First of all, Inter-Generational knowledge transfer and the issues around it are not a new issue. In fact, it is a very old issue. Since the first generation begat the second generation in fact. Youth at some point attempts to supplant experience and the intern-generational knowledge issue began.
Reality is that since it has been going on for a long time it will be hard to break. You can see the implications of the problem in the market. In the United States and Europe, the largest single generation of people is about to leave the work force. All the arcane, small and unknown things locked in the heads of the so called Baby Boomer Generation is leaving the work force.
But the other side of the problem is also happening. The younger generation of workers is doing things in new ways. Crowdfunding moves traditional innovation out of the large companies R&D department and into the mainstream culture. The problem? Often the experience of the Baby Boomers would greatly benefit these new innovative companies. But it is often the unwillingness of the Baby Boomers to listen that pushes these ideas to crowd funding in the first place.
So we have a catch-22. We lose the high end experience that built the digital world we are connected to. We lose access to the new and innovative ideas that move to Crowdfunded companies. The disconnection of the two is bad.
So what is it? This problem? Inter-generational information exists within the tiers and layers of generations. Your parents, my parents, my children and so on all represent different generations. Each generation likes to think it is unique. It isn’t, sorry. In fact, we are all like the last generation to a degree (it’s where we come from after all). It is the rejection of new ideas from young people, or old ideas from old people (and every iteration between). It is the rejection of ideas because it comes from a person with too few, too many or the wrong kind of credentials. It is the process of creating a structured brainstorming system that discards ideas. It is the exclusion of people from problem solving.
So what can be done? Before it’s too late and the last of the Baby Boomers retire and the last of the great new ideas starts their own company via crowd funding?
The Edison Scale© is a starting point for solving this problem, for the last time. You start with measuring what limits ideas in your organization. Is it a hierarchical knowledge system? Is it a not invented here culture? Is it a culture of what I know got me where I am so I am not going to tell you what I know culture? Using the scale, you can identity the blockage.
Implementing a system like the digital lifecycle management system for capturing the information will allow you to then leap over the hurdles in your way. DLM© systems are designed with a top level IP system much like information brokers provide today. Know good solutions to problems that are known to work. That said, they are also adapted as things change. That means given variables you have two or event three good answers to try to solve your problem. The other side of building a DLM© system is the reality of napkins.
First off, let me state that I am guilty of creating and solving problems using napkins in restaurants. I am guilty of spilling drinks on napkins and losing great ideas. It happens to all of us. We need knowledge capture systems that allow us to integrate the technology of our lives with the creation of great ideas and easily bring them together.
Abbyy, a great OCR software package can actually read text in a JPEG. As can Omni page and several other OCR (Optical Character Recognition) packages. You can, using your cellular phone and the Abbyy cellular package, convert that napkin into text and an image.
We will dive further into the concept of building a system using a scale that allows for inter-generational knowledge transfer, supports the concept of knowledge inclusion and results in a deployed DLM© system that grows with your organization.