Today, it’s all about knowledge. Who has it. Who can get it. Who can use it. Knowledge of the job. Knowledge of the organization. Knowledge of the industry. Knowledge of the profession. Knowledge of the customer’s business and industry. Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. Do you know your Age?
A quick bit of history:
The century before last was the Agricultural Age, the first 80 years of the last century were the Industrial Age, and the last 20-25 years have been the Information age. We are now in the Age of Knowledge. And it applies to all of us. This is the age of the knowledge worker – a term coined by Peter Drucker, this describes someone who adds value by processing existing information to create new information which can be used to define and solve problems.
Isn’t that all of us? Don’t we all use, manipulate, enter, access, process, or create information? Aren’t we all expected to define and solve problems? Today your worth, value, and employability are defined by how well you get and use knowledge. It’s not good enough to simply “do the job.” It’s no longer just about the manual, mechanical, or physical part of our job.
Today we are expected to contribute ideas, intellect, improvements, and initiative. We are expected to be students of the industry vs. only students of our jobs. We are expected to know what’s going on in our industry or profession – how it’s affecting our employer and how our jobs need to change to adjust to that impact.
Today, it’s all about solutions. It’s all about figuring it out. It’s all about solving problems and creating better outcomes for the Customer.
Today we need people who think on the job, through the job, and in the job. Organizations today have fewer people responsible for more. Part of the reason for this is technology. Technology has changed…and will continue to change every single job. Another reason is increased productivity. We are more productive today than ever before. And the biggest reason is that the thinking has been pushed lower in the organization, and needs to be. Decisions, innovations, and solutions come from those doing the job every day.
So, not only are we expected to do the job, but also to figure out a better way of doing it. A safer, faster, less costly, more efficient way of doing it. And we are expected to use our knowledge to help us accomplish all that, in less time, using fewer resources. In today’s New Reality, Knowledge is King. How can you increase your value as a Knowledge worker?
- Embrace your role as a Knowledge worker: Take every opportunity to think…not just to do. Think about your job, and how you could do it better, with less cost, or greater safety. Think about how you could produce better outcomes for the Customer.
- Share your intellect: Speak up. Ask questions. Share your ideas for improvement. Tell people what you are thinking, what you’ve heard, what you’ve read, and what you’ve learned.
- Seize every opportunity to learn: Research. Read. Converse. Find a mentor, teacher or coach. Be curios. Be inquisitive. Be relentless in your pursuit of new knowledge.
- Become a student of your industry and your Organization: Learn all you can about the Industry, Company and Customer. Find out who your competitors are, and what they are doing differently in order to please their customers…and steal yours. What’s the future of the industry?
- Learn all you can about your Company’s Strategy: What’s your Target Market? What are your Core Competencies? What are your Mission, Vision, and Values? How do you differentiate yourself in the industry?