We try to capture everything – we really do. But the reality is so much of our wisdom is in our heads and it’s never more apparent than when trying to train someone new.At FirstRain we have a new executive – the fabulous Daniela Barbosa who just joined us from Dow Jones. She’s smart and experienced and I want to bring her up to speed as fast as possible but pointing her to our systems is, I know, simply insufficient. We think we capture everything about our users and workflow in our salesforce CRM system. We think we capture our contracts in Netsuite and our central wiki. But of course so much of the deep knowledge is tribal – to quote Wikipedia “Tribal knowledge is any unwritten information that is known within a tribe but often unknown outside of it.”
It is, of course, important to document the knowledge you have, but when you are growing and moving fast it is also important to value, and protect tribal knowledge and bring your team together frequently and efficiently to talk through and share what’s in people’s heads.