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It takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become a Guru

So said Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers.

For an employee to accumulate 10,000 hours of work experience takes about five years.

Consider your employees.  How many of them have been working in your company for more than 5 years?  For those that have, give them a big pat on the back.  They have achieved guru-status in your company!

The upside to having a guru in your business is they need minimal supervision, can make the right decisions and can contribute effectively to running the business.  The downside is you can have a lot of business knowledge tied-up in that one person.  And what happens if they leave?  Will their replacement take 5 years to reach guru status?  That is a significant business risk and it's not surprising that this risk materialises regularly for companies who have not prepared for it.

So what can you do?  In simple terms, you need a way to extract the guru's knowledge and work practices into a system so it be retained in the business and easily shared with new and existing employees.  This requires the "who, what, why, where and when" to be established for each task and documented into a company knowledge base.  Due to the complexity of all businesses, this is not a quick solution and requires an organised, logical and focused approach.

We can help you assess where your biggest risks lie and work with you to develop a plan and implement it.

Author: Trevor Huett