Every now and then someone at work decides to leave, which is fine. Work folk come and go. Every now and then someone who is ‘the guru’ – the person who knows everything cause they have been there the longest and worked on everything and has the ability to recall or remember what is going on, tends to leave. Then this great thing happens – BLIND PANIC sets in around that person as everyone tries to figure out how to replace them or what they are going to do without them.
Water always does find a level in these things, and there is never really any issue, often it’s rubbish for a few months but then the work gets done eventually even if not to the same quality or quantity for a while. On announcing a resignation like this, there is often a lot of shock and upset and panic if the person is key to something. Then there’s usually a 2-4 week farce called ‘handover’ where the leaver attempts to summarize their entire way of thinking and bundle it all up for others so they can learn to be that person. Thing is, most of the good people who leave are good because they have a unique, combined mixture of knowledge, processes, associations, links, and personal thought patterns – it’s not possible to hand over this. Knowledge is only good in context. Processes are easy. The rest of it is intangible, which is how someone can be perceived as irreplaceable – they are, cause they take the context with them.
I painted this picture for someone who has left their work place after 10 years. Good decision!