Money, money, money

Sometimes it can appear that organisations don’t really care about loss of knowledge. They don’t invest in knowledge sharing or exit interviews that work. The expense of headcount is calculated in a simplistic way and loss of knowledge isn’t taken into account when a reduction of headcount is under consideration.

How can you persuade your organisation to take a more nuanced approach and invest in knowledge sharing and a proper process for leavers?

The simplest way is to ask “How does this knowledge loss affect our bottom line?”


photo: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

How can you help your organisation to understand this knowledge loss and invest in on-going knowledge sharing and improved exit interviews?

If you want to demonstrate the value of knowledge sharing and avoiding knowledge loss, as well as having processes in place to mitigate the loss of knowledge when people need or want to leave, you will need to estimate the intangible cost of knowledge loss.

It’s difficult to calculate these losses and they are rarely shown in any budgets, but you could estimate the cost of the loss to your organisation by considering the following:

  • What is the cost of making someone redundant?
  • What is the cost of hiring a new person?
  • What is the cost of being unable to find the right person and hiring a “poor fit”?
  • What is the value of a key client relationship? What if the next person doesn’t fit as well with the client?
  • What is the cost of a project delay?
  • What is the cost of a poor decision or mistake due to inexperience?
  • What are the costs of rework or inefficiencies in work?
  • What is the cost of loss of proprietary siloed knowledge?
  • What is the cost of training a new person to “adequate” stage and then to “expert” stage?
  • How do new team members slow existing team members down? What variety of work and clients could be affected?
  • What delays and inefficiencies are due to existing staff taking fright from lay-offs and searching for work elsewhere, or feeling there’s no point starting something new until things have “settled down”?
  • What is the cost of new “personality clashes”?


If you are concerned about the loss of complex knowledge from your organisation, take action and book on to my workshop on “Deep Knowledge” and get your on-going knowledge sharing sorted out. More info and book here.

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About knowledge4lawyers

I am a lawyer and a Knowledge Management expert. Through The Knowledge Business I help law firms improve their efficiency and profitability through knowledge services - consultancy, training and implementation help.
This entry was posted in KM, knowledge-sharing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Money, money, money

  1. Pingback: 2018 in review | Knowledge for Lawyers

  2. If you want to learn more about this – I’ve a webinar via MBL on the topic of avoiding the cost of knowledge loss – live on 12th June 2019, but available for replay afterwards.—A-Guide-for-Law-Firms—Webinar/10325

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