CIO magazine recently published an article describing the now well-known argument that organisations will lose significant knowledge as baby boomers retire. There is reference to David DeLong’s book, Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce, which might be an interesting read. The piece concludes with a couple of ways IT can be used to retain this knowledge, which I must admit seemed like a pretty lame effort. The key suggestions revolved around conducting email interviews and running web-based surveys; both techniques are extremely limited in understanding or transferring what people know. How about coaching, mentoring, narrative capture, communities of practice? Surely these techniques are more suited to transferring, as Dorothy Leonard would say, an organisation’s deep smarts.
Have a look at some of the reader comments. There is an interesting post suggesting that the aging workforce issue is overstated.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:
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