The answer is provided by Anne Field in this HBSWK article, Thanks for the (Corporate) Memories.
Knowledge continuity management is an offshoot of the field of knowledge management. Where knowledge management concerns capturing and sharing know-how valuable to colleagues performing similar jobs throughout a company, knowledge continuity management focuses on passing critical knowledge from exiting employees to their replacements.
And why is it critical to practice it? Essentially for two reasons: first, downsizings; but more importantly because baby boomers are going to retire in droves in the coming years.
So what to do to keep your expertise alive inside your company when workers leave? Field guides you step by step to a detailed plan. Here are the seven steps of her plan.
- Create a knowledge profile
- Foster mentoring relationships
- Encourage communities of practice
- Ensure that passing knowledge on is rewarded
- Protect people's privacy
- Decide whether you're interested in recorded knowledge as well
- [And don't forget:] Start small
Please read the full article for more details.
And if you are involved in the field, you might want to read Continuity Management: Preserving Corporate Knowledge and Productivity When Employees Leave, from Hamilton Beazley, Jeremiah Boenisch and David Harden, published by Wiley.
Source: Anne Field, for Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, May 12, 2003
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