Tribal Knowledge

Tribal knowledge is any information that is known within a tribe but often unknown outside of it. A tribe may be a group or subgroup of people that share a common knowledge.

With a corporate perspective, "Tribal Knowledge or Know-How is the collective wisdom of the organization. It is the sum of all the knowledge and capabilities of all the people". Source =

Tribal Knowledge is a term often associated with a process step of the Six Sigma process. It is often referred to as knowledge 'known' yet undocumented such as information that has been handed down generation to generation with no documentation. It is knowledge contained within a group that is assumed to be factual but has no known data or analysis to verify that it is factual. The Six Sigma community has adopted the term to use the description of 'tribe' as an analogy of a company. This term is sometimes considered derogative since in theory it has not been measured, thus proven. Source = Michael Nowlin

Tribal knowledge is any unwritten information that is not commonly known by others within a company. This term is used most when referencing information that may need to be known by others in order to produce quality product or service. The information may be key to quality performance but it may also be totally incorrect. Unlike similar forms of artisan intelligence, tribal knowledge can be converted into company property. It is often a good source of test factors during improvement efforts.

A tribe—corporate, social, racial et al.—is a reservoir of both written and unwritten information. It is a living energy center around which kindred minds gather and exchange ideas, traditions, protocols, inspirations, experiences, lessons learned, technology—all magnetized to a core of shared interests. A real tribe understands the inherent value of working together for its own enlightenment, growth and security. Many are born into their cultural, social, political, economic tribes—but today most individuals find their real tribe(s) by the simple act of following their interests.

The ideal tribal model provides all of its members with access to the evolving fount of tribal experiences. A tribe is by nature democratic in that information and wisdom from any source within the tribe is not only encouraged, but honored and valued according to its merits. It recognizes that the next answer to a question or solution to a problem is as likely to spring from the mouth of a babe as it is from an elder, from the new mailroom clerk or the CEO. In this sense, a tribe is nurtured and enlivened by the continuous open conversation its members have among themselves. Questions may be resolved by consensus or by executive fiat, depending on the tribe's organizational agreements.

Tribal knowledge is an offspring of the tribal mind. Much like an individual's mind, it is a constantly evolving center of transient and core information. The core contains fundamental, time-tested values and traditions. The transient area is like an airfield of incoming and outgoing thoughts and ideas from such diverse sources as divine inspiration to planetary mass media. Like human nature, the tribal mind naturally resists overt change. This resistance acts as a survival/growth mechanism that tends to filter out random thought migrants that don't serve its native purposes and prejudices, while allowing entry to those that do.

Read more about Tribal KnowledgeTribal Knowledge Paradox, Membership

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Tribal Knowledge - Membership
... Today, tribal membership can be impersonal yet still be mutually beneficial ... Without a hug or a handshake, tribal members are discovering each other and sharing their offerings via the internet and its search engines, social ... Unlike the traditional tribal concept of inherited membership, now there's no limit to the tribe's one can join ...

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