Saturday, February 21, 2009

Know-Who Mattered More than Know-How

Here’s a success story but not in the way you would expect. My boss realized that a retired employee had really critical knowledge of how to set up call centres, so he asked me to go visit her and “do” some knowledge transfer. I said we needed to do something more structured in a team context but he didn’t want to be bothered with the details, he said “just go and do it”. So we invited her to come into the office for a day, and I got the other members of the team in. She said she’d be very happy to tell us all about it, but that she wasn’t the only person who knew this. She was able to identify several people who also had this knowledge, and the parts of the business they had moved to. So my boss was very happy, and he pulled those people back to help him. In the end it wasn’t her knowledge of the call centres that was helpful, it was her knowledge of other people who also knew.

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