Surviving the Baby Boomer Exodus: Capturing Knowledge for Gen X and Y Employees

Overview

There are managers who can't bear the thought of losing longtime, skilled employees due to the "brain drain," yet it is occurring as experienced Baby Boomers retire and take with them their practical knowledge and business acumen. Despite the media coverage of Boomers and how a tidal wave of retirements could impact business, many senior managers are kicking the can down the road, putting off the job of creating a system and process for capturing knowledge. Keeping this a low priority could lead to a great deal ...

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Surviving the Baby Boomer Exodus: Capturing Knowledge for Gen X and Y Employees

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Overview

There are managers who can't bear the thought of losing longtime, skilled employees due to the "brain drain," yet it is occurring as experienced Baby Boomers retire and take with them their practical knowledge and business acumen. Despite the media coverage of Boomers and how a tidal wave of retirements could impact business, many senior managers are kicking the can down the road, putting off the job of creating a system and process for capturing knowledge. Keeping this a low priority could lead to a great deal of deep, tacit knowledge walking out the door, may be for good. Managers can avoid by taking some steps now to prepare for the day when key workers leave. These steps are outlined in Surviving the Baby Boomer Exodus.

This book provides a practical guide for capturing valuable knowledge, skills, and experiences so it can be shared among employees of all the generations in the workplace. It examines method for assessing a company's knowledge gaps, creating a knowledge transfer plan, and nurturing a culture that encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration. Inside you'll find scenarios, case studies, tips, templates, and checklists that will help you capture and retain your company's intellectual capitals as Baby Boomers leave the workplace.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This carefully-researched book explains how to capture and record the know-how from the Boomer generation with precision. It is a prescriptive book that will help organizations develop Gen X and Y leaders while giving them the knowledge and wisdom gathered from their predecessors."

"Many people have written about the need to harvest the precious knowledge of our aging workforce, and management hasn't paid much attention...Gotsill and Ball have teamed up to bridge the generation gap with a comprehensive, practical guide to help organizations get started…let the harvest begin!"

"One of the most challenging issues in any organization is the transfer of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom between people. This book points out key generational learning needs in this arena and offers multiple methods for effectively making this transfer occur, including the power of story to speed up this process."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435455122
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 826,867
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Ball is a Baby Boomer and has been tracking issues relating to aging in the workplace for several years. At TechProse, he drives business development for the consulting firm that specializes in knowledge/content management, training and documentation for major U.S. clients. He has more than 30 years of experience in corporate sales and marketing, including years in the book publishing business, working for IDG Books, publishers of the …For Dummies computer and general reference books. He has a marketing communications degree from Bradley University.

Gina Gotsill is a Gen X writer who has studied journalism at San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley. She is also a fellow of the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Gina has covered a wide range of business topics that include keeping Boomer skills in the workplace, teaching finance to non-finance professionals, and growth and change in urban and suburban business districts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 When Boomer Brains Walk 1

Impending Retirements Raise Tough Questions 2

Why Act Now? 4

Taking Time to Transfer Knowledge 5

Seeing Opportunity in a Slumping Economy 6

Why Should Organizations Transfer Knowledge? 7

Playing the Numbers Game 8

When Will They Retire? 9

There Is No Crystal Ball 12

Taking the First Step 13

Chapter 2 Defining the Generations 15

Who Are the Boomers? 18

Boomer Characteristics 19

Boomer Cross-Generational Dynamics 21

How Boomers Learn Best 24

Small and Mighty: Generation X 25

Generation X Characteristics 27

Gen X Cross-Generational Dynamics 28

How They Learn Best 29

Pushing the Envelope: Generation Y 30

Gen Y Characteristics 31

Gen Y Cross-Generational Dynamics 32

How They Learn Best 34

What Do All Three Generations Have in Common? 35

How Can Understanding Generational Differences Help Knowledge Transfer? 37

Remember the Recipient 38

Chapter 3 Knowledge in the Workplace 41

Data-Diamonds in the Rough 42

Information-Give Data Some Shape 43

Knowledge-Transforming Data and Information 44

Explicit Knowledge-It's on the Shelf 46

Implicit Knowledge-It's Still in Your Head 47

Tacit Knowledge-Too Deep to Articulate? 48

The Debate over Tacit Knowledge 50

Other Types of Knowledge 53

Declarative and Procedural Knowledge 53

Political Knowledge 55

Cultural Knowledge 55

Knowledge Within Your Organization 56

Where Does Knowledge Management Fit? 58

Looking Back, Looking Forward 58

"There Has to Be a Need" 63

Barriers to Knowledge Transfer . . . and Solutions 65

Culture and Attitudes 66

Going Forward 67

Chapter 4 Trouble on the Horizon as Boomers Step Away 69

The Pain Behind the Numbers 70

Oil and Gas-Boom or Bust 71

Utilities-A Perfect Storm 74

Manufacturing-Partly Cloudy Weather Ahead 79

The Future in Focus 85

Chapter 5 Boarding the Knowledge Train 87

Planning for Tomorrow 88

The Business Case for Knowledge Retention 91

Building a Project Charter 95

Elements of a Project Charter 96

Section 1 Project Overview 99

Section 2 Project Authority and Milestones 105

Section 3 Project Organization 106

The Law and Analysis 109

Testing the Waters 112

Communications Makes an Appearance 116

Methods for Communicating in the Early Stages 118

Building a Knowledge Council 119

More than a Snapshot 121

Demand Forecast-The "What" and the "How" 122

Supply Analysis-See Today, Project Tomorrow 123

Gap Analysis-Comparing Demand and Supply 124

Audience Analysis-A Profile of Recipients 126

Supplements to Workforce Planning Analysis 127

Social Network Analysis-Who Talks to Whom? 131

The Goal of Planning and Analysis 136

Chapter 6 Knowledge Retention by Design 137

What Kind of Knowledge to Transfer? 138

Follow the Needs of Your Audience 139

The Method Behind Mentoring 140

Many Reasons to Choose Mentoring 142

Making Time for Mentoring 144

The Nature of the Informal Mentoring Relationship 144

Informal Versus Formal Mentoring 147

Making Mentoring Work 149

Should Supervisors Serve as Mentors? 151

Setting Goals and Objectives for Formal Mentoring 153

Use Training to Set the Stage 153

Helping Mentees Articulate Their Needs 156

Social Networks and Social Media 158

Motorola Paves the Way 159

Cerner Corp. Creates New Connections 161

Crossing the Generation Gap Barrier 162

Creating a Social Media Network for Everyone 163

Communities of Practice 167

Mapping CoPs to Business Goals 169

No Two Communities Are Alike 171

Designing a Community of Practice 172

Identify the Audience 173

Design and Plan 174

Pilot 178

Go-Live 178

Expand and Sustain 179

Storytelling 180

What Is a Story? 181

The Multi-Faceted Art of Storytelling 182

Practical Use of Stories 184

Storytelling Structure 186

After Action Reviews 189

Planning 191

Preparing 1918

Conducting 192

Following-Up 193

The Design Document 195

Chapter 7 Ready, Set, Develop! 197

The Value of the Pilot 198

Develop a Pilot 199

Communications and Development 201

Your Thoughts, Please 203

Let Yourself Be Surprised 204

Chapter 8 Rolling Out Your Knowledge Transfer Program 205

Linking the Program to Staff Goals 206

Keeping a Watchful Eye 207

Managing Risk 209

Managing Momentum 211

Next Steps for Knowledge Transfer 213

Asking Your Audience What They Need 214

Communications and Implementation 216

Overcoming Challenges 218

Spread the Work and Opportunities Around 221

Chapter 9 A Long View of Evaluation 223

Reasons Why Organizations Don't Evaluate 224

Make Metrics a Priority 227

Use Data to Evaluate Success 228

If You Skip a Step 230

Specific Evaluation Methods 232

The Value of Numbers, Stories, and Graphics 233

Since We're Talking ROI 236

Chapter 10 Nurturing a Knowledge Culture 241

New Management Style Eases the Shift 242

Who's the Customer? 244

Rewriting the Job Description 245

The Generational Factor 246

Making the Change 250

Senior Leadership Support 251

Communications and Recognition 251

Training 252

Measurement 253

A Sound Investment 253

Bibliography 255

Books 255

Selected Reports, Articles, and Other Documents 257

Index 259

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