“There are so many things that people have learned through experience that are not in books or databases,” says Diane Thielfoldt, co-founder of The Learning Café and PMPA National Technical Conference speaker. “For example, the technician who monitors water flow explained that there is a tiny twist of a dial that either creates a flood or makes the water flow perfectly, and it’s practicing the twist, knowing what the dial feels like and the sound it makes. The only way to teach that to someone else is to have them shadow you and be there when you do it. You can’t get that skill from a book.”
Ms. Thielfoldt first presented at the PMPA National Technical Conference in 2010 on the millennial generation in the workforce. She is returning to the conference for her third year to hold two sessions (each offered at two times). The first session is on transferring knowledge and the other session is on implementing the lessons from conferences, such as the National Technical Conference, in everyday practices at your company.
Knowledge within employees’ heads is an intangible asset for any company, and as the workforce changes with baby boomers retiring and a new generation entering the field, companies are at risk for having that knowledge walk out the door. Drawing from her expertise in multi-generational workforces and learning solutions, Ms. Thielfoldt will present a session on how to avoid the brain drain facing the industry through sharing that involves neither computers nor documents, rather conversations between people.
“As the economy rights itself and people really do begin to retire, organizations could be left with a very limited number of internal experts,” Ms. Thielfoldt says. “You have the time now to engage with your deeply knowledgeable employees. Transfer takes time; be patient and don’t get overwhelmed.”
Ms. Thielfoldt’s session on implementing lessons learned will train attendees to put into practice the lessons they learn at this conference, as well as at future seminars and sessions. By working with other presenters, she will develop the course to help put into practice what participants have learned at the conference.
“When people return to their companies after attending learning sessions like the National Technical Conference, they are faced with the question of how to apply what they just learned,” Ms. Thielfoldt says. “In this session, we’ll go over the essentials for implementation and application of lessons learned: remember, revisit and recognize. When everyone goes home, they will already have an action plan.”
“I’m looking forward to both of these interactive sessions,” Ms. Thielfoldt adds. “The PMPA National Technical Conference is full of open, receptive and attentive attendees who ask great questions.”
About Diane Thielfoldt and The Learning Café
Learning strategist and co-founder of The Learning Café, Diane Thielfoldt partners with clients to design custom learning experiences, including seminars, simulations, events and experiences that support personal growth, professional results and reinforce a strategic message to employees about the value of learning. The Learning Café practice areas include leadership development, bridging the generation gap, mentoring, talent retention, knowledge transfer and collaborative work practices.