Short articles: Mastering the Art of Knowledge Transfer - What the Experts Say

Discover key insights from interviews with seasoned professionals in the Knowledge Transfer (KT) field. From resilience to effective communication, these industry leaders share what really matters in making KT activities successful.

A Tapestry of Soft Skills

One of the most striking revelations from our multinational interviews is that the field of KT is not just a technical landscape but a realm deeply embedded in the human skills of communication, negotiation, and adaptability. Interviewees from Finland to Turkey emphasize how KT activities require a vast array of soft skills. "Tailoring the message based on the target audience is an important skill for KT," mentioned one professional from a Finnish higher education institution.

Surprising Elements

Interestingly, a theme that stood out, especially from an entry-level KT professional in the ed-tech sector, was the importance of a "customer service orientation." While KT often focuses on transferring technology or knowledge, the art of serving the needs of all stakeholders involved was found to be invaluable. This insight was a fresh perspective, emphasizing that KT is, in many ways, an 'indirect sales job.'

The Uphill Battles

Navigating KT is not without its challenges. The professionals underscored the necessity of resilience, with one stating, "It is important to have endurance to go from one failure to another one before a success story." The barriers often aren't technical but are deeply rooted in communication hurdles, navigating intercultural landscapes, and even internal barriers such as team dynamics and personal well-being.

The KT Skillset

If you're wondering what to focus on to excel in KT activities, the interviews painted a rather holistic picture. Here are some of the most cited skills:

Communication: Whether it's verbal, written, intercultural, or interdisciplinary, the ability to convey messages effectively was unanimously voted as crucial.

Negotiation: This was especially prominent in interviews concerning technology transfer and corporate activities. The ability to create win-win scenarios through skillful negotiation is a must-have.

Resilience & Endurance: The pathway to KT success is fraught with challenges that demand a resilient character. "Seeing the big picture" was cited as essential for weathering setbacks and pushing through.

Networking: More than just a buzzword, building and nurturing relationships have substantial ramifications in the KT field, especially for those involved in innovation ecosystems.

Adaptability: Being open to change, quick to adjust, and willing to learn were noted as crucial attributes, particularly for those involved in international projects.

In conclusion, succeeding in Knowledge Transfer (KT) involves more than just expertise in a given field. It's a multifaceted endeavor requiring strong people skills and a durable mindset to withstand challenges. To excel, KT professionals need both a comprehensive grasp of their subject matter and a genuine understanding of how to effectively communicate with diverse groups. Importantly, they also need resilience and grit to navigate setbacks and come out stronger. With these varied skill sets, from empathy to business acumen, KT professionals reveal themselves as the versatile, adaptable figures that today's complex world demands.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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