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Dr. David DeLong      

MIT AgeLab Research Fellow; Expert in Workforce Development, Corporate Culture & Knowledge Retention

Dr. David DeLong is president of David DeLong & Associates, a research and consulting firm that helps organizations improve performance by solving tough problems created by the changing workforce. He is also a research fellow at the MIT AgeLab and has been an adjunct professor at Babson College.

An acclaimed keynote speaker, Dr. DeLong is co-author of the new book The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management from McGraw-Hill. He is also author of the widely-praised Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce from Oxford University Press.

He has spent more than a decade studying the strategic impacts of changing workforce demographics and costs of knowledge loss on organizational performance. In recent years, he has conducted over 600 interviews with scores of knowledge-intensive organizations to develop solutions for the knowledge retention and workforce and leadership development challenges posed by increased Baby Boomer retirements and great mid-career turnover.

His work has been widely cited in The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, CIO Magazine, US News & World Report, and The Boston Globe. He has also been interviewed on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "Talk of the Nation." Dr. DeLong is a widely-published writer whose work has appeared in such journals and magazines as Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek International, Organizational Dynamics, Computerworld, and Inc. magazine. A former researcher at both Harvard Business School and MIT's Sloan School, he has a doctorate in organizational behavior from Boston University and an MPA from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Speech Topics


Showing HR Where to Go: How to Lead Talent Management From the Top

As a leader, how can you have an immediate impact on your organization’s talent management investments? Drawing on recent interviews with over 70 senior executives, participants learn how to prioritize seven major talent-related risks, evaluate current and potential talent management initiatives, drive more integrated solutions, and measure results more effectively. Specific tools and techniques that can have an immediate impact are provided to address challenges such as:

  • Managing Talent Effectively in a Turbulent Environment
  • Performance Management of a Veteran Workforce
  • Making New Hires Productive Faster
  • Improving Knowledge Transfer Across Generations
  • Minimizing the Risks & Costs of Lost Knowledge

Confronting the Threats and Opportunities of a Changing Workforce: A Framework for Action

The changing workforce -- aging baby boomers, restless mid-careers, and unpredictable Millennials -- poses a serious challenge for improving performance in organizations. What should you be doing today to invest in leadership, workforce development and knowledge retention initiatives that support strategic business objectives? This talk shows how to:

  • Diagnose the strategic impacts of a changing workforce in your organization
  • Prioritize specific talent-related risks that will hurt performance
  • Create a more integrated approach to developing future workforce & leadership capabilities
  • Address the latest challenges that are threatening workforce & leadership development

The High Costs of Coming and Going: Accelerating Knowledge Transfer Across Generations

More Baby Boomer retirements and onboarding of new hires greatly increases the organizational costs of lower productivity, lost knowledge, and ineffective promotions. This presentation teaches managers how to reduce the risks of poor transitions, disillusioned young employees, and critical capability loss as many organizations go through seismic shifts in the make up of their workforce. Specific tools and techniques introduced will include:

  • Using the Knowledge Silo Matrix to prioritize talent-related risks
  • Creating a skill development plan to accelerate knowledge transfer
  • Using culture diagnostics to identify barriers to knowledge sharing
  • Tricks to immediately improve the mentoring capabilities of your staff

Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? The New Realities of the Job Market for Aging Baby Boomers

Millions of Baby Boomers, who are healthier than previous generations, want and need to work longer. One survey before the recent recession reported 77% of today’s workers expect to work for pay even after they retire. But beyond the slow economy there are seven false assumptions that keep older job seekers unemployed. Based on 50 interviews with leading experts, this talk shows everyone who is likely to stay in the workforce longer than their parents how to succeed in the new market for talent. Participants will leave knowing:

  • How to avoid seven mistakes that keep boomers unemployeed
  • Five specific steps that promise a more effective job search strategy
  • What organizations must do to maximize the performance of a veteran talent pool

Closing the “Skills Gap:” Innovative Talent Management Solutions For a Changing Workforce.

Top executives can no longer be complacent when it comes to recruiting, developing and retaining high potential employees and future leaders. This talk shows how to prioritize talent-related risks, identify the seven talent problems that kill profits, and how to accelerate knowledge transfer in the multigenerational workplace.

Using the “Skills Gap” to Solve the “Jobs Gap”: Creative Solutions for Critical Workforce Challenges.

The U.S. faces a paradoxical crisis. More than 80% of companies report they can’t find the skilled employees needed to drive grow, while 50% of today’s college grads are underemployed. This talk shows how innovative solutions can address both problems simultaneously.

Graduate to a Great Job: How to Make Your College Degree Pay Off.

With 50% of college grads working in jobs that don’t require a college degree, it’s more critical than ever to understand what works and what doesn’t in today’s job market. Learn six keys to landing a good job faster in the post-recession economy.

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