Was called to work on another knowledge transfer project where the client is transitioning a series of functions from one office location to another. The people aren’t moving to the new location – just the function; and there is concern that there’s a bunch of knowledge that will just disappear as a result.
A consultant from another firm has been serving as the primary lead for this project team; and I have been assigned to develop workshop materials for learners on how to create a specific, practical Knowledge Transfer Plan. These learners have no knowledge on knowledge transfer yet they will eventually be accountable to ensure the transfer occurs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
One of the sections in the workshop is a short (5 minute, tops!) segment on the nature of knowledge as a collection of information assembled within contextual frameworks, which provide meaning to the intended recipient of that knowledge. And boy! was this consultant ticked off … and I wasn’t taking any prisoners on this one …
Consultant: What is this about? It’s too academic.
Me: It’s probably 5-minutes tops and only one and a half pages in the learner guide.
Consultant: But you don’t need to include this at all.
Me: So, they are required to create a knowledge transfer plan but they won’t have any idea on what knowledge is? That’s a sure way to set them up for failure.
Consultant: They’ll know because I’ll tell them.
Me: But you’re just doing the pilot. When you’re gone there’s no guarantee the message you give will stay the same in later versions. Remember the game of telephone?
Consultant: I don’t think it’s necessary.
Me: Based on what data so far? I mean, how do you know whether this information is or isn’t necessary?
Consultant: Because we have a knowledge transfer system that automatically prompts them.
Me: To do or think what? It’s an old knowledge management system that is dressed up with the word ‘transfer.’
(That’s when I crossed the line, I think)
But this thing gets me so mad … when other companies and consultants push their old, tired, worn out KM system or approach and just re-label it as knowledge transfer because that’s what’s in vogue right now. Ya know … you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.