Using Mentoring to Capture and Grow Your Institutional Knowledge

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    Speaker: Arthur J Murray

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    Duration: 60 Minutes
    Product Code: 50742
    Level: Intermediate


You’ve heard the warnings. Up to forty percent of the American Workforce is in the process of retiring, taking their knowledge with them. Large numbers of employees with 30 or more years of experience are leaving.

Critical knowledge essentially disappears from your organization every time the sole individual having that knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day. And it leaves for good when that person decides to transfer or retire. This creates a serious risk.

And the problem isn’t just the retirements, or the risk of knowledge loss in general. Having only one “go-to” person in a particular area creates bottlenecks and missed opportunities. Yet few organizations have a process in place for institutional knowledge management.

Setting up and implementing such a process isn’t easy. Lack of time, money and other resources, along with deeply entrenched political, cultural, and generational barriers, are just a few of the obstacles you’re likely to encounter.

One glimmer of hope has been the tried and proven practice of mentoring. Mentoring is well-suited for passing along the closely-guarded secrets and painful lessons learned over the course of one’s career. However, traditional mentoring tends to be very ad hoc and informal.


The window of opportunity to create a stable, reliable process for transferring and growing your organization’s most valuable knowledge is rapidly closing. But there are some basic steps for institutional knowledge management that you can take, starting right now.

The benefits are significant. More people with critical knowledge in a particular area means fewer bottlenecks, the elimination of single points-of-failure, and increased capacity to prepare for and respond to “pop-up” problems and opportunities.

Faster and better decision-making means less time and resources wasted from repeated mistakes, redundant effort and missed opportunities.
Another key benefit is the improved ability to attract and retain talent. Mentors will gain the satisfaction of leaving a legacy and watching it grow to new heights. Mentees will not only have the opportunity to learn from the best, but to contribute their own insights and ideas as well.

More importantly, a knowledge-sharing organization innovates and learns at a faster rate. This can mean the difference between falling behind or keeping pace with and even leading the changes in your market.

Help lead your organization in making the transformation from a knowledge-hoarding culture to a vibrant enterprise where knowledge is collaboratively developed and shared through successful mentoring programs.

The end result is your organization’s critical knowledge will no longer reside with one individual. Instead, it will habitually be captured, shared, applied and expanded across your entire enterprise.

This webinar is the result of over three decades of university-based research and direct application in organizations of all sizes, spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors all around the globe.


  • Take differences in age, culture, demographics and learning styles into account; this includes getting different generations, with their differing perspectives and viewpoints, to work together
  • Identify and prioritize critical tacit knowledge (knowledge that’s so deeply internalized even a seasoned expert has difficulty explaining it to someone or putting it into writing)
  • Handle the inevitable mismatches, misrepresentations, and miscommunication that occur when attempting to transfer knowledge from an expert to an apprentice, or what we call a “nextpert”
  • Use the power of data to discover hidden knowledge and reduce the demands on an expert’s time
  • Draw knowledge out of an expert’s head and store it in a system so it can be easily accessed, retrieved, adapted, and re-used
  • Take into account both the expert’s ability to impart the knowledge using a specific method, and the nextpert’s ability to understand and apply that knowledge.

You’ll also learn about the techniques of coaching and mentoring employees in the workplace, along with many knowledge transfer approaches available and how to choose those most suitable for your organization:

  • Master classes
  • Interviews
  • Storytelling – a few simple guidelines for turning a “teachable moment” into a memorable narrative
  • “Thinking aloud” –guiding the expert through a “live” problem-solving, analysis, planning, decision-making or other process that he or she would normally perform silently “in their head”
  • Problem solving – in which expert and nextpert together develop and walk through illustrative problem scenarios/simulations
  • Capturing and sharing lessons-learned and best practices: what was done, how well it worked, and what could be done to make the solution or practice even better
  • Job shadowing, in which a nextpert directly observes the expert performing in their job, with the opportunity to record and capture “Q&A” as appropriate
  • Demonstrating, which can be as simple as “show and tell,” where the nextpert performs an action which is captured and recorded, followed by a critique by the expert
  • Other forms of documenting knowledge, such as checklists, FAQs, flow diagrams, procedures, etc.

Finally, you’ll come away with many useful and practical insights and tips (do’s and don’ts) to guide you every step of the way in mentoring employees for growth.


In this webinar, you’ll learn how to build on the tradition of mentoring employees for growth in a more organized and systematic way, where knowledge flows not only to one person, as in traditional one-on-one mentoring, but to many, in both directions.

The knowledge also becomes more open so it can be improved in ways that benefit your entire organization.


  • HR
  • Information and knowledge management
  • Professional and career development
  • Workforce management
  • Organizational learning and development
  • Business process improvement and management.


Years of Experience: 25+ years

Areas of Expertise: Transforming traditional organizations into knowledge-sharing enterprises

For over thirty years, Art Murray and his teams have helped organizations around the worldtransform intoknowledge enterprises.  A knowledge engineer by trade, he has the unique ability to capture and grow deeply embedded personal and institutional knowledge.  His many clients include government agencies, non-profit organizations, and companies of all sizes in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  He has advised government leaders in ministries of defense, law enforcement, higher education, public health, and whole-of-government in making the transition to a knowledge-based economy.  One of the many projects he has led is the transformation of the Pan American Region of the World Health Organization into a knowledge-sharing enterprise, improving their ability to respond to health threats such as pandemic influenza, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.  The project was documented as a chapter in the book, “Knowledge Management in Public Health Organizations,” by J. Liebowitz, et al, eds., 2010.  

More recently, he led a strategic knowledge capture and transfer initiative for the U.S. energy sector, and is currently technical director of a project to promote knowledge-sharing among world trade centers and science parks across the globe.He is also technical director on several projects to design and develop knowledge discovery and sharing platforms for integrative medicine,food and agriculture futures, and mathematics education.His decades-long research in this area has been published inthe book: Deep Learning Manual: the knowledge explorer's guide to self-discovery in education, work, and life(2016).

As the first Fellow at the International Institute for Knowledge and Innovation, he is Director of the Enterprise of the Future program and author of the book: Building the Enterprise of the Future: Co-creating and delivering extraordinary value in an eight-billion-mind world(2018).

He is a keynote speaker, a member of the National Speakers Association and the Global Speakers Federation, an editorial board member and reviewer for scientific journals and trade publications, and has been featured in various publications and radio programs.  He writes the widely-read column “The Future of the Future” which appears in KMWorld Magazine.

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