The primary driving force behind a KM strategy is to support business objectives. I can't even attempt to link to all the sites where that principle has been broadcast (even here a few times).
As I've lamented at this site, we are potentially heading toward a serious knowledgeworker crisis as we approach 2010, and the majority of the workforce will be over 40, and the baby boomers will have started retiring.
Plus, keep in mind that the oldest of baby boomers grew up in an era where an employee desired to stay within the same company for an entire career. That model has now changed to the belief that if you are not moving around every 5 - 7 years, your career is stagnant.
So to rob from Pete Seeger, "Where has all the knowledge gone?....long time passing."
Susannah Patton recently wrote Beating the Boomer Brain Drain Blues (not a song, but an article), which has clearly reiterated the first issue discussed above...the coming retirement of baby boomers...and what can be done about it.
So I always like a good case study on how someone is doing it, and Ms. Patton pulls from Northrup Grumman, an early KM adopter. Patton contends that the exodus of baby boomers will begin in 5 years, when the earliest reaches 65...I say it's already started, though it appears that Northrup Grumman got a head start in the late 1990s.
Two very interesting facts that she presents are:
- Baby boomers, now 42 - 60 almost double in population the Generation Xers that follow.
- An AARP study has shown that more than 60% of companies are bringing back retirees as contractors or consultants.
One of the keys discussed to capturing the knowledge is ensuring that older knowledgeworkers interact with the younger ones. Shadowing is one technique that has been discussed before. Also discussions in problem solving methodology.
The article is very interesting, and extremely pertinent.