Best Organizational Knowledge Transfer Practices

Like many seemingly overly formal work phrases, organizational knowledge transfer is nothing new, and has been around for a long time.  It is actually a magnified look at the handing of knowledge from a source to a destination at any point in the organizational learning atmosphere.

In organizational learning, organizational knowledge transfer may be the exchange from the teacher to students, between students or even from students to the teacher. On a larger level, this science encompasses all of these transfers as a flowing dynamic over the course of training, or even within a screenshot of one training cycle of your design.

So, is there that much within this, to really need to give pointers on this? Absolutely, though I’d have had my doubts before reading extensively on the topic myself.

Unsurprisingly, like with physics, the closer you look at small elements, the more fuzzy things get, and in this case, as with the unpredictability effect of electrons, it’s about the soft science of sociology and psychology where things get a little weird but sensitive.

This is all about context when knowledge and advice or even criticism is passed on from one unit to another. The preamble and attitude of it really does matter. How the exchange is perceived by the recipient affects how they will receive it, so if they feel judged or condescended to, the knowledge may be absorbed, but it will be in a not-useful, negative context as with insults or other things.

So, the first most important thing to factor in is how you as a leader pass on knowledge, how you as a leader receive knowledge, and how equal and respectful the transfer is between those involved in the main team body. Manners and mannerisms are important.

Second, having a proper grasp of how information will flow at any given time does help quite a bit. While it’s impossible to have a definite, predictable model that’s a guarantee, it helps to have some basic flow models in mind you hope for it to follow. It helps, then, to put into place some procedures for those involved to follow, to direct it in these directions.

This is best met through engagement via gamification where rules are seen as guidelines rather than strictures.

Finally, though probably the most important, is to reinforce that information is meant to be shared. Organizational knowledge transfer counts on everyone involved always being willing to share knowledge with those in whom they do not see it present in.

The eagerness to share what is learned, and to seek out what is not known is the seed of motivation to truly learn, and it also reinforces the team mentality which organizational environments call for to begin with. Ergo, enforcing that these knowledge transfers are the duty of all, even to those who hold higher positions is important. This also means that you as a leader must make yourself very obviously approachable in regards to being a recipient yourself of this shared knowledge.

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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