About Steve

Steve Trautman is corporate America’s leading knowledge transfer expert, having pioneered the field for two decades and developed the nationally-recognized gold standard in knowledge transfer solutions now used by companies ranging from Microsoft to Boeing, Nike to Zynga. As Founder and Principal of The Steve Trautman Co., today he and his team provide executives at Fortune 500’s and 1000’s, as well as those in the public sector, with the simplest, most relevant, and quick solutions for knowledge transfer.

Steve developed his first knowledge transfer program (then called “Peer Mentoring”) in 1990 as a young project manager working on Word 1.0 at Microsoft. He developed the program as a solution to intense on-the-job training needs of his technical team at a time when he was responsible for ensuring translations of Word shipped on-time in five languages. Throughout the early 1990s he refined his process, and in 1993 co-founded a department at Microsoft to provide training and mentoring for all its employees shipping software worldwide. Later he left to form his own company—with Microsoft as a major client—and began rolling out knowledge transfer tools and consulting to workforces across a broad range of industries.

Steve has lived on both sides of the talent management problem and walked in the shoes of a corporate executive. He has been both a talent manager and a line executive. In 2000, Expedia.com asked Steve to become General Manager of their advertising business unit—then a $20 million ad business—which Steve ran until the demands of his growing consulting company required him to return full-time.

Over the years, Steve’s unique consulting and presentation style has emerged from his uncanny gift for clearly defining a business problem and his dogged pursuit of its simplest, quickest solution. His Knowledge Silo Matrix—the newest addition to his knowledge transfer toolkit—was recently developed in direct response to a client’s business challenges relating to the aging worker crisis—and has quickly become a popular framework not only for assessing risks of loss of knowledge and experience due to retiring employees, but also for risk management when a company is undergoing a reorganization, downsizing, merger, major process change, or technology rollout.

Today, through his Seattle-based company, Steve advises senior executives on practical ways to hire, train, motivate, and measure employees to ensure high impact performance and profitable results. He has consulted for companies as diverse as Honeywell; Kodak; Microsoft; Electronic Arts (EA); Kraft; Intuit; Intel; REI; Cadbury; the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force; L.A. Dept of Water and Power; and FMI Mining—with many repeat and international customers.

Steve has written two books, Teach What You Know: a Practical Leader’s Guide to Knowledge Transfer Using Peer Mentoring (Prentice Hall, 2006) and The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management (McGraw Hill, 2011; with coauthor Dave DeLong). His terminology and innovative concepts in the field of knowledge transfer have been adopted at the CEO level.

He gives keynotes and speaks internationally, and is known for his high energy presentations that combine humor, street smarts, and board room wisdom. Audiences particularly love his direct style and ability to “shine the light” on things their teams are doing that don’t work (“show the stupid”)—which he pairs with corrective “simple but not simplistic” tools that audiences can quickly understand and begin applying immediately.