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.”
DEFINITION: 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
A 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
“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!
One positive talent 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
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
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
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
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
Here’s a fun photo from The Steve Trautman Co. team, as we end the week. Steve and I were just on the East Coast for a marcus evans summit, where we hosted a reception for Fortune 500 and 1000 executives and managers interested in new ideas and tools for their technical professionals. We were there to spread the good news about the field of knowledge transfer’s ability to manage an organization’s talent risk so that business teams have the talent and skills needed to execute strategy 1 – 3 years from now. To our surprise, the marcus evans team wheeled out this chilled number just before our reception started. When our company rebranded four years ago, I never imagined seeing our logo and tagline—Knowledge Transfer, Quick and Clear—done up in ice. I must admit, though, it looks pretty great, and I just had to share.
Tip for Better, Faster Knowledge Transfer – It’s Not What People KNOW, It’s What They Know How to DO
DEFINITION: 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
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
Free Webinar with HR.com – Knowledge Transfer Across the Generations: Preserving Your Secret Sauce (February 11)
On 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)
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
Companies 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
Pretending vs. Confidence in Knowledge Transfer – Why Employees Designated as Mentors and Apprentices Come to Love Test Questions
Steve 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
Our 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”
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.
The Steve Trautman Co. and Career Partners International Announce a Strategic Partnership to Bring 3-Step Knowledge Transfer to More Organizations
We 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.