I’ve had a couple of workshop events with clients in recent weeks where we have gone back to some of KM’s first principles, using some foundational quotations.

Polanyi’s “We know more than we can tell” is a great one to explore, and I like David Snowden’s build “..and we tell more than we can ever write down”.

When it comes to KM having a real business impact though – actually changing something to generate value and/or create improvement – which after all, is the reason we do KM – then I think it’s incomplete.

I’d like to add a third part to the picture (if I might be so bold as to stand on the shoulders of giants).

So here’s the first viewing of a Polanyi/Snowden/Collison triptych.

We know more than we can ever tell,

we tell more than we can ever write down,

and we write down more than we ever act upon.