By guest blogger Malcolm Tullett
Every organisation contains knowledge, but how well does your business handle it? Is there a single place of truth where everything that is needed resides – or do you lose information when someone leaves, is away on holiday or sick, or moves up to a higher position?
More to the point – do you KNOW what you’re losing?
- You train people and then they leave – you can’t stop that happening, but how do you retain what they’ve learned?
- You promote someone and they move into a different role – how much do they actually hand over to their replacement? Is that factored into their move?
- People are unexpectedly away from work – perhaps from an accident or off sick, or have to take time off to look after a family member. Does the person who has to cover know where to look to find out what they do – and how?
- In multinational or multi-site organisations, someone gets transferred from one place to another – does their knowledge go with them and leave a gap?
Every organisation needs to have a strategy to handle its knowledge risks. Not only to record systems and processes, but to store information on a wide variety of functions. Ideally, that system also needs to have the flexibility to grow with the organisation, and handle change and improvement too.
There is a cliché ‘knowledge is power’; but that implies exclusivity of knowledge and in today’s world protecting your personal knowledge doesn’t help the organisation to function effectively – in fact, quite the reverse.
Today’s world is based on sharing openly for the benefit of your environment, whether that’s family, community or employer. Just look at the explosion of social media – all based on sharing information and knowledge.
How does your organisation stand up to the knowledge risks?