Matt Moore spoke of his expertise research with Patrick Lamb of Straits Knowledge at ARK's Sydney Knowledge Transfer & Retention Conference.
Showed slide – of rockets that NASA forgot how to make – Saturn B - $40 billion to recreate the knowledge
Showed slide – of Bandar Aceh – an international centre of Islamic learning with an extensive library – lost with all the librarians who were killed in the 2004 Tsunami – now they don’t know what they’ve lost as all the custodians who knew what was in it were lost.
Several years ago I heard a speech given by the Regional Director of UNESCO, Professor Stephen Hill, speak at Wollongong University. Professor Hill was active in the recovery of Bandar Aceh post the Tsunami.
He told how key people in government & public service had been killed - of the challenges of losing such key people - not that the loss of any lives is insignificant in such a tragedy. However I hadn't realised the extent of the tragedy of losing such a cultural knowledge resource.
Moving on from this dramatic opening Matt described his and Patrick Lamb's approach to collecting stories on how organizations value & use their experts's knowledge or not ...
- Can you remember a time when you saw expertise being valued – or not ?
- Guide participants away from generalised opinions or fact – otherwise sit back & let them talk
- Starts slowly but difficult to stop
- Expertise Types : Role Knowledge – Know Who – Experience – Memory – Skill – Technical
- Impact of failing to leverage expertise – expertise failures nuggets
- What about risk mitigation wrt loss of expertise – succession planning – handover – documentation – team working – job rotation – contracts/notice periods – post retirement
- Expertise development & growing processes
- Managers are important in risk management wrt knowledge processes – need to encourage & value expertise & its continuity – walking the talk
- Ways of improving expertise management – “getting visibility into our knowledge base” – “senior management support “ – KM & expertise strategy
- Long tail of expertise (Chris Anderson) – there may be some people with lots of similar expertise – but a few people with rarer kinds of knowledge – so their loss is particularly painful – focus on these rather than the areas where there is more coverage of knowledge amongst more people
As usual an entertaining & enlightening presentation from Matt.