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Tip: Create a Culture of Cooperation to Protect Institutional Knowledge

Tip: Create a Culture of Cooperation to Protect Institutional Knowledge

August 22, 2012
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In many distribution companies, some employees have been around for decades. They know how to get things done, and what makes customers tick. And it's often tempting to keep that knowledge to themselves. "Information is power. It’s job security," says Steffanie Wilk, associate professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University, in Protecting Your Knowledge Base. Clearly communicating your business plan with those workers and creating a culture of cooperation that emphasizes the value of shared knowledge will help protect your company’s future.

To transfer knowledge effectively requires communication with the people who hold that knowledge, or who know where that knowledge is stored. One of the best ways to transfer critical knowledge is to pass it directly from person to person. Some of the more common ways of doing this, formal trainings and standardized mentoring programs, play a role.

But more informal tactics, such as day-to-day coaching, can also be effective in passing on those tricks and tools that may not be considered in a formal training program. Encourage employees to share their tactics with others and when they do that, recognize their contribution to improving company performance.

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