Knowledge Transfer Process Tools

Here are a number of guidelines and tools we have created for the knowledge transfer processes we use. Please feel free to distribute them within your organization, the only condition begin to maintain our attribution and copyright.

Articles About Knowledge Transfer and Organizational Learning

Don Ronchi, Passion and Poetry in Raytheon Learning, Training and Development
Don Ronchi, Raytheon's CLO, is a leading thinker about how organizations use knowledge. At Raytheon he has created six institutes. The institutes are responsible for the following categories of deliverables, and each institute leader is measured according too how effectively she or he supplies these deliverables to the businesses:

  • Knowledge - locating, capturing, creating, and packaging the knowledge (explicit and tacit) that drives value creation
  • Human capital - creating processes to effectively and efficiently transfer knowledge to Raytheon employees, customers, and suppliers
  • Social capital - creating opportunities for bridging gaps in the social network that links employees across Raytheon, where that bridging creates value through knowledge sharing.

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Nate Allen, Leader Challenge: What Would You Do?

Given the complex environment in which the U.S. military operates, leaders at all levels must be prepared for a force that is more responsive to regional combatant commanders needs, better employs joint capabilities, facilitates force packaging and rapid deployment, and fights self contained units in nonlinear, non--mediated environments for learning from simulated leadership challenges within the discussion space of professional forums. The platform where Soldiers can construct solutions to various scenarios presented to them by their peers and/or predecessors.

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Gary M. Olson & Judith S. Olson, Distance Matters, Human Computer Interaction

Abstract - Giant strides in information technology at the turn of the century may have unleashed unreachable goals. With the invention of groupware, people expect to communicate easily with each other and accomplish difficult work even though they are remotely located or rarely overlap in time. Major corporations launch global teams, expecting that technology will make "virtual collocation" possible. Federal research money encourages global science through the establishment of "collaboratories." We review over 10 years of field and laboratory investigations of collocated and noncollocated synchronous group collaborations. In particular, we compare collocated work with remote work as it is possible today and comment on the promise of remote work tomorrow. We focus on the sociotechnical conditions required for effective distance work and bring together the results with four key concepts: common ground, coupling of work, collaboration readiness, and collaboration technology readiness. Groups with high common ground and loosely coupled work, with readiness both for collaboration and collaboration technology, have a chance at succeeding with remote work. Deviations from each of these create strain on the relationships among teammates and require changes in the work or processes of collaboration to succeed. Often they do not succeed because distance still matters. 

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Larry Hirschhorn, To Create Energy and Momentum for Organizational Change - Launch a Campaign

This article provides a new and very practical approach to making organizational change work. It uses the metaphor of the campaign to bring together three critical campaigns, Marketing Campaign, with a focus on listening and then creating a strategic theme that is responsive to those who will need to change; Political Campaign, that includes deliberate coalition building and finally Military Campaign which includes implementing pilots and creating an infrastructure. Hirschhorn demonstrates the necessity for all three with many organizational examples of success and failure.

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Whitney D. and Cooperrider, The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: An Emerging Methodology for Whole System Positive Change

Written by the founders of Appreciative Inquiry, his paper provides a framework for understanding the Appreciative Inquiry Summit as a methodology for positive change. Outlined is a typical AI Summit - success factors and what the authors have learned in that contributes to success in large-scale efforts.

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CEO of GTE - Tom White Speech

Everything in the telecommunications industry has turned upside down, and it will keep on turning, especially in light of the telecom bill. If the telecommunications industry is going to succeed, it needs knowledgeable, motivated employees. Three aspects to the employee issue are discussed: 1. the overall mood of America today and how it affects the workforce, 2. the need for a new attitude in the workplace, and 3. the need for better balance between work and personal lives.

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Clyde Freeman Herried, Mom Always Liked You Best: Examining the Hypothesis of Parental Favoritism Prologue: The Interrupted Case Method

The interrupted case method is a way that a team can share with others what they have learned in an interactive rather than didactic manner

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Articles about Knowledge Transfer within Healthcare:

Don Berwick, Escape Fire: Lessons for the future of healthcare, IHI 1999

No one understands healthcare like Don Berwick. Using the metaphor of the Mann Gulch fire, he lays out the problems of healthcare and what we need to do to deal with them. The Escape Fire is a moving and eloquent picture of healthcare in crisis. In a few short years, Escape Fire has become a classic in healthcare.

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Atul Gawande, The Bell Curve: What happens when patients find out how good their doctors really are? New Yorker Issue of 2004-12-06

When this article came out I received no less than five copies of it from different colleagues who knew I would want to read it. They were right! In addition to Gawande's main thesis, which is that there are huge differences in the level of care patients receive, it builds one of the best cases for tacit knowledge that I have seen. It make abundantly clear why few have been able to copy what Warren Warwick has done in the treatment of cystic-fibrosis - it is not what he does, but who he is.

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The Latest From Nancy's Blog

What Clients Say

"Nancy provides strategic insights to ConocoPhillips. Her ideas spawned our knowledge sharing program (still flourishing today). She was instrumental in getting our execs onboard: a company that connects and operates like a global company would drive business value..."

Dan Ranta
Director, Knowledge Sharing, ConocoPhillips

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"I am impressed by Nancy’s work on knowledge transfer and sensemaking. Her recent work on collective sense making, harnessing collective wisdom to handle organizational complexity, is ground breaking and fascinating..."

Eric Tsui, Professor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and
VP Hong Kong Knowledge Management Society

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“I know that Nancy understands better than anyone the difference between mere talking and real communication. She is expert at helping groups of people speak listen authentically and intelligently as an important step toward shared understanding, effective problem solving, and innovative thinking..."

Don Cohen
Managing Editor, NASA ASK Magazine

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"HEMA Academie is the largest online academy in the Netherlands, we made the course "Common Knowledge Organizational Learning" because of an interview with Nancy. She is gifted with a special kind of energy and has the power to analyze complex problems as an enthusiastic team player..."

Drs. Helma van den Berg,
Head of production, HEMA Academie

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"Working with Nancy, I've seen first-hand the power of collective sensemaking. Bringing analytic tools to bear provided new insights into interdependent activities, overall system functioning, and leverage points. Collective sensemaking helps teams work smarter."

Mike Silver
SVP of Corporate Operations, HealthInsight

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"Nancy pulled off a great feat at the US Army KM conference. She got the whole room talking, all 200 of them! It broke the mold of presentation after presentation. The feedback was overwhelmingly, "Let's do more of this at the next conference."

COL Charles Burnett
Deputy Director, Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS

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"Her approach to collective sensemaking drives how we teach knowledge management, facilitate communities of practice, and coach highly effective teams of leaders. There is no better way to create competitive advantage in the 21st Century knowledge environment."

Mike Hower
Chief Learning Officer, Strategic Knowledge Solutions, Inc.

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Recent Client Successes

The US Army KM conference had a very traditional format, three or four speakers in a row, with a few minutes of Q&A then on to the next speaker. Working with the conference design committee, we introduced interaction opportunities spread throughout the conference that made a huge difference for participants...
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Ecopetrol, the largest company in Colombia, held a Technological Environment Forum to build a knowledge management strategy for the company through the work of more than 100 leaders. The Forum contacted Nancy and asked her to come to help them understand effective knowledge management strategy...
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Huawei had twice attempted to implement KM without having achieved the results that had hoped for. When Huawei contacted Nancy, they knew they wanted to focus on the human side of KM, drawing on what people were learning through their on-the-job experience and how to spread that knowledge...
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The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. I have had the pleasure of consulting to IHI, particularly in the area of “spread” for over 10 years. But until recently IHI has not had a knowledge management program or staff...
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We were able to help save the knowledge developed in the canceled NASA Constellation project. Working with NASA’s Dave Lengyel, we brought together engineers from all 10 NASA centers to develop a knowledge capture strategy...
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