hindrances in transferring tacit knowledge. Collectively, Fortune 500 companies were losing an estimated $31.5 billion annually as a result of employees not sharing knowledge. In the pre-pandemic research of the author, the high usage of technology emerged at the epicenter of the hindrances to transferring tacit knowledge.
Post-pandemic outbreak, organizations are now totally dependent upon technology and unaware of its latent risks. Working siloed, not positioned for socialization, and immersed in personal cultures, the organic pathways to transferring tacit knowledge are stymied. The organizations of the world are now in a perfect storm, positioned to lose blocks of invaluable tacit knowledge. Immediate action required!
Organizations are here...
Diminishing Ripple Effect - The pandemic is the object that caused our impact zone for organizations because it has disrupted and leveled our traditional way of doing business in the office, hence it has a direct impact on transferring tacit knowledge.
The troughs represent the tacit knowledge, and the gold-colored rings represent each round of future virtual new hires (VNH) that will onboard with an organization, in the all-virtual workplace. The diminishing ripple effect indicates that the further out from the impact zone, the weaker the tacit knowledge signal for the future generations in the all-virtual workplace. Like iterations of the ripple, we are now siloed and not positioned for socialization or informal learning. We are immersed in our own personal cultures and on a collision course for the year 2025 (Hedgspeth, 2019).
Collectively, Fortune 500 companies were losing a combined $31.5 billion annually due to employees not sharing knowledge (Myers, 2017)
A heavy dependency on contractors as the key knowledge holders instead of employees (Hedgspeth, 2019)
Approximately 30-40 million Baby Boomers are projected to retire by the year 2025 (Orrell, 2009)
A tacit (skill) knowledgeable talent shortage is projected to crest at 35 million in 2025 (Orell, 2009; SHRM, 2019)
The workplace will be 75% Millennials in 2025 (Holmberg-Wright et al., 2017; Schmidt & Muenfield, 2017)