Friday, 1 July 2016

How can KM help Brexit? Filling gaps, that's how....

Last week, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU).  The consequences of this decision will be felt around the world for many years to come, for good or bad.

Amongst the tumult of media stories about the various ramifications, I spotted one that will resonate with those of us interested in knowledge management (KM).

One of the more significant changes to come is that the UK will regain the right (and responsibility) to negotiate trade deals with other countries.  However, having joined the (then) European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, the UK lacks the requisite knowledge on how to do so.

It no longer knows how to do something that it once did; the UK has forgotten something that other nations probably take for granted.

This reminds me of the story about NASA realising that, through retirement of the people with the necessary knowledge, it had ‘forgotten’ how to put men on the moon. NASA responded by initiating a programme of knowledge retention, to minimise the risk of other capabilities going the same way.

So what can be done?

Organisations can use a Knowledge Gap Analysis, to identify what missing knowledge will help deliver the desired product, service or outcome.  A Knowledge Scan enables them to identify which types of knowledge are at the greatest risk of ‘walking out the door’ and a Knowledge Retention & Transfer strategy is used to retain this knowledge and make it available to others.

Such KM activities can help organisations anticipate knowledge loss and prevent it.  But what if it’s already gone, retired or died?

Indeed, what will the UK do now?  Well, it appears the New Zealand Government is keen to help, through ‘lending’ the UK some of its trade negotiators, as explained in this article here.

And again, KM tools can help: a Peer Assist is a structured event to enable controlled and rapid knowledge transfer between 2 teams – one lacking key knowledge and the other willing and able to share it.

So, whatever so-called Brexit means for the UK (and wider world) over the coming years, it seems KM will have its part to play.

For a chat about these KM tools and others, please contact me direct or via the Knoco website.

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