Beneficial Intelligence

Knowledge Decay

December 11, 2020 Sten Vesterli Season 1 Episode 23
Beneficial Intelligence
Knowledge Decay
Chapters
Beneficial Intelligence
Knowledge Decay
Dec 11, 2020 Season 1 Episode 23
Sten Vesterli

In this episode of Beneficial Intelligence, I discuss knowledge decay. Knowledge decays over time, and skills you don't use become rusty. That's why it's a problem for out-of-work pilots that they're not flying.  

Some knowledge decays and becomes less useful because the world moves on. An old-school telephone engineer's knowledge of electro-mechanical switches became irrelevant as phone exchanges became digital. Your knowledge of last month's hot JavaScript framework might be less relevant this month because there is now a newer and hotter toolkit. 

But organizational knowledge decays much slower. That's why the knowledge in the heads of your experienced developers is still valuable, and you cannot just replace them with someone with the right tools on their CV.

It is your job as an IT leader to manage the knowledge of the people in your organization. For rapidly decaying technical knowledge, you need to offer constant learning opportunities so you don't lose the valuable long-term knowledge in the heads of your most experienced people. 

------
 
Beneficial Intelligence is a weekly podcast with stories and pragmatic advice for CIOs and other IT leaders. To get in touch, please contact me at [email protected]

 

Show Notes

In this episode of Beneficial Intelligence, I discuss knowledge decay. Knowledge decays over time, and skills you don't use become rusty. That's why it's a problem for out-of-work pilots that they're not flying.  

Some knowledge decays and becomes less useful because the world moves on. An old-school telephone engineer's knowledge of electro-mechanical switches became irrelevant as phone exchanges became digital. Your knowledge of last month's hot JavaScript framework might be less relevant this month because there is now a newer and hotter toolkit. 

But organizational knowledge decays much slower. That's why the knowledge in the heads of your experienced developers is still valuable, and you cannot just replace them with someone with the right tools on their CV.

It is your job as an IT leader to manage the knowledge of the people in your organization. For rapidly decaying technical knowledge, you need to offer constant learning opportunities so you don't lose the valuable long-term knowledge in the heads of your most experienced people. 

------
 
Beneficial Intelligence is a weekly podcast with stories and pragmatic advice for CIOs and other IT leaders. To get in touch, please contact me at [email protected]