It was late January and I was sitting at the KPMG office in Canary Wharf. I thought it would be great to create a list of all engagements I have worked on over the years, see the insights generated, evaluate the problems we solved, and the people we engaged with. A few hours later, having gone through different IT systems and databases, I had a reasonably good list of all engagements.
I could have easily gone through it and listed out the best piece of analysis we did or the best slide we developed, but there was no way anyone else in the firm could replicate that. Not unless they worked in the same engagements. In fact, I barely remember most things I did in 2013 when I joined KPMG. So, if I forget, does it mean these insights will also be gone for good?
Fast forward half a year and I’m sitting in my study room in Edinburgh, wondering if by having everyone working remotely, knowledge-sharing and codification are at the risk of becoming even more sporadic. I am not alone in having this type of tacit knowledge, most employees have. And many businesses probably don’t realise the value that depends on this type of human capital, which they stand to lose if key employees walked out of the door one day.