Knowledge Transfer Between Generations

Management Issues has a nice post titled “Organizations Ignoring the Transfer of Knowledge” that talks about the lack of planning for the transfer of knowledge between the Baby Boomer and younger generations.

An excerpt:

A study by U.S research body The Conference Board has found most American, Canadian and European businesses are woefully ill-prepared for the exodus of the post-war Baby Boom generation from the boardroom.

Most firms do even not have a plan to manage and transfer knowledge and even fewer included cross-generational issues in what strategy they had.

And another:

“Knowledge transfer is not as widely practiced as the potential business benefits and workforce demographics suggest it should be,” concluded Greenes.

“In a knowledge economy, firm-specific knowledge is critical to the sustainability, performance and innovation of organizations facing the imminent retirement of large numbers of baby boomers,” he added.

Looks like all the talk about Knowledge Management over the last 20 years has been just that…talk. Any ideas as to why this important aspect has been overlooked by organizations?

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Daniel Rose
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Hi Eric, I know this post is a few years old now, I stumbled upon it in my searches. I think that this is still a huge problem, particularly in the boardroom. Although it presents itself in all areas of organizations, board roles really demand a higher level of conceptual thinking, generally gained through years of business exerience. For me, it comes down to succession planning (although I hate that term). Organizations need to plan for the day when key staff move on, and knowledge transfer plays a part of that. It’s one of those things that gets forgotton in… Read more »

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