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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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03/04/08
Mature Workers. Past-50s Consulting roles
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Networking, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 7:08 pm

David DeLong authored an insightful book
“Lost Knowledge:  Confronting the threat
of an aging workforce”, Oxford, 2004 which
is targeted for today’s managers, and
provides a pivotal tool for mature workers.

DeLong tackles the complex notions of
explicit and Tacit knowledge important
in today’s knowledge economy and
nicely outlines the best and worst methods
to have mature workers pass it on to
the current workforce.  This has implications
on how to package and deliver useful
knowledge as consultants,  workers-
in-transition or problem-solvers.

Explicit knowledge is easily codified and
normally captured, stored and shared in
documents.  Much can be shared independent
of source. (A)

Tacit knowledge is classified in six forms:
  - cognitive skills, comprised of beliefs, images,
intuition and mental models
  - technical knowhow, that is craft and know-how
  - implicit rule based knowledge, not documented
anywhere (B)
  - implicit know-how that is knowledge
in complex contexts, often based on asking
the right questions;  can also be undocumented,
unarticulated case information (C)
  -  tacit know-how, known by individuals,
hard to verbalize (D)
  - deep tacit know how, known by groups,
very hard to verbalize, like flexible critical
mass management. (E)


DeLong studied the technology transfer and
transmission and evaluated traditional
sharing methods in the following simplified
table.

CLASS OF
KNOWLEDGE    A   B    C    D    E

EXCHANGE
 
Interviews               -    G    -     N    N
Documentation       G    N    N   N    N
Training                  G    -      -    -      -
Storytelling              N   -      G   -      -
Mentor/Coach         -    -      G   -      -
Review Process       N   -      -    -      -
Networks                 -   G     G   -      -  

G = very effective
N = ineffective

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