Knowledge: Managing the Exodus

At the September 2022 IPA Employer Hub I presented, to a well-attended hub, on the topic of Knowledge Exodus, an issue which is key to many organisations and builds upon the Great Resignation debate. The presentation generated much discussion around both organisational and individual experiences.

Topics discussed were wide ranging – whether it be the loss of Maintenance experience due to outsourcing or key senior managers retiring. However, there was a common theme that successful and sustainable organisations do have robust succession, talent and knowledge depositories at their disposal.

In the IPA October 2022 Newsletter “Knowledge Exodus” Derek Luckhurst summarised the challenge that we all face from the Knowledge Exodus.

“The answer lies within the 5% of workers who have critical knowledge of systems, machines, processes, and the hidden nuances that apply to most organisations – the things we all take for granted that keep things running smoothly or avoid us having to use external resources to fix a problem when something goes wrong. 

We only notice these problems when the person who knew how to do it is not there anymore”.

How To Address the Exodus Challenge.

The following three questions summarise the Q&A session from September:

  • What is/are the key knowledge requirements for your organisation?
  • Do you record the knowledge in a meaningful and accessible way?
  • How do you transfer knowledge ensuring it is implemented and ingrained?

These three questions, supplemented by anecdotal research and engagement with peer organisations, supports the paradigm that effective organisations, in all sectors, already possess systems, processes and protocols that effectively capture day-to-day key knowledge.

The focus, therefore, is on the 5% of key roles and personnel within the organisation, at all levels, that make the difference between continued success and stagnation.

The 5i Approach

Against this backdrop of identifying the 5% who are significant in ensuring continued success, and in partnership with IPA, the 5i Approach has been developed.

Next Steps

Both IPA and The Knowledge Bank Limited are seeking partners to pilot the 5i Approach in a live environment. You can join us in that journey and be a leading-edge case study. Please visit –

Peter McCarthy, Director, The Knowledge Bank Limited

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