Knowledge Transfer

For more than two decades, we have transferred knowledge and skills to replicate top talent. Our proven process has helped companies navigate growth, reorgs, outsourcing, retirements, employee churn, and succession planning.
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Emergency Knowledge Transfer

There isn’t always time to build out a lengthy knowledge transfer process, but you can still keep critical know-how in-house.

Transfer Skills & Knowledge – Fast

Our emergency knowledge transfer plan is designed specifically to help companies avoid the pain and cost of a critical expert’s departure. Using our tried and true techniques, you can:

  • Define and capture the expert’s areas of knowledge within days
  • Transfer up to 90% of the expert’s knowledge to fellow staff
  • Measure whether knowledge and skills were transferred successfully
  • Identify what wasn’t transferred and mitigate the risks as needed

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Executive Succession Planning

Our succession planning process zeroes in on what makes your departing executive uniquely valuable and replicates those traits within your team.

Beyond the Exit Interview

Through structured knowledge transfer, we provide practical hands-on facilitation to ease the transition for the successor while reducing risks for your company. Using our proven succession planning approach, you can:

  • Go beyond exit interviews to uncover your executive’s secret sauce
  • Transfer relationships and other vital soft skills
  • Reduce the risk of losing key skills by transferring them to multiple successors
  • Measure whether knowledge and skills were transferred successfully

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Grow Your Own

Waves of retirements, 4% unemployment, increasingly mobile staff, talent wars ... it’s a challenging a combination. And hiring alone is not a sufficient strategy.

Replicate Top Talent

If your company is interested in growing skilled workers from within, you’ll want to check out our 3-step solution. It will enable you to:

  • Identify individuals who hold lynchpin knowledge and skills
  • Replicate key experts in half the normal time
  • Prepare for retirements and other staff departures
  • Expedite transitions when you do lose key team members

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Increase Speed

Overloaded experts can create bottlenecks. And when the market demands rapid innovation, every delay drains profit. What do you do?

Remove Roadblocks

When you collect robust data on what your employees do, you can identify and clear roadblocks. Using our data-driven framework and knowledge transfer process, you can:

  • Clear bottlenecks caused by overloaded technical experts
  • Cut onboarding and training time in half
  • Ramp up quickly for new initiatives and changing priorities

Learn Our Process
Download our 3-Step Knowledge Transfer Plan. 
DEFINITION: Knowledge transfer is the methodical replication of the expertise, wisdom, and tacit knowledge of critical professionals into the heads and hands of their coworkers. It is more than just on-the-job training. It is the planned movement of the right skills and information at the right time to keep a workforce prepared, productive, innovative, and competitive.

Suppose we’re at an office facility, mall, park, or another large complex for the first time; to get our bearings we look for the directory map and that little red dot showing: “You are here.” In a similar effort to situate this knowledge transfer blog and our discussions in the greater world of business, I want to show what we mean by “knowledge transfer” and where we are relative to other terms you may have heard.

The field of knowledge transfer relates to such common business subjects as operations management, communication, risk management, knowledge management, human capital, succession planning, and employee retention—just to name a few. And yet it is none of these.

Knowledge Transfer

What it is not – Confusing and sometimes parallel concepts

  • Software: Although technology sometimes supports knowledge transfer, it isn’t required at all.
  • Instructor-Led Training: Classroom training is often a useful way to develop employee skills but knowledge transfer typically happens on-the-job.
  • Knowledge Management: Cataloging and storing information, often in a database, is the foundation of knowledge management. Knowledge Transfer can take advantage of these resources—if they exist and are kept current— but they are not required.
  • Learning Transfer: Learning transfer works toward ensuring that formal training is remembered and used after the classroom time is over.
  • Succession Planning: Knowledge transfer certainly supports succession planning but only after the successor has been named and the transition is underway.
  • Career Mentoring: Senior employees discussing career options with junior employees may also include knowledge transfer but often these relationships are more about the future than is knowledge transfer.
  • Knowledge Transfer as it is known in Britain (mostly): In the U.K. they use the term to mean specifically the sharing of information between academic institutions and industry.

What it is—Experts sharing wisdom and experience with their co-workers on the job.

  • We sometimes call it peer mentoring, on-the-job training, or apprenticeships when these programs include a measurable plan for transferring specific job knowledge.
  • It includes both the explicit knowledge—such as the steps in the process that might appear in a written procedure—plus the tacit knowledge—such as what to look for, who to contact, or when to ask for help.
  • The expert may be any age and their expertise might be deep and narrow (such as a specific technology, platform, or process) or broad (such as an entire division, company, or industry).
  • The expert may be on the same team or accessed from a distance, including other companies and internationally.
  • Practical approaches can run the gamut from informal on-the-job training between two people to enterprise-wide formal programs spanning research, training, IT, and management teams.

Knowledge transfer includes the measurable transfer on-the-job of both explicit skills as well as implicit or tacit knowledge. The key issue knowledge transfer professionals work to solve is: What can we do to make the critical, high priority transfer of knowledge happen faster, with less stress, and with greater predictability and consistency?

Through this post we’re going to explore all of the ways that companies all over the world are working to make this process easier and more efficient. We’re going to pass on timely news of new developments and congregate top voices in the field. The goal is to make your business world a better place by unpacking what it takes to develop a “culture of knowledge transfer”—where experts teach and their co-workers learn, and birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and everybody is having a good hair day. Seriously, I don’t think this is too utopian. We’ve come a long way already and this is a worthy goal. I’m looking forward to it and hope you’ll come along for the ride.