About Generative Knowledge Interviewing™

Generative Knowledge Interviewing (GKI) empowers individuals and organizations to clearly identify the ingredients of their success. By engaging people’s stories, the GKI process can quickly identify the capacities, skills and conditions that facilitate clarity and excellence, as well as the challenges or obstacles that can hinder an individual or organization.

Tacit (Unconscious) Knowledge and GKI
Everyone has a mixture of conscious knowledge – skills and information about our world that we are aware of and have access to – and unconscious knowledge. Unconscious knowledge is also known as tacit knowledge, and is comprised of skills and essential insights about the world that we utilize but are rarely aware of. It is developed through challenging work and life experiences, and often assisted by instinctive or “natural” talents and strengths. Although our unique gifts come from this tacit knowledge, we are generally not aware that we possess it.

The Benefits of GKI
Generative Knowledge Interviewing works by assisting people to draw out their vast reservoirs of tacit knowledge, insights and capacities. Once we are conscious of this knowledge, we can make better and more confident use of it, and integrate it into our identity. We can better understand how we become successful, and speak much more clearly about what we know to others (i.e. in interviews). When we become more conscious of our tacit knowledge, we often arrive at profound understandings of ways that we can develop and uniquely contribute on our personal and professional paths.

How GKI Works
Working with a trained facilitator, GKI participants – referred to as speakers – respond to facilitator prompts and questions by telling stories of (a) great success, (b) significant challenge, and/or (c) revelatory and enlightening moments. Through skillful interviewing, the facilitator draws out key insights and lessons from these stories, and in this way elicits the tacit knowledge present in the speaker’s life experiences. The speaker is encouraged to tell their stories from an active first-person perspective, demonstrating what they thought and how they responded to particular moments.

As the stories progress, the facilitator discerns patterns, capabilities and themes, and validates her/his observations by asking additional questions. After a full set of stories are recounted, the facilitator begins to share with the speaker synthesis descriptors – derived through generative listening – of competencies, core passions, and other motivating factors that support the speaker to act at their highest level. The facilitator then summarizes and documents these findings in a preliminary Generative Knowledge Interview report. The process continues as the report is validated by the speaker and revised until it is complete. This report and the entire interactive process enable the identification of tacit knowledge which in turn enables the speaker’s success in many additional contexts.