AUTONOMY IN KNOWLEDGE WORK
Knowledge work requires both
autonomy and accountability
Demanding of knowledge workers
that they define their own task and its results is necessary because
knowledge workers must be autonomous. As knowledge varies among
different people, even in the same field, each knowledge worker carries
his or her own unique set of knowledge. With this specialized, unique
knowledge, each worker should know more about his or her specific area
than anyone else in the organization. Indeed, knowledge worker must know
more about their areas than any one else; they are paid to be
knowledgeable in their fields. What this means is that once each
knowledge worker has defined his or her own task and once the work has
been appropriately restructured, each worker should be expected to work
out his or her own course and to take responsibility for it. Knowledge
workers should be asked to think through their own work plans and then
to submit them. What am I going to focus on? What results can be
expected for which I should be held accountable? By what deadline?
Knowledge work requires both autonomy and accountability.
ACTION POINT: Write a work plan
that includes your focus, desired results, and deadline. Submit it to
MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FOR THE
THE NEW CORPORATION'S PERSONA
In the next society's
corporation, top management will be the company. Everything else can be
Increasingly, in the next
society's corporation, top management will, in fact, be the company.
This top management's responsibilities will cover the entire
organization's direction, planning, strategy, values, and principles;
its structure and relationships between its various members; its
alliances, partnerships, and joint ventures; and its research, design,
Establishing a new corporate
persona calls for a change in the corporation's values. And that may
well be the most important task for top management. In the half century
after the Second World War, the Business Corporation has brilliantly
proven itself as an economic organization, as a creator of wealth and
jobs. In the Next Society, the biggest challenge for the large company
and especially for the multinational may be its social legitimacy- its
values, its mission, its vision. Everything else can be outsourced.
ACTION POINT: focus on your
organization's values, mission, and vision, and consider outsourcing
Managing in the Next Society.
"If you go over budget,
you have to start asking people for money and that means they have a
right to opinion about what you are shooting. You have to be financially
responsible or your independence gets taken away."
JODIE FOSTER, American film
producer, director and actor.
"He who treads softly goes
"Leadership is all about
taking. Followers take orders, leaders take charge."
"A fear of having to admit
having been wrong or of making a mistake should not be impediment to
taking salvaging, corrective action. If more entrepreneurs and private
company investors or angels... were to invest using more consideration
and therefore more slowly, and exit from declining situations more
quickly, they would die richer."
ARTHUR LIPPER III, American
"A single arrow is easily
broken, but not ten in bundle."
"To keep your customers,
keep your promises."
"When absolute superiority
is not attainable, you must produce a relative one at the decisive point
by making use of what you have."
CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ(1780-1831),
Prussian general and Strategist.
"If you would be powerful,
pretend to be powerful."
HORNE TOOKE, British politician
"You don't get what you
deserve, you get what you negotiate."
"One doesn't discover new
lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long
ANDRE GIDE, French novelist,
editor, critic, translator and essayist.
"People are resources, not
your products or equipment. Taking care of people's need is the key to
ROGER MEADE, American
information system developer and CEO of Scitor Corp.
"Winners and losers in the
21st century will be defined not so much by technological wizardry but
by the simple ability of technology to disseminate information where and
when it is needed.
JOHN NAISBIT, American social
forecaster, visiting professor, speaker and author.