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Meet Author David DeLong
  • Celebrated keynote speaker and consultant who helps leaders solve tough problems created by the aging and changing workforce
  • Helps organizations reduce the costs of critical knowledge loss, accelerate leadership development, and improve knowledge transfer across generations
  • Author of the widely-praised book Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce
  • Research Fellow at the M.I.T. AgeLab
  • For more information on David’s services and to access his latest research visit
Meet Author Steve Trautman
  • Pioneer in knowledge transfer with gold-standard solutions used by companies ranging from Microsoft to Boeing, Nike and Zynga
  • Provider of the Knowledge Silo Matrix for methodically assessing and mitigating executives’ talent management risks
  • Author of Teach What You Know: A Practical Leader’s Guide to Knowledge Transfer Using Peer Mentoring
  • High-energy, funny, and entertaining speaker—with ideas that counter the common trend
  • For more information on Steve’s services and a free talent management risk assessment using the Knowledge Silo Matrix, go to

Assessing Risk with the
Knowledge Silo Matrix Tool

In Chapter 4 of our book, we describe in detail how to use a powerful new tool to assess and manage talent risk.  Whether onboarding new employees or cross-training veteran workers, executives need a more transparent way to deploy and redeploy their workforce.  They also need to be able to see two or three years into the future and know where their specific talent risks lie.

In the book, we show how the director of engineering at a major utility used the tool to clarify serious risks related to his future workforce.  With 40% of the engineers in his unit nearing retirement, the director knew that the pending loss of expertise had serious productivity, safety, and morale implications for the organization.

Below is a color coded version of the tool described in Chapter 4.  The Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM) makes it easier to see in a blink where the gaps in critical skills and capabilities exist.  By listing the major “knowledge silos,” or specific knowledge domains, and then classifying the capabilities of each team member according to their abilities, the KSM serves as a dashboard to monitor bench strengths in these critical knowledge domains.

 In the matrix below, for example, notice that:

  •  Silo 9 is at risk because so many people are trying to learn from just one mentor.
  •  Silo 12 is at risk because neither of the employees skilled in that area is good enough to mentor.
  •  Silo 13 is at risk because the only skilled person recently left the group.
  •  Employee A is at risk because too much of the team’s success is dependent on him or her being asked to mentor in too many silos.

For more information about the Knowledge Silo Matrix and Peer Mentoring, please visit
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