Knowledge transfer and succession planning (Toughest HR question)

Failing to document organizational knowledge can be catastrophic
By Brian Kreissl
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/28/2011

Question: How do you conduct proper knowledge transfer for succession planning purposes?

Answer: While we all like to think we bring something special to our jobs, the truth is no one is completely indispensable. Notwithstanding the cult of personality that seems to pervade the reputations of senior leaders, organizational life generally goes on even after the departure of a highly respected and influential senior executive (an exception might be a very hands-on founder of a small entrepreneurial startup).

A true leader recognizes a big part of her role is to help groom one or more successors so there’s someone to fill the vacuum when she gets promoted, makes a lateral career move or leaves the organization. This is never more important than when the leader in question is nearing retirement.