Some of you might have heard or read about the expression “knowledge worker”, without realising we are all in an unstoppable journey towards this new way of working. However I ask myself “Does it feel this way for everybody”?
If we start defining the concept of “knowledge worker” we will discover that it was coined by Peter Drucker in 1969 to differentiate it from “manual worker”. So although it´s not a new concept it´s been applied today to explain the shift we are living in the job market. As more processes and tasks are automated we might feel that as threat but also as an opportunity. Rather than focusing on routine and monotonous tasks we will need to emphasize the parts machines can´t match. That part is our creativity and mental effort that can´t be matched by a machine.
Harold Jarche-social learning guru- shares her view on People Management Magazine “Everyone is a knowledge worker and, by emphasizing the parts that our jobs require creativity and mental dexterous effort, we can all enjoy more fulfilling work.” “Even a sales assistant can be creative he says, using her judgement to guide buyers and second-guess customers´ needs”.
After being working by myself as a consultant since I returned from the UK, I realised that I have rediscovered the joy of learning and being creative in a way it couldn´t be fulfilled by the corporate world.
Jarche compares the way artists learn through experiment and discovery instead of the drill and fill approach that businesses employ. So the point I am getting at is:
Does everybody feel as a knowledge worker today?
What space do you have to rediscover the joy of learning and being curious yourself?
What are the employers doing to shift away from the routine and processes approach?
What are you doing yourself?