On August 12, 2016, Alex Rodriguez played his last game in Yankee pinstripes. Several days earlier it was announced that A-Rod would no longer be with the team in a playing capacity and that starting on August 13 he would be become a special advisor to the Yanks working on the development of younger players.
A $27 million dollar special advisor – but that’s a story for another day.
A-Rod said all the right things in the press after the announcement. He discussed how much he was looking forward to sharing his baseball knowledge and experiences with the next generation of baseball talent.
This has been going on for decades in baseball. Older players and coaches work to transfer their knowledge of the game to younger ones. The long season and slow pace of the game lends itself to this type of activity.
What about your firm? What happens when one of your partners announces their retirement? Do they share their institutional knowledge with the younger team members?
Retaining institutional knowledge of the CPA firm is a growing issue. Baby Boomer Partners are starting to retire and over the next 5 – 10 years what is now a ripple will turn into a wave. Losing this brainpower, expertise and experience will have negative consequences on many firms.
The baseball approach won’t work. The wise old mentor throwing his arm around the young protégé is not scalable or sustainable. The solution lies in technology. Building a knowledge base will not only allow you to capture institutional knowledge, it will also give you the capabilities to scale this expertise and experience across your organization.