IN THE NEWS – Research Supports (Pre)Testing’s Impact on Learning and Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge Transfer Testing - Business mtg over the table

Here is the closing line of this fascinating New York Times article on testing, “…But the emerging study of pretesting flips that logic on its head.  ‘Teaching to the test’ becomes ‘learning to understand the pretest,’ whichever one the teacher chooses to devise.  The test, that is, becomes an introduction to what students should learn, rather than a final judgment on what they did not.”

Benedict Carey refers to research that supports a belief we at our knowledge transfer consulting firm have espoused for the last ten years Continue reading »

Posted in 20 Test Questions, Blog, Free Resources & Tools, In the News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Myth of the Knowledge-Hoarding Expert Unwilling to Mentor Peers

Question MarkDEFINITION: A mentor is an expert (“subject matter expert,” “SME,” “domain expert,” “pro,” “guru,” “go-to person,” “rock star,” “buddy,” “genius,” etc.)—in any industry or line of work—who has unique, business-critical knowledge and needs or is asked to teach that knowledge to others. The knowledge can be explicit or tacit.  And, a mentor can be any age and have 50 years seniority in an organization or one day.  The essential factor is that the mentor knows something that others in an organization need to know in order to be successful.

There’s a common misconception in business that many subject matter experts are unwilling or unable to transfer their knowledge to coworkers. Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Change Management, Common KT Misconceptions, Knowledge Transfer Definition, Terms & Roles, Peer Mentoring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Talent Risks CAN be Measurably Assessed and Managed – a Practical List

MP900382652A common misconception I often find myself debunking is that risks related to “the people part” of business are somehow less quantifiable and manageable than other types of business risks.  As we have begun to further shape and prove that a business’s talent risks can be methodically assessed, prioritized, and managed, we still worry about common business language around this topic sounding too fluffy.  In this post, I’ve made a clear, comprehensive list of the types of talent risks that we can pinpoint with today’s knowledge transfer tool set.

Every one of the risks noted below can be Continue reading »

Posted in Aging Workers, Blog, Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Offshoring, Onboarding, Outsourcing, Reorganizations & Mergers, Skilled Worker Shortage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Case Study Available

Fortune-1000-logo-grayscale-knowledge-transfer-case-study“The proof is in the pudding,” they say, and that is why I love case studies. They are a fantastic way to get a flavor of how actual knowledge transfer challenges get solved in the trenches at our client sites all over the world.

We’ve added a new case study that looks at the work we did with a Fortune 1000 insurance company on ensuring consistency with its outsource partners.  How many organizations are frustrated by the unreliable output of their vendor partners?  This insurance company dealt with the issue head on, resulting in vendors who are producing more consistent and reliable output. Importantly, the insurer now has a methodical, efficient process in place to train future vendor hires and to hold the outsource partner accountable to maintaining those skill standards.

Take a look and you might see an interesting (or familiar) problem solved!

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Consistency in a Workforce, Offshoring, Outsourcing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Practices to Embed Knowledge Transfer into Your Business Culture

One positive taBusiness Culture of Knowledge Transferlent risk management trend I’ve noticed is that business leaders seek not only a clear solution to whatever immediate talent crisis they are facing, but they also want to embed a knowledge transfer methodology into their business culture. Knowledge transfer means the planned movement of the right skills and information at the right time to keep a workforce productive, competitive, and able to execute business strategy.  If culture is “the way we do things around here,” then embedding structured knowledge transfer into an organization’s culture means Continue reading »

Posted in Blog | 4 Comments

Two Leaders In Corporate Knowledge Transfer Combine Forces

Kathy L. Hagen Joins The Steve Trautman Co.

(JUNE 5, 2014—SEATTLE, WA)  Kathy L. Hagen, formerly of K. L. Hagen & Associates and a thought leader in the field of knowledge transfer, has joined The Steve Trautman Co.—pioneers in knowledge transfer for two decades—as Director of Account Management.

Hagen will shape a new account management methodology at The Steve Trautman Co. and ensure a richer, seamless client experience.

With Hagen joining forces and networks with the company’s founder and Principal Steve Trautman, the move partners two of the U.S.’s top thought leaders in knowledge transfer—a field focusing on the methodical replication of the expertise, wisdom, and tacit knowledge of critical professionals into the heads and hands of coworkers. Continue reading »

Posted in Press | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Our People Really Our Most Important Asset? – Managing Talent Risk, Part 2

Last week’s post to this blog introduced the topic of managing talent risk and busted three common misconceptions around that. Let’s take on another.

As business leaders, you manage many risks systematically and with great rigor. You manage risk of litigation with contracts and insurance, risk to operations with multiple suppliers and maintenance protocols, risk to health and safety by having protective gear and environmental sensors, risk to finance by maintaining cash reserves and lines of credit, etc. Yet with all that you do in risk management elsewhere in your business, you likely do not have a rigorous way to assess and methodically mitigate talent risk in your workforce. Continue reading »

Posted in Blog, Change Management, Consistency in a Workforce, Knowledge Transfer Planning, Skilled Worker Shortage, Workforce Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Managing Talent Risk – 3 Common Misconceptions

Magnifying glass on employees

If you follow this blog, you’re going to see more content on the topic of managing talent risk as my team and I prep for my next book. So far, I’ve found that Deloitte has been the most vocal on the subject. The authors of their white paper on the topic make the case for a Risk Intelligent Enterprise ™. We’re in firm agreement that the intersection of Talent Management and Risk Management is long overdue. Deloitte would like to see an open dialog between the two groups that encompasses succession planning, rewards, ethics, compliance, health and safety, business and talent continuity, and culture. The gap I find in their thinking is Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Change Management, Outsourcing, Skilled Worker Shortage, Workforce Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Help Your On-the-Job Apprentices – What Mentors Can Do to Speed Knowledge Transfer

All of us in business learn our jobs by being on the job.  No matter how much classroom education we may have had, we learn how to do our jobs by watching, listening to, and being mentored by the more experienced people around us.  In fact, studies have shown that, regardless of occupation, most adults learn their job roles through 10% classroom training, 70% on-the-job training and mentoring, and 20% other sources (called the 70-20-10 Rule).  If you are the experienced employee who is setting the on-the-job standard for the right way to do things in a job role (a mentor), knowledge transfer best practices can help you to help your apprentices speed their learning.  Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Knowledge Transfer Definition, Terms & Roles, Onboarding, Peer Mentoring, Workforce Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Knowledge Transfer Solution ‘Soup to Nuts’ – What Implementing 3-Step Knowledge Transfer throughout an Enterprise Looks Like

Teresa_Canady_2010_02-highres

If you’re like many companies facing a massive IT transformation, the prospect can be daunting.  Recently one of our clients, a Fortune 500 retailer, faced a massive IT transformation when upgrading their 30 year old legacy systems to current technology.  The company was in the second year of the transformation and experiencing rapid growth, nearing 1000 people in IT alone when they called on us at The Steve Trautman Co.  They engaged our knowledge transfer consulting firm to help them address a number of key issues: Continue reading »

Posted in Blog, Change Management, Consistency in a Workforce, Knowledge Transfer Planning, Onboarding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knowledge Transfer in Your Workplace – 12 Transitions Made Easier for Employees Today… and Tomorrow

Knowledge transfer to help work transitions, reorganizations - Frustrated women with head on handHaving a knowledge transfer process embedded in the culture of your workforce enables employees to transition less painfully from out-of-date job roles and ways of doing things to new roles, tasks, and performance standards.  Structured knowledge transfer is critical for dealing with “the people part” of change because it provides employees with the tools to see what the change means down to their job’s task level, to learn needed skills from a designated standard bearer, and to measure whether they are doing things the new, right way.  Without this level of clarity, transitions are confusing at best, downright stressful and productivity-crushing at worst.  And, once an organization has established a culture of knowledge transfer, its workforce can face not only the current transition, but future ones as well. 

Transitions come in many shapes and sizes.  Think about which ones your company is facing today: Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Change Management, Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Reorganizations & Mergers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tip for Better, Faster Knowledge Transfer – It’s Not What People KNOW, It’s What They Know How to DO

Faster Onbaording and Speed in Knowledge Transfer - Simple TimerDEFINITION: A knowledge silo is a specific knowledge domain or area of expertise within a given job role or function.  Common examples include skills, tools, processes, systems and platforms, standards, products, customers, and history relevant to performing a job.  Knowledge silos are an important organizing concept within the field knowledge transfer.

 

“KNOWING” SILOS VS. “DOING” SILOS
People tend to think about knowledge in two different ways.  The first is what I call academic or “knowing” silos (areas of expertise), such as, “I know about material sciences, nutrition, or agile development.” Then, there are “doing” silos, such as “I can do seismic calculations, develop chemical formulas for new products, and manage plant systems maintenance.”  Even though we can all agree that you have to “know” before you can “do,” effective knowledge transfer starts with a focusing on the “doing” silos.  In other words, teach a qualified learner/apprentice how to do the work and the knowing will come along for the ride – and much faster.

A common mistake I’ve seen in my decades of knowledge transfer consulting is experts too often feeling the need to teach their apprentices lots of prerequisite background—“knowing” silos—rather than focusing on the skills required to do a job—“doing” silos.  Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Knowledge Transfer Planning, Onboarding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Air, Food and Water – Provide Your New Hire with the Essentials First When Onboarding

Knowledge Transfer tools for onboarding new hires. The Steve Trautman Co.'s Air, Food and Water Pyramid

The Steve Trautman Co.’s Air, Food and Water Pyramid — a knowledge transfer tool for onboarding new hires. Click to Enlarge.

Did you study Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Psych 101?  In case you didn’t, here’s a quick summary that also sheds light on an onboarding best practice that we use at my knowledge transfer consulting firm: Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Onboarding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Free Webinar with HR.com – Knowledge Transfer Across the Generations: Preserving Your Secret Sauce (February 11)

Knowledge transfer process - free knowledge transfer webinarOn Tuesday, February 11th The Steve Trautman Co. is partnering with HR.com to present a webinar by our own Steve Trautman entitled: Knowledge Transfer Across the Generations:  Preserving Your Secret Sauce.  (Details below)

REGISTER NOW!

What It’s About

Do you have an experienced, aging workforce? Do you wish you could replicate your best people before you risk losing them?

From onboarding to retirement, the transfer of knowledge is a critical issue for every organization struggling with ramping up new hires or transitioning current employees to a new job role.  Likewise, if you are recovering after reorganization or assimilating employees after acquisition, you are facing the same challenge:  you have people who know and people who need to know. Continue reading »

Posted in Blog, Speaking & Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Simple Steps to Mass Customization in Employee Onboarding Using Knowledge Transfer

Mass Customization Using Knowledge Transfer Process - jeans and measuring tape imageCompanies have been utilizing mass customization for years.  Consider the jeans company that allows a customer to select a pair online.  Then, rather than ordering from stock sizes, the customer inputs her unique measurements and receives a one-off pair of jeans tailored specifically for her, a mass-appeal product customized for the unique needs of the moment.  Knowledge transfer within a business organization can be set up the same way to create a form of “mass customized” onboarding.  A manager or department leader creates a master Skill Development Plan (SDP) for a certain job role, and then customizes it for each unique employee.  The output is an employee with skills that have been uniquely “crafted” to fit current needs. Continue reading »

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Onboarding | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

For Those Who Missed It – Poll Results, Costs of Insufficient Knowledge Transfer, and More from Our December 12 Webinar

Steve Trautman's he Power of Knowledge Transfer Dec 12 Webinar - cover imageIf you’ve been following this blog you know that over the last few years we’ve added many new ideas and systems to our knowledge transfer work.  We started with the Knowledge Transfer Workshop (KTW), then added the Skill Development Plan (SDP) and the Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), followed by pilot knowledge transfer implementations for teams within client organizations (see our KT case studies).  We added change management support, manager training, and the development of internal process owners (KTPOs) so that our clients could take over from us and maintain their knowledge transfer systems over the long term.  We developed scorecards to track progress and root out obstacles, and we introduced executive level metrics and dashboard reporting to show value and maintain momentum.  Earlier this year we demonstrated how to connect knowledge transfer to an organization’s business strategy, a necessary step when rolling out knowledge  transfer at the enterprise level.  I summarized this strategic thinking in a blog series and in our Knowledge Transfer Strategy white paper.  Most recently, I’ve been introducing into the knowledge transfer conversation metrics and clear ways to discuss the very real costs of having insufficient knowledge transfer at your organization. Continue reading »

Posted in Blog, Free Resources & Tools, Speaking & Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pretending vs. Confidence in Knowledge Transfer – Why Employees Designated as Mentors and Apprentices Come to Love Test Questions

headsSteve Trautman has once again asked me to act as guest blogger to share a recent client story that pointedly illustrates a substantial advantage of our 3-step knowledge transfer process over typical forms of knowledge transfer:

I received a fabulous anecdote recently on a knowledge transfer scorecard from one of my favorite clients.  (The knowledge transfer scorecard is a status reporting tool that enables managers to hold their teams accountable to knowledge transfer goals and keeps senior executives informed of a team’s progress.  The scorecard, typically filled out bi-monthly, includes a notes section for important anecdotes, problem-solving, and team wins.)  The notes section of this client’s scorecard stated: Continue reading »

Posted in Blog, Common KT Misconceptions, Skill Development Plan (SDP) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DECEMBER WEBINAR – The Power of Knowledge Transfer

video-step3Our own knowledge transfer expert, Steve Trautman, will be teaming up with U.S. locations of Career Partners International (CPI), a leading global provider of high-quality talent management solutions—and our new strategic partner—to deliver a free webinar on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST: “The Power of Knowledge Transfer—Preserving Your Secret Sauce While Mitigating Talent Management Risks”

Register Now

From onboarding to retirement, are you protecting your organization’s “secret sauce”?

From retiring baby boomers to Millennials who tend to change jobs frequently to employees learning a new technology rollout or reorganized job role, the transfer of knowledge is a critical issue for every organization. Knowledge transfer is more than just on-the-job training. It is also replicating the expertise, wisdom and tacit knowledge of critical professionals into the heads and hands of their coworkers.

This idea is the focus of Career Partners International’s webinar, The Power of Knowledge Transfer – Preserving Your Secret Sauce While Mitigating Talent Management Risks. The webinar will be held on December 12th at 2:00pm EST and will host an expert panel including Steve Trautman, a pioneer and the foremost expert in the Knowledge Transfer field. The panel will discuss the importance of protecting an organization’s “secret sauce” – the unique and vital knowledge that keeps day-to-day operations in motion, drives creativity and innovation, and sets the organization apart from the competition.

Other Panelists include Barbara A.F. Greene, Principal of Greene & Associates, Inc., Career Partners International – San Antonio; and Michael McKee, Principal of Career Partners International – Houston.

“We can’t replace the wisdom gathered over many years, but we can reduce the time it takes to act wisely…” —Steve Trautman

This complementary webinar is open to the public and registrations will be accepted through December 12th at cpiworld.com/webinars.

For more information, email us.

Posted in Blog, Speaking & Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Steve Trautman Co. and Career Partners International Announce a Strategic Partnership to Bring 3-Step Knowledge Transfer to More Organizations

The Steve Trautman Co. logo - experts in knowledge transferCPI logoWe at The Steve Trautman Co., pioneers and experts in knowledge transfer, are pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with Career Partners International, a leading global provider of high-quality talent management solutions.  Through the partnership, Career Partners International—via their more than 200 offices worldwide—will bring organizations our recognized gold standard in knowledge transfer solutions.  Our 3-step knowledge transfer process helps organizations to assess talent risks, internally share knowledge, and reduce the loss of talent and expertise.  Our practical framework is proven to retain and cross-train more than 90% of a company’s unique knowledge while cutting the ramp-up time to productivity of new hires by 50%.

We are very excited by the new opportunities this association makes possible.  For more information, see our press release.

Posted in Blog, In the News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment