If with great knowledge comes great power and opportunity, who has the knowledge in your organisation?
The majority of organisations have a major issue, staring them right in the corporate face. One that can be solved with a little time and effort. However, time and time again, this issue is not identified, addressed or resolved until it’s too late (or at all).
Whilst the Board and CEO have the fundamental objective of setting an organisational strategy, the execution of that strategy and day to day business activities normally fall to middle management and the broader team.
How the business actually works, what the customers are saying and doing and what’s happening in the market place is mainly visible to an organisation’s most important asset – its people. These are the same “assets” that leave the business each day and for many CEO’s and Directors, they expect (hope) these assets will return the following day to continue to deploy and develop the corporate IP (ie employee knowledge) that actually generates revenue. This isn’t an overly efficient or effective approach and is likely to create an experience that isn’t positive for the business or the customer.
So what happens when a key employee doesn’t return? What if the handful of employees who really understand the “nuts and bolts” of the organisation decide to pursue other opportunities? Or retire? Is the business you’re involved with in a position that it can seamlessly move forward? Or will it flounder for weeks or months, or longer, while a replacement is found?
If you don’t have a suitable answer to these questions, you really need to look at how your organisational knowledge is recorded, stored and accessed.
This is the first of a three-part series on managing your organisational knowledge. Next week, I’ll discuss the benefits of getting it right, followed by some guiding principles. If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org