Sep 7, 2004

Lost Knowledge

We've all heard of the threat of baby boomers retirements in the US workplace and the gaping hole it will leave in the heart of the US's workplace (Does that hold true for other developed nations too like European countries or Canada?)

Anyway, Dr. David DeLong, a research fellow at MIT’s AgeLab (where he conducts
ongoing research into the challenges posed by an aging workforce), has just
created the first comprehensive framework to help leaders retain critical
organizational knowledge despite an aging workforce and increased turnover among
mid-career employees. In today’s organizations, applying knowledge of complex
technical systems, scientific advances, and integrated work processes is the key
to improved performance. But Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce spells out the serious costs of attrition when this human capital starts to rapidly disappear.

My thought on this is that any knowledge retention efforts would be seen as 'extraction' by this workforce would would suddenly realise that this knowledge which they hold between their ears will become very costly. The smarter of the retiring workforce will not share but rather hold out for free-lancing opportunities to the highest bidder on their own terms.