Harness the knowledge of your workers

Before a company thinks about redundancies, it is worth remembering this: a century ago, the most valuable US corporation was US Steel, whose primary assets were smokestack factories. Today’s most valuable corporation is Microsoft, whose most precious assets go home every night. Your organisation is the same – your key assets walk out that door every night.

Companies that want those assets to return every morning must pay attention to the workplace. To quote former GE CEO, Jack Welch, “We spend all our time on people – the day we screw up the people thing, it’s over”. 

A Delphi Group survey revealed 42 per cent of corporate knowledge was unmanaged – in other words, within employees’ heads – while the rest was spread across paper and electronic repositories.

Other estimates place this figure as high as 80 per cent.

Yet, no matter how high the percentage is within your company, odds are that it’s too high. This is simply because knowledge that’s only available to one person only benefits that one person. And if that person leaves the company, his or her knowledge benefits your competitors.

So, right now is a good time to review the process for managing information that is critical to your organisation.

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