Sunday, October 14, 2007

Doctors preparing their replacements

A few days ago Kimberly Dozier’s story shared her story of survival from a car bombing in Iraq on Memorial Day 2006 on National Public Radio. I wondered if she new about the concept of Induction.

What caught my attention was the part of her story regarding the interest her doctors had when after her full recovery she returned to see them. She shared that since medical treatment in Iraq is administered in different stages, the doctors are not always able to receive feedback on whether they were a success. From what I understand from her interview it appears that there is a fast turnover with medical doctors in Iraq and they sought to identify and record the proper procedures to share with the "newbies" in the field. Perhaps it would be better I share an email I received from Kimberly describing her situation.

Kimberly writes, “'s not so much an attrition rate I was aware of, but the year-in-year-out turnover of doctors just like all the other troops. One set rotates in, gains expertise, then has a short overlap with the new set of about a month, and rotates out. The new guys have to start from scratch, relying on what they learned in the few weeks of exchange. That's one of the reasons my trauma docs said they need a database that everyone can refer to, so the newly acquired knowledge isn't lost.” Kimberly’s story is unique in that a doctor’s Induction system is essential in saving lives.

I replied to her email, “Would you believe that a similar situation exists with teachers, department chairs, office managers, and administrators in our schools? The problem is similar with the Doctors in that since the routines and procedures of the work are people driven as soon as someone leaves that position the organization drops back down to a point of zero. The doctor database might just be a possible solution. In our schools identifying and developing a written plan facilitates the move away from being people centered. If the work has value then by all means it should stay with the organization just as the doctors look to develop a process that retains the most effective medical routines and procedures available.”

What processes exist to prepare your replacement?

Additional information on preparing your replacement is available as an HRD Podcast. Search for “Induction Air #2” and “Induction Planning”

1 comment:

tm said...

The Wall Street Journal reported extensively on the business world using WIKIs to "capture" what could be lost from those retiring and leaving the company. The technology is not the difficult part is the habit and procedures which need to be put in place to "capture" the information. Of course the information can be in the form of text, graphic, audio, video and any combination.