Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company's Technical Expertise

Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company's Technical Expertise

Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company's Technical Expertise

Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company's Technical Expertise


William Rothwell honored with ASTD Distinguished Contribution Award in Workplace Learning and Performance.

As organizations face a loss of people due to retirement, resignation, or disability, leaders are paying more attention to their talent management strategies, from grooming internal successors to aggressively recruiting from their competitors. The need is most acute in technical and other "knowledge" areas, where the loss of a particular skill set demands an equally focused response.

Invaluable Knowledge clarifies the unique (and urgent) issues of attracting, developing, retaining, and transferring the knowledge of IT professionals, engineers, accountants, analysts, and other specialists. The book's structure follows a typical talent cycle, from identifying recruitment challenges, to hiring and training top talent, to building career development initiatives, and finally, to laying the groundwork for the next generation.

Invaluable Knowledge makes an indisputable case for the importance of this specific facet of talent management, and offers practical examples, repeatable processes, and a multitude of specific tips to help any organization's talent strategists create seamless transitions and maintain critical knowledge functions indefinitely.

Includes access to downloadable copies of over 30 exhibits from the book. These assessments and checklists will help you ensure that your organization doesn't lose any valuable talent.


Talent management has emerged as a topic of importance. Many organizational leaders are aware that baby boomers around the globe are nearing retirement age. the only thing preventing many of them from retiring now is the long-term influence of fluctuating stock prices. While much attention has been focused on preparing managers for promotion as waves of these baby boomers leave the workforce at some future time, less attention has been devoted to the unique issues associated with losing knowledge workers—that is, technical and professional workers whose knowledge is critical to the long-term competitive success of their organizations. Technical and professional workers are essentially “knowledge workers” whose special training, skills, abilities, and experience provide their organizations with competitive advantage.

This book focuses on the unique issues associated with what I call technical talent management—that is, the process of attracting, developing, and retaining technical workers (such as engineers, it professionals, accountants, and finance and investment analysts, whose performance centers on the acquisition and application of knowledge), as well as transferring their knowledge to less experienced workers.

This book consists of nine chapters. Chapter 1 is titled “Introducing Technical Talent Management.” It justifies technical talent management as a topic related to, but distinctly different from, traditional views of talent management that focus primarily (and sometimes exclusively) on attract-

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