Indian firm is kickin’ the KM effort *old* old-school
Posted by Gia Lyons on May 19, 2008
In discussing social software user adoption approaches with one of my sales manufacturing customers today, he explained the following (Abhijit, if you happen to read this, please correct me if I’ve misrepresented anything):
In India, his manufacturing sales dealership is experiencing a brain drain of large proportion. He may very well be the youngest person in the organization, and he’s been there several years. Plus, the future seems to be one of constant turnover, as folks come on board, get trained, then leave for higher-paying careers elsewhere. He suggested that this is a common occurrence in India right now.
As a result, it is his strategic mission to acquire and pass the knowledge and experience of those who are about to retire, to wave after wave of new hires. The hope, perhaps, is that they use this knowledge as a way to ramp up quickly and get plugged in to the organizational network faster, but also as a base upon which to build new experiences. Also, the hope is that they share what they learn and create as they go.
So, how is he passing eminent retirees’ knowledge to the new folks? He has taken to giving new hires and others digital voice recorders, and setting them up to interview the folks about to retire. He then sends the recordings to a transcription service for transfer to a written format. I’ve referred to this as “Be like Oprah” in Twitter. Go interview your experts before they leave, and get their permission to post what is shared, preferably in a tool that promotes interaction (like blog / wiki / forum / etc.) as opposed to passive reading (like a news article).
As an aside, I wonder if posting the transcript of an interview in a social software environment might get the interviewee to participate in same?
This sounds like lots of work, but if passing knowledge from one generation to the next is critical to the survival of your business, I imagine it’d be worth it.
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