All employees are knowledge workers
Ask executives to identify the talent within their firm and many will focus on the top tiers of management. Often, they will include in this august group the “high potentials” being groomed for leadership roles. Sometimes, they will extend the boundaries to include “creative talent” or “knowledge workers”. But then there is the rest of the workforce. In this story in the HBR, John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davidson asks companies to look at the Japanese model, where all employees are ultimately knowledge workers and that the role of the firm is to both encourage and support problem-solving by all employees. The story ends with another interesting provocation. Coming from the former Sun Microsystems Chief Technology Officer, Bill Joy. “There are always more smart people outside your company than within it.” If we are serious about developing our own talent, we must find more ways to connect with and collaborate with all of those smart people outside our organization. We should aggressively create opportunities for people within our organization to work together with leading edge talent outside our organization so that both sides can develop their talent even more rapidly. More in the HBR blog.