The Evolution of the Knowledge Web Worker
“A knowledge worker is someone who gets to decide what he or she does each morning“, by Thomas A. Stewart, (Journalist & Author) is probably one of my all time favourite quotes that my good friend David Gurteen keeps sharing every so often in a couple of places. You gotta love those quotes. They are incredibly insightful and very resourceful to include in your presentations, blog posts, etc. etc. For sure. But I can imagine how there may well be a bunch of folks out there, who may not be doing Knowledge Management work, who may be wondering what Knowledge Workers are all about and how they can find them within their organisation, right? Specially, if you are looking for the right experts with the right level of acquired knowledge, experience, skills and know-how.
Well, walk no further! To the helpful Wikipedia entry on knowledge workers, here we have got this wonderful infographic by the smart folks over at SocialCast that describes, quite nicely, not only the origins behind information / knowledge workers, but also some good insights on the future knowledge worker, although, seeing how things are progressing, I would have probably chosen a different term for them: knowledge Web workers, as we keep relying more and more on the Social Web to conduct our knowledge work. Either way, the infographic is absolutely fantastic, so I thought I would go ahead and share it across with you folks to have a look into it further; if it is too small, click on the image to enlarge it back to its original source.
The other good thing though about this particular infographic is that, while going through it, I just couldn’t help remembering a presentation that my good friend, from down under, Stephen Collins, did nearly 4 years ago and which, while revisiting it again as I am working through this blog post, is now more relevant than ever, specially, as social networking tools are becoming more and more pervasive within the corporate environment and plenty of businesses are starting to wonder and think about how they can help facilitate and unleash the hidden talent within their own organisations: basically, their people.
So I thought I would bring it up again over here today, in this blog entry, to build further up on the follow-up I wrote back then. More than anything else to raise some awareness on what it could probably mean being a Knowledge Web Worker today, or Knowledge Worker 2.0, as Steve prefers to call us all, as well, as provide some additional background on where we, knowledge workers, all come from (Traditional KM) and where we are heading (Knowledge Sharing = The Social Web).
Of particular interest to people out there, I am sure, would be slide #58 that covers some of traits knowledge workers need to have in order to extend that reach, far and beyond, from traditional interactions into the 2.0 world. Probably plenty of common sense for most of you out there, I can imagine, but, nevertheless, a good reminder of us all, so that we don’t deviate elsewhere and focus on what we need to focus: help provoke and facilitate that social transformation where our businesses transition from being labour based into being knowledge based; the so-called Knowledge Economy.
Thus without much further ado, and to inspire some further reflections and thinking time for all of us on this very same topic and the changes we will be witnessing and experiencing around Knowledge (Social) Web Work (By the way, I strongly recommend you also have a look into today’s very thought-provoking blog post by Harold Jarche on Jobs? We ain’t got no jobs on this very same subject related to knowledge workforce and which I will be blogging more in detail shortly…), I am going to leave you all with Steve’s presentation, stored over at Slideshare, wanting to thank as well the good folks from SocialCast for triggering that trip down the memory lane with such a wonderful resource as that infographic on “The Evolution of the Knowledge Worker“:
Ohhh, and for those folks who may be looking for some other interesting and rather relevant infographics on this topic, you may want to have a look into this other one, still related to Knowledge Workers, over at the Mindflash blog, put together by Colin Dobrin, under the title “Who Is The New Knowledge Worker?“, which makes a pretty good and compelling comparison of the knowledge worker of the 70s and the knowledge worker of the 21st century. Very helpful to see where we are coming from, and, perhaps much more importantly, where we are heading already … with no way back!