November 11, 2004

Becoming knowledge workers

I found a document from the Australian National Training Authority entitled Contemporary Models for Professional Development in the Knowledge Era. It contains some very succint comments defining knowledge workers:

"... a 'knowledge worker turns data and information into meaningful knowledge that can be made productive’, and that this is effected by sharing ‘through mutual interaction and collaboration’."

"One important characteristic of an effective knowledge worker is a ‘generosity’ to share knowledge with others."

I have devoted considerable time to considering how best to capture the knowledge of the workers in my own organisation. While they are all knowledgeable workers, retrieving the knowledge and storing it somewhere easily accessible is a challenge, and the comments above really struck a chord with me. There are those that feel that sharing their knowledge diminishes their value to the company; while they retain it they have power and ensure their place in the organisation.

My own view is the converse: if you can demonstrate an ability to share your knowledge to the benefit of the organisation, you have become even more valuable. There is no limit to the amount of new knowledge that can be acquired, processed, shared and applied to the mutual benefit of the company and it's staff.

And as a previous mentor of mine said, there is nothing to fear from the people below you climbing the ladder, it is your job as their peer to reach down and help them up. In doing so you become more successful yourself.

If you relate to my struggle converting knowledgeable workers to knowledge workers, please post some feedback.

Posted by Jeffrey at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)