• Yasmin Hurst

Brain Picking

With digital transformation strategies high on the agenda in organisations, many of us have been busy analysing the value of the data we have, and the potential that harnessing new data can bring.

Much of my work over recent years has focused on how we can better understand and use data to develop more efficient and valuable engagement with the customer. There is no doubt that customer and market data can successfully guide us to new ways of working.

For me, this data was only part of the puzzle…

The Human Brain is a Largely Untapped Resource

In the course of change I am often directed towards particular employees for insight. They may have worked for a business for a significant number of years, or specialised in a certain system or process, they may have even been around for a similar change that didn’t go to plan in years gone by. What has struck me in these instances is that I never really get the information I think I’ve gone to find; I often get much more!


Undocumented data is the knowledge that exists in the brains of our workforce. its in their thoughts, creativity, ideas and hunches, and it is what makes their skill set so individual and valuable to their organisation. It has been suggested that around 80% of an organisations knowledge falls within this ‘UNDOCUMENTED DATA’ category.

Wow! When you sum it up like that you realise that the human brains of our employees are a vast untapped resource.

The use of artificial intelligence technology tools can provide greater potential to unlock this internal knowledge and apply it in our search for a differentiator.


Unlocking data on an individual level has some value but will not be enough, it must have meaning and will need to be unlocked within the network of knowledge.

To successfully manage a knowledge network, organisations will need to improve collaboration and communication between all employees, creating a more coordinated yet flexible approach to our daily routines and tasks. We will need to ‘LEARN AS WE GO’ and alter our approach to learning, we cannot be reliant on sporadic courses and workshops if we are to keep pace of change.

It will take a change of mindset both at an organisational and at an individual employee level. We all hold the potential to be more productive when we work together.

People are the most powerful asset a business can have.

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