Archive for February, 2009

Tip for Leaders in Tough Times: Remember Tribal Knowledge

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

In a presentation to their peers at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a group of CPAs offered some thoughts on how CFOs can demonstrate leadership in tough economic times (anyone relate to that?). Citing a number of opportunities for helping your organization’s workforce survive the budget challenges ahead, of the CPAs emphasized flexibility in all areas of operation.

Among their recommendations to keep the workforce itself flexible, they advised remembering tribal knowledge–what I refer to as an organization’s story collection. It struck me as unusual–and gratifying–that a group of “numbers people” not only recognize the value of a company’s stories and managing the knowledge contained in them, but also list tribal knowledge as a key factor in successful financial leadership. High fives to Rebecca Irish, Cynthia Jamison, Francis X. Ryan and John F. Hudson for recognizing a key factor in an organization’s success that often is overlooked when discussing the “bottom line.” And a high five to my colleague Linda Keith, CPA, who alerted me to their presentation.