Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Survey: Corporations Falling Down on Knowledge Transfer Practices

According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), only 29% of responding organizations report that they incorporate retirement forecasts into their knowledge transfer practices. Furthermore, i4cp found that only a third add "skills gap analysis" into those forecasts, less than half say they train their managers to identify critical skills, only 23% are educated in critical skills transfer, and most companies admit they do not formally measure the effectiveness of their knowledge transfer practices.
"For all the public gnashing of teeth about the impending retirement of all those knowledgeable, hard-working Baby Boomers, relatively few organizations are doing much about it," says Jay Jamrog, SVP of research at i4cp. "They're going to wind up in a mad bar-the-doors scramble in the near future if they don't start trying to tap the knowledge of their most knowledgeable Boomers."
The i4cp survey--"Taking the Pulse: Productivity/Efficiency" (available to i4cp members only)--reports that training is the most conventional way to transfer knowledge in organizations (82% reporting it as an ongoing practice), followed by coaching (55%), and mentoring programs (44%). In addition, there was little consensus about which part of the organization handles the management of knowledge transfer initiatives with 41% saying the initiatives are "managed individually by different business sectors," 39% reporting that initiatives are handled by corporate, and 20% using a combination of corporate and business-sector options.
Looking to the future, the study found that there are a number of up-and-coming practices in use and being considered. "Communities of Practice" are utilized by a third of all responding companies to transfer knowledge, and the use of Webcasts and services such as "Lunch and Learn" and "SharePoint" are on the rise.
Source: Institute for Corporate Productivity Press Release (July 9, 2008)

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