Knowledge Workers are increasing. The more we understand how to manage them and be effective in the new economy, the better we will succeed. Stephen Covey recently had a Q&A on his blog that is relevant for project managers and lean implementers.
Check out Knowledge Workers: 10,000 Times the Productivity by Stephen R. Covey
Q: What actions can people take if they are not in a position of formal authority and their superiors seem to be stuck in the Industrial Age both in mind-set and practice?
A: Leadership is not formal authority, leadership is moral authority. If you are principle-centered, your opportunities for influence increase; and if you’re proactive and take initiative inside your own Circle of Influence, it will get larger. It will primarily get larger because of the pragmatics of the marketplace. You will simply produce more. If you have a subsidized or protected organization that doesn’t have to deal with theses market realities and this new, real, world-class competition, what I said may not happen. And you may find that the old structure and old ways will persist and there will be great resistance to a new style of leadership and to changing these deeply imbedded structures and systems. However, eventually they will have to change. Even organizations that are protected and subsidized are, in time, subject to market forces because they all have budgets and costs they have to get around.
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5 responses to “Stephen Covey on Knowledge Workers”
The great thing about being an employee is that you are ALWAYS in a position of informal authority. Most “bosses” will entertain your ideas and your concepts, and odds are, if you are working for one that would not, maybe you want to be working somewhere else anyway. The beauty here and when you are in this type of situation is it allows you to prove to your” authorities” that you want to go the extra mile, that you are willing to give it your all to make the company you are with bigger and better. You are the kind of employee that should be appreciated and though you are lower on the totem pole, you believe that these ideas will move our company forward. I understand the issue with trying to move and change to culture of a company that still operates a bit further in the past than they should be – but any company worth working for will embrace your ideas and your ambition!
Well put Benny. I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for your comment.
I think this issue will become even more important as the networked knowledge economy develops. My blog recently linked to an article I wrote that was published on bMighty.com that included this observation:
A quote from educational author and consultant Matthew Moran gets to the heart of it: “The best and the brightest — whether they recognize it and verbalize it — do not work within the confines of title, role, and responsibility. They work instead in the broader context of desire, passion, and achievement. I think this is a good thing. Organizations that cannot match their working environment with that broader context are doomed to lose the best and the brightest.”
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Thanks for your comment Roger. One of my favorite things about blogging is getting to see what my readers are writing too. You have an outstanding blog! (You are now in my Google Reader!)