Thursday, March 03, 2011

Knowledge Transfer for Senior Leaders in Life Science Leader Magazine

In this month's issue of Life Science Leader, Susan Larish and I have an article about the need to bring new leaders up to speed as quickly as possible, and how knowledge transfer expedites that process.

Knowledge Transfer for senior leader transition is a critical tool in a world where knowledge is complex, critical but fragile and highly specialized. We give our new leaders scant time to make changes, to have an impact and yet consider all they need to know to do so effectively.

What do they need to know? They are, after all, seasoned managers, are they not? Let's consider this.

They need to understand the relationships held by their predecessors and others in the organizations-- not just who they worked with internally but who they worked with externally and how those relationships were most effective.
They need to understand how the organization works to avoid making decisions that set them back rather than moving them forward.
New leaders need to understand the rationale behind the technical and scientific decisions made in the past that profoundly impacted the organization. Why? To ensure they do not create redundant work or worse yet make redundant errors.
And they need to be aware of the trends and patterns those with years of experience observe which help them anticipate and prepare for in the future. How long do we give new leaders to gain all of this complex and specialized knowledge transfer? 90 days. A heartbeat of time.

All of this in addition to the budget, the competitors, the regulators, the consumer trends and upcoming needs....

Yet clients ask "why do we need to transfer knowledge, we never did it before?" Instead perhaps the question should be "Why didn't we do this a long time ago!"

Life Science Leader