During this challenging economic time many corporations are facing the prospect of merging with other firms to not only survive but to have a sustainable and viable business in the future. With the consolidation of the telecommunications industry underway (see CenturyLink/Qwest Merger) as well as the airline industry (see United Continental merger) there is a need to identify the key knowledge holders in order to ensure the success of mergers and acquisitions.
The effect of these mergers will and often lead to a loss of valuable knowledge from both sides of the merger/acquisition equation. This loss of knowledge is due to positions being consolidated and/or eliminated, other personnel taking early retirement package or other financial incentives. The question is how do we identify who the key knowledge holders are and what knowledge do they hold? Also, has it been determined that this is viable knowledge to the "new" organization going forward and what is our plan to retain, capture, or acquire this knowledge?
All of these questions can be answered with a comprehensive Knowledge Management Strategy geared to identify viable initiatives that will address these questions. One such initiative will be to develop a knowledge map of the organization to be acquired. A knowledge map is a mechanism used to identify key knowledge and the knowledge holders of the organization. Once these maps are completed further analysis is needed to determine the process, procedures and initiatives necessary to prioritize, retain, and/or acquire knowledge that may leave. Often organizational knowledge is the reason certain mergers happen. Knowledge Management is the mechanism to transition individual knowledge to corporate knowledge and make it available for all employees to access.
There will be additional parts of this blog entry to follow over the next week. I welcome your comments on this timely issue!
Labels: KM Strategy, Knowledge Management for Mergers and Acquisitions, Knowledge Mapping, Mergers and Acquisitions