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Capturing Institutional Knowledge

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Institutional knowledge. What your staff knows is one of the most valuable intangible assets of every organization. It’s often taken for granted and losing it is costly, frustrating, and inefficient. The concept of business continuity is more than having a disaster recovery plan for natural disasters or technology failure. It should also include personnel transitions, which are much more common.

How can you set your organization up for success during personnel transitions?

Organizations that have documented policies and procedures are better equipped to handle unexpected personnel departures or retirements. Documenting what you know certainly takes time, but having it documented is priceless in times of transition.

Having an accounting procedures manual, weekly or monthly task lists, a timeline for deadlines, frequently asked questions, an updated contact list, historical trends, records of successful or failed activities, contracts and agreements, and strategic plans will all help to fill in the knowledge gaps. Consider creating a “manifesto” for each significant process or position in your organization.

No one goes to work each day with their exit strategy in mind, so ask yourself this question: if someone had to fill in for you tomorrow, would they know what to do?

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