Anjo Anjewierden asks A Very Stupid KM Question:
The newspaper carried an article on companies that are afraid to lose their experienced personnel because of retirement. I'll provide the "very stupid KM question" right away: is it not the essence of KM to take action before it goes wrong? I think the article, which appeared in De Volkskrant written by Leonoor Meijer, captured it quite nicely.
This is the heart of KM. As has appeared in the KM world many times, if you are worried about knowledge management when people are leaving, it is too late. This needs to be part of the ongoing strategy in any organization to ensure that its people know how to run the business. This also suggests that "hoarding" is not acceptable to any business, particularly in today's climate where people move to new positions and companies after a only a few years.
Build openness and communication into your business model NOW, rather than waiting to be surprised when Jane leaves and all the business knowledge leaves with her.
That said, don't forget David Snowden's oft-repeated rules for knowledge: "Knowledge cannot be conscripted. You always know more than you can say. You can always say more than you can write down." Organizations need to develop many approaches to ensuring continual knowledge transfer, from writing things down to ongoing conversations. And at some point, they need to accept that knowledge simply cannot be conscripted.