Lost Knowledge

What Others Are Saying...

Engaging, Thought-Provoking...

“Lost Knowledge is an engaging and thought-provoking book. It’s full of rich and compelling stories. …DeLong is right on target insisting that managers need to recognize the interdependency of retirements, retention of mid-career employees, and recruiting. Put this book on your ‘must read’ list.” - Dorothy Leonard, William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration, emerita, Harvard Business School; coauthor of Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Essential Business Wisdom


Seminal Work on the Topic...

We have been warned for years that as our workforce ages, the risk of losing intellectual capital within an organization climbs ever higher. And it’s time, now, to take the problem seriously. Never before has that point been so effectively articulated as in David DeLong’s Lost Knowledge. DeLong has written what will be viewed as the seminal work on the topic. He presents solid solutions to the knowledge retention problem that suit every organization, public or private, in the knowledge economy. …Lost Knowledge deserves a ‘must read’ rating. - Hugh McKellar, editor, KM World Magazine


I Highly Recommend Lost Knowledge...

“Losing valuable employees with hard-to-replace knowledge and skills has always been a problem. But the unprecedented retirement of millions of veteran workers is presenting major new challenges for many organizations. I highly recommend Lost Knowledge to both leaders and those planning for retirement who want to help ensure the continued success of their organizations. - Horace B. Deets, former executive director of AARP


Lost Knowledge... Offers a Step-by-Step Approach...

DeLong’s book not only creates a sense of urgency about developing new leaders as veteran baby boomer executives rapidly approach retirement. It also offers a step-by-step approach for implementing an effective knowledge retention strategy. Senior executives, human resource professionals, and others responsible for the future leadership of their organization would be wise to read this book. -William H. Hodgetts, vice president, corporate leadership development, Fidelity Investments


Take Advantage of the Strategies in Dave DeLong's Book...

“With the huge wave of baby boomer retirements already beginning, you should start acting now to transfer that knowledge to others in your company. I urge you to take advantage of the strategies in Dave DeLong's book, or your company may find itself in the middle of a "lost knowledge" crisis with few viable options. - Scott Shaffar, director of knowledge management, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Most Useful For

  • Executives and line managers who want to know how to diagnose and prioritize specific threats of knowledge loss in their unit.
  • Managers in staff functions, such as human resources, knowledge management, or information technology who need to understand the challenges posed by knowledge loss both for the organization as a whole and for their departmental objectives.
  • Individual employees who are thinking of leaving their job where they have developed vital expertise. This book shows how to begin transferring that unique knowledge before it’s too late. It will help readers think differently about the knowledge they have gained on the job and the value it has for the organization.

Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce is a ground breaking book that has led many leadership teams to think differently about the strategic impacts of changing workforce demographics. It is essential reading for those who want to understand why the explosion of technical, scientific and managerial knowledge in the last 30 years makes the retirement of millions of baby boomers such a challenge for sustaining organizational performance. Most important, though, it provides a clear framework for action.

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Table of Contents


Part I: The High Cost of Losing Intellectual Capital

  • The Landscape of Lost Knowledge
  • Diagnosing the Strategic Impacts of Lost Knowledge
  • A Strategic Framework for Action

Part II: Evaluating Knowledge Retention Practices

  • Developing an HR Infrastructure for Knowledge Retention
  • Improving the Transfer of Explicit Knowledge
  • Transferring Implicit and Tacit Knowledge
  • Applying IT to Capture, Store, and Share Intellectual Capital
  • After the Knowledge Is Gone

Part III: Implementing Retention Strategies

  • Stemming the Flow of Lost Knowledge: Stories of Early Adopters
  • Launching Knowledge Retention Initiatives: Principles for Action
  • Overcoming Organizational Barriers to Knowledge Retention
  • Creating the Future: Thinking Strategically about Knowledge Retention