Industry cycles are hard on knowledge.
- Your workforce sucks up knowledge as it expands.
- It bleeds experience when it contracts.
Do you want knowledge continuity?
- Easier capture. Blogs are the post-it notes of KM. Easy, fast, simple. So they are used and useful.
- Better handoffs. You want to hand-off a process to the new guy? Point to the chronology in your weblog.
- Smoother coworking. Joint blogging works too. Examples abound.
- Lower stress. Blogs become your backup brain. Don’t worry about it; just blog it.
If you had layoffs in the last 24 months, you stressed the survivors. You put more work in fewer hands. And more kinds of work in fewer hands. You and your colleagues have been learning, coping, figuring stuff out. Pick their brains!
Now is the time to start capture, before you start hiring again. When you do, you will be ready to have the new folks read up on their predecessors, learn the ropes, come up to speed faster. This may help you hire more slowly and hire better people, since each new hire will carry their load that much sooner.
Hiring booms follow busts. The semiconductor biz comes to mind as an incredibly cyclical industry. Any sort of KM tool will preserve operating knowledge. Today, klogging is your fastest, cheapest, most accessible KM vehicle. Take it for a spin.
p.s. Knowledge continuity may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Creative forgetting may be a survival tactic. It gives each generation a blank slate, a clean page. So you reinvent the wheel in a new cycle’s reality, without preconceptions. This approach challenges the value of prior knowledge. If all before you were useless idiots, this tactic’s for you.
- Continuity Management: Preserving Corporate Knowledge and Productivity When Employees Leave (Wiley, August 2002)
- Employment Variability – Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
[a klog apart: klogs][a klog apart]