The authors of Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business Wisdom, Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap define the role of knowledge coaches. Law departments should develop and reward knowledge coaches and colleagues who can shape their learning. Mentoring, by the way, implies more personal counseling and socialization, whereas coaching implies more knowledge and skills training. They add provocatively that “a consulting company we know encourages coaching by promoting only those employees who have trained someone to take their place.”
The co-authors discuss extensively how to make available knowledge coaches. As we work on more projects, a knowledge coach can help us extract the most from the experience.