Knowledge Workers Need a New Organization

Oren Harari responds to an Economist article with Knowledge Workers (That's Us!) Need a New Organization.  The Economist article is Thinking for a living from their Jan 19th, 2006 print edition (subscription only).  From his last sentence:

If you really want to capitalize on the knowledge economy, start addressing these culture and technology issues, and invest heavily in training people to operate in that sort of environment.

Oren is particularly interested in the juxtaposition between what knowledge workers need (quote from the article):

Companies now are investing huge sums in such systems of “knowledge management”, which include their intranets and their internal databases. One company describes its intranet as “a vibrating current of what is going on in the business”. The challenge is to ensure that employees can plug into this vibrating current as and when they need it.

and how most companies approach providing "knowledge" to their employees.  In order to get things done, people need to be free to get at content associated with their jobs without jumping through hoops.  Similarly, making that "stuff" available has to be relatively easy, or it just won't get done.

The article Oren found is related to another piece from the same issue that has gotten more traction, The new organisation.  This talks about the changes in nature of working and compares to the non-changes in the way companies are organized.

2 Comment(s)

"In order to get things done, people need to be free to get at content associated with their jobs without jumping through hoops. Similarly, making that 'stuff' available has to be relatively easy, or it just won't get done."

This is a great point but I think that it is also important not only to make the knowledge easily available but also to persuade people that the knowledge is valuable in their work. Many companies build "lessons learned" systems or "data warehouses" that they promote to their people but they fail to make the connection on how that knowledge applies to the particular challenges that person faces in their everyday work.

Non-subscribers can access via their local public library's online databases. It's full text in EbscoHost Business Source Premier, Lexis-Nexis, and for academics, in ABI/Inform. The citation is: "Thinking for a living." Economist vol. 378 issue 8461 (1/21/2006): p9-12. Anyway, looks like a good article, thanks!

Leave a comment


Previous entry: Blogs as brains, uh oh

Next entry: Sharing Knowledge by Design

Picture a steaming coffee cup. Better yet, grab one and have a read!

KJolt Memberships

Follow jackvinson on Twitter

View Jack Vinson's profile on LinkedIn