I was recently visiting a major university. Their IT department is in “transformation” and it’s stuck. The new director has 167 people reporting to him. He and his second in command are dumbfounded because they’ve been leading this team for over a year, and the team refuses to take on the new way of doing things. Despite formal training, team building exercises, and regular meetings to try to solve problems, the long-time employees he inherited have successfully dug in their heels and made it impossible for him to move the transformation forward.
There’s a new phenomenon happening in corporations today where family leaves are being extended. While it’s common practice in other countries to offer extended leave, U.S. companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Reddit have recently expanded their paternity/maternity leaves from 16 weeks to a year.
Over the past twelve years, I’ve taught the Steve Trautman Company’s Knowledge Transfer Workshops hundreds of times to clients all over the world and in every industry imaginable. The workshop is an integral part of their 3-Step Solution, and we require client managers to attend as they have a key role to play.
When assessing and managing talent risk and preparing for knowledge transfer, we work to uncover data like who’s the expert, how many employees do we have that are capable of that work, how many employees do we have that are learning that work, and whether it’s at risk. If it’s at risk, is it a high priority? The Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Step One in our 3-Step Process, gives leaders a place to represent the data so that they can show it to their peers, to their employees, to their bosses.
We at the Steve Trautman Company have long asserted that while traditional job shadowing has been a common practice for transferring skills from the knowledgeable employee to a new hire, there are inherent flaws with relying on this method to replicate your top talent: