Trends in Organizational Learning concept LO29322

From: Vana Prewitt (
Date: 10/15/02

Replying to LO29317 --

What I see happening within organizations (whether they intend to apply LO
principles or not) is a snowballing case of organizational forgetting,
corporate alzheimers, or institutional it what you will.
This situation is the result of several trends (analysis of US data only):

 * aging baby boomers who are starting to leave the workforce
 * insufficient Gen Xers and Yers to replace them
 * significantly different work patterns in the last 10 years resulting in
more job-hopping and less workplace tenure
 * focus on horizontal professional development (bredth) rather than depth
in one field to increase job placement flexibility for individuals
produces less in-depth knowledge for the organization
 * failure of KM strategies to break free of the technology trap of
believing that data=knowledge and that knowledge can be stored in
machines; this has led to a false sense of security for many

Smart organizations have already realized this growing crisis and are
taking steps to capture corporate wisdom before it walks out the door. I
have thought the problem would peak in about 10 years. My colleagues
insist it will mushroom out of control within 5. Who can tell in this day
and age?

I am certainly interested in finding organizations that are taking
proactive and innovative steps to document the wisdom of their workforce,
especially among older and long-term employees at every level in the
company (not just the senior managers).


Vana Prewitt


Vana Prewitt <>

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