NEVER GET ON A PLANE WITHOUT A PLAN – Using Knowledge Transfer to Ensure Efficient Use of Travel for Training

Posted by Steve Trautman on Jan 29, 2015 6:34:09 AM

Recently, a client of my knowledge transfer consulting firm was expressing his frustration with having to routinely fly his division’s experienced technical employees out to other domestic offices, off-shore, or to outsource partner locations to train new hires and solve technical problems. “It is the only way,” the CTO said, "to ensure that hands-on, business-critical knowledge gets transferred." So I asked him a few simple questions:

ME: Who goes on these trips?

CLIENT: Well, there’s no standard. We tend to send whoever is willing to go and can get away.

ME: How long do they typically stay there, away from their other daily work?

CLIENT: As long as they can handle it.

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Topics: Knowledge Transfer Planning, Knowledge Transfer Strategy, Skill Development Plan (SDP), 20 Test Questions, Onboarding

Talent Risks CAN be Measurably Assessed and Managed – a Practical List

Posted by Steve Trautman on Jul 1, 2014 8:31:21 AM

A common misconception I often find myself debunking is that risks related to “the people part” of business are somehow less quantifiable and manageable than other types of business risks. As we have begun to further shape and prove that a business’s talent risks can be methodically assessed, prioritized, and managed, we still worry about common business language around this topic sounding too fluffy. In this post, I’ve made a clear, comprehensive list of the types of talent risks that we can pinpoint with today’s knowledge transfer tool set.

Every one of the risks noted below can be

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Topics: Offshoring, Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Outsourcing, Reorganizations & Mergers, Skilled Worker Shortage, Onboarding, Aging Workers

Help Your On-the-Job Apprentices - What Mentors Can Do to Speed Knowledge Transfer

Posted by Steve Trautman on May 8, 2014 7:47:55 AM

All of us in business learn our jobs by being on the job. No matter how much classroom education we may have had, we learn how to do our jobs by watching, listening to, and being mentored by the more experienced people around us. In fact, studies have shown that, regardless of occupation, most adults learn their job roles through 10% classroom training, 70% on-the-job training and mentoring, and 20% other sources (called the 70-20-10 Rule). If you are the experienced employee who is setting the on-the-job standard for the right way to do things in a job role (a mentor), knowledge transfer best practices can help you to help your apprentices speed their learning.

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Topics: Peer Mentoring, Workforce Risk Management, Knowledge Transfer Definition, Terms & Roles, Best Practices, Onboarding

Knowledge Transfer Solution 'Soup to Nuts' – What Implementing 3-Step Knowledge Transfer throughout an Enterprise Looks Like

Posted by Teresa on Apr 30, 2014 2:01:25 PM

If you’re like many companies facing a massive IT transformation, the prospect can be daunting. Recently one of our clients, a Fortune 500 retailer, faced a massive IT transformation when upgrading their 30 year old legacy systems to current technology. The company was in the second year of the transformation and experiencing rapid growth, nearing 1000 people in IT alone when they called on us at The Steve Trautman Co. They engaged our knowledge transfer consulting firm to help them address a number of key issues:

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Topics: Knowledge Transfer Planning, Change Management, Consistency in a Workforce, Onboarding

Tip for Better, Faster Knowledge Transfer - It’s Not What People KNOW, It’s What They Know How to DO

Posted by Steve Trautman on Feb 27, 2014 11:45:24 PM

DEFINITION: A knowledge silo is a specific knowledge domain or area of expertise within a given job role or function. Common examples include skills, tools, processes, systems and platforms, standards, products, customers, and history relevant to performing a job. Knowledge silos are an important organizing concept within the field knowledge transfer.


People tend to think about knowledge in two different ways. The first is what I call academic or “knowing” silos (areas of expertise), such as, “I know about material sciences, nutrition, or agile development.” Then, there are “doing” silos, such as “I can do seismic calculations, develop chemical formulas for new products, and manage plant systems maintenance.” Even though we can all agree that you have to “know” before you can “do,” effective knowledge transfer starts with a focusing on the “doing” silos. In other words, teach a qualified learner/apprentice how to do the work and the knowing will come along for the ride – and much faster.

A common mistake I've seen in my decades of knowledge transfer consulting is experts too often feeling the need to teach their apprentices lots of prerequisite background—“knowing” silos—rather than focusing on the skills required to do a job—“doing” silos.

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Topics: Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM), Knowledge Transfer Planning, Best Practices, Onboarding

Air, Food and Water - Provide Your New Hire with the Essentials First When Onboarding

Posted by Steve Trautman on Feb 14, 2014 11:46:20 AM
The Steve Trautman Co.'s Air, Food and Water Pyramid -- a knowledge transfer tool for onboarding new hires. Click to Enlarge.

Did you study Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Psych 101? In case you didn’t, here’s a quick summary that also sheds light on an onboarding best practice that we use at my knowledge transfer consulting firm:

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Topics: Best Practices, Onboarding

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Steve Trautman is corporate America’s leading knowledge transfer expert. With two decades of application inside blue chips and Fortune 1000s, his pioneering work in the field of knowledge transfer and related risk management tools are now the nationally-recognized gold standard. He is known for a high energy style that combines humor, street smarts, and board room wisdom.

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