When highly skilled subject matter experts, engineers, and managers leave their organizations, they take with them years of hard-earned, experience-based knowledge—much of it undocumented and irreplaceable. Organizations can thereby lose a good part of their competitive advantage. The tsunami of “boomer” retirements has created the most visible, urgent need to transfer such knowledge to the next generation. But there is also an ongoing torrent of acquisitions, layoffs, and successions—not to mention commonplace promotions and transfers—all of which involve the loss of essential expertise.
Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap first addressed this acute loss of knowledge in their groundbreaking book Deep Smarts (Harvard Business Review Press, 2005). Since then, managers have repeatedly asked them for practical, proven techniques that will help transfer those deep smarts—the organization’s critical, experience-based knowledge—before it’s too late. With coauthor Gavin Barton, the authors have delivered by providing a comprehensive approach to doing just that in their highly-recommended book, Critical Knowledge Transfer (Harvard Business Review Press,2014).
In this session, Dorothy will highlight original research, corporate examples, and practical options for identifying your firm’s deep smarts and transferring that intelligence from experts to successors. Gain from this session new insights on how to transfer your organization’s most important knowledge—before it walks out the door.
Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Critical Knowledge Transfer -- essential reading for anyone managing talent in today’s volatile environment.
William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita, Harvard Business School, and coauthor of Deep Smarts and Critical Knowledge Transfer