Monday, January 18, 2010

Knowledge Management & Succession Planning

A gin and tonic with Tony at our old plush curtained balcony bar in Sydney last week saw a conversation around succession planning and the impact of retirements, defections and/or the organic loss of staff on a firm's knowledge programme. Yep...exciting drinking conversation I know. No wonder we're both such a great should have seen the line of international super models lining up to hang off our every word.

Anyway, the topic of our conversation is obviously not a new problem, and indeed there are not that many new strategies or innovative approaches to tackle the issue. The very least one can do is to be aware, educate management on the risks, know when your partners are due to play golf and spend time with their grand kids, and also check each knowledge and training initiative to ensure that thought and consideration is given to the 'what-if' scenario.

A nice little paper from the antipodeans Janelle Pritchard and Karen Becker at Queensland University of Technology in Australia on Succession Management as a Knowledge Management Strategy. This paper is not necessarily focused on legal, but certainly worth thinking about as the gap between young and old members of the firm widens (if indeed it is at your firm).

Another older case study which is still worth reading explains how Boeing faced their demons in this area (first posted in InsideKnowledge in 2007 and highlighted on the knowledge thoughts blog started by Matthew Parsons). Article
here kids.

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