Jonathan Norman recently shared an outstanding resource via Major Projects Knowledge Hub Facebook group. Diane Thielfoldt’s piece on the topic of knowledge transfer “Passing the Torch: Transferring Knowledge from Baby Boomer Employees to the Next Generation(s) provides an amazing overview of risks associated with loss of organizational expertise and competitive capabilities. To mitigate this risk and reverse strategic knowledge asset loss or exhaust, her article does a great job of describing the need to cultivate knowledge exchange and learning operations. I’m also inspired by her clear-eyed, practical examples of where and how to begin.
Reflection on Thielfoldt’s insights brought me back to Ana Neves of Social Now, another thought leader on knowledge sharing through enterprise social exchange. Ana’s writes and speaks about the essential elements needed first to set up successful practices. Not just another tech tool here! The fundamentals and frameworks to surface tacit knowledge assets begin with operations, leadership shifts and physical infrastructure. With these management decision in play, essential enablers are in place for know-who and know-how to grow. Neves gives us examples: create physical spaces for informal work discussions, establish time and rewards for “Work Out Loud” posts (to enterprise social networks or communities of practice for example) and in-person opportunities for community conversation and expertise exchanges.
Social Now’s 2019 conference highlighted the compelling cases for today’s networked leaders to create examples, operations and model engagement to shift organizational cultures to grow knowledge transfer and continuity. Her Social Now web page on the mandate for “new forms of ecosystem engagement” and “a shift in organizational mind-set, structure and interaction” is here: https://socialnow.org/developing-todays-networked…/
Taken together, these two resources spark vision and frameworks that use face-to-face or virtual conversations to capitalize on expertise for reuse and innovative problem solving.