As a Master Knowledge Transfer Consultant for The Steve Trautman Co. (STC), I’ve seen a lot of ways over the past 17 years that businesses try to implement and support knowledge transfer goals. I especially love it when our clients have fun with and fully embrace our 3-step knowledge transfer process. Last month one of our model clients, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, did so in an inventive yet effective way. Steve asked me to share this story here in a guest post.
Goodyear has been using our 3-step Knowledge Transfer Solution in their IT workforce to proactively prepare for upcoming retirements in critical knowledge areas (knowledge silos) and to ensure adequate bench strength in any knowledge silo that is currently only one-employee deep. As management drives toward knowledge transfer results, project leaders publicly recognize successful mentor-apprentice teams that have measurably completed their knowledge transfer sessions. This means that the mentor agrees his or her apprentice has passed all the test questions in an assigned knowledge silo, and the apprentice is now upgraded from “apprentice/yellow” status to “able to work independently/green” status on the Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), reducing a workforce risk.
The creative people at Goodyear have given a name to this recognition—and associated it with part of Steve’s last name that sounds like an aquatic being: The “Trout’man Award.” Their play-on-words highlights one of the benefits of knowledge transfer:
“GIVE a man a fish, you feed him for a day. TEACH a man to fish, you feed him for a LIFETIME.”
Goodyear’s success celebrations include a certificate (picture above) and acknowledgment throughout their North American IT division.
SUMMARY: A knowledge transfer best practice is that management drives toward results by measurement and recognition of team wins. Learning through laughter is the best. Goodyear gives us a great example of how managers can have a little fun rewarding knowledge transfer progress and still accomplish the serious business of ensuring accountability for results.