Dr. David DeLong


About Dr. David DeLong - Author and Speaker on Skills & Change Management, and the Multigenerational Workforce:

Dr. David DeLong is an author, speaker and president of Smart Workforce Strategies, a consulting firm that helps organizations find solutions to critical skill shortages and risks of knowledge loss. A veteran researcher, David DeLong has spent more than 20 years studying the strategic impacts of changing workforce demographics and knowledge loss on organizational performance. His source of insights, compiled from over 600 interviews in knowledge-intensive organizations, resulted in developing solutions for the knowledge retention and workforce development challenges posed by Baby Boomer retirements and changing values of Millennials. His research is focused on both the organizational and personal challenges posed by an aging workforce.

David DeLong is a research fellow at the MIT AgeLab and an adjunct professor at Babson College, teaching MBA’s “Leading & Managing Change.” He is also an acclaimed keynote speaker and co-author of the The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management (McGraw-Hill), and author of the widely praised Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce (Oxford University Press).

Author of Graduate to a Great Job: Make Your College Degree Pay Off in Today’s Market (Longstone Press), based on more than 50 case studies of Millennials who have successfully launched their careers. David is widely quoted in the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, CIO Magazine, S. News & World Report, and the Boston Globe.

A former researcher at both Harvard Business School and MIT’s Sloan School, Dr. DeLong is also co-author (with J.F. Rockart) of Executive Support Systems: The Emergence of Top Management Computer Use (Dow Jones-Irwin). He is the presenter of dozens of keynote talks and workshops in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and South America.

A widely-published writer whose work has appeared in journals and magazines such as Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Sloan Management Review, The Boston Globe, Newsweek International, Organizational Dynamics, Computerworld, and Magazine.

David DeLong is recipient of a doctorate in organizational behavior from Boston University and an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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What Dr. David DeLong Talks About:

Skills Gap Solutions
Struggling to recruit and retain next generation employees? What are the most practical ideas to tackle your organization’s talent management problems? Need innovative answers to build your future workforce or leadership team? Want faster fixes for talent shortages? Latest, cost-effective best practices used by leaders in other companies. Innovative ways of thinking about solutions for critical skill shortages. New insights into how rapidly changing technologies are impacting your workforce and skills needed.

Living with critical skill shortages has become the “new normal.” Every leader has to learn to live with and minimize the performance impacts of not having enough of the specialized capabilities needed to sustain and grow the business.

Interventions to minimize the costs of skill shortages often require significant organizational change. And leaders need to manage these change dynamics effectively to make investments pay off.

Grow strategic selling skills: Your customers need help delivering in fast-changing, complex markets, but your sales force is still selling features and benefits. Do your sales reps lack the strategic selling skills to make your firm’s aggressive revenue targets?

Develop leaders faster: The leadership pipeline in business today is dangerously thin! You need practical solutions to:

  • Recruit and retain young high potential leaders
  • Identify new leadership skills needed for the future
  • Develop leaders much faster than in the past
  • Implement realistic succession plans in small and mid-sized organizations
  • Create practical leadership development programs

Multigenerational Workforce
Today there are four generations in the workforce – Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and fast arriving Gen-Zs. And leaders are confronted with new challenges posed by an increasingly diverse, multigenerational workplace. This means inspiring and retaining impatient Millennials, developing Gen-Xers, and maximizing the productivity of Boomers approaching retirement.

How to create workplaces that engage younger Millennials & Gen-Zs, as well as veteran employees? What are successful examples of building a Millennial-friendly culture? Tactics that work best to improve cross-generational collaboration?

Changing culture to support a multigen workforce: Culture change is something many leaders want but few know how to execute. It can seem like an overwhelming task, but few things will have a greater impact. When the goal is to improve performance of your multigenerational workforce, we provide a sensible approach to planning and launching a culture change initiative.

Develop Millennial leaders faster: Many organizations are confronting an intergenerational leadership gap. Baby Boomer executives are heading toward retirement and there aren’t enough mid-career leaders to take their place. So firms must develop their young high-potential leaders as fast as possible. We provide practical solutions to:

  • Clarify new leadership skills needed
  • Retain more young high potential leaders
  • Develop leaders much faster than in the past
  • Implement realistic succession plans in small and mid-sized organizations

Lost Knowledge
Leaders today have to minimize the performance impacts of losing critical knowledge due to retiring experts or unwanted mid-career turnover. Not having enough specialized capabilities and know-how is a major barrier to sustaining and growing your business.

Do your veteran experts lack the mentoring skills needed to train the next generation? Your less experienced workers need to master fast-changing, complex jobs, but many veteran employees are missing the motivation and ability to transfer their unique know-how.

Skillful mentoring: making experience pay off. How to assess the costs & risks of losing critical capabilities? How to improve knowledge transfer?

Practical solutions to minimize costs of critical knowledge loss: worried about retirement of aging experts? Key leaders? Will mid-career turnover put essential capabilities at risk? How to assess the costs & risks of losing critical capabilities? How to improve knowledge transfer? What are the best tools for diagnosing the costs of critical knowledge loss, given a changing & aging workforce?

Best practice stories of effective knowledge retention. How to implement new practices & processes to minimize the impacts of lost knowledge.

Managing change to minimize critical knowledge loss: Interventions to cut the costs of lost knowledge often require serious organizational change. And leaders need to manage these change dynamics effectively to make investments pay off.

Transferring leadership knowledge: The leadership pipeline in organizations today is dangerously thin! You need practical solutions to:

  • Implement realistic succession plans in small and mid-sized organizations
  • Transfer essential know-how, know who & know what to successors
  • Develop young leaders much faster than in the past
  • Identify new leadership skills needed for the future
  • Create practical leadership development programs

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 Recent Publications

Attending David DeLong's event was exceptionally worthwhile for managers and staff alike. Attendees commented how excited they were to immediately share his thoughts and material with their own teams. His program definitely improved our mentoring skills, as well as, our understanding and need for efficient and effective knowledge transfer.

Consultant, Network Engineering Infrastructure, MasterCard

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