How knowledge workers guide self-developing organisations

by John Hilton05 May 2016
Knowledge workers are people in an organisation with experience and expertise whose main capital is knowledge, said Tym Lawrence, Director, Solutions Architect at SumTotal a Skillsoft company.
“The interesting thing is that today every worker you hire needs to be a knowledge worker. There is not a single person out there who doesn’t have to handle expertise and experience, and this is why a self-developing organisation is so important,” Lawrence told L&D Professional.
“Every single one of us has an important role to play in creating a self-developing organisation, but we also benefit from being a member of a self-developing organisation.”
Lawrence outlined five ways that knowledge workers are important to guiding a self-developing organisation:
Individualised development
The knowledge worker will not only create knowledge, they are also going to be supported by organisations who engage people to expand knowledge in an individualised way. So the knowledge worker is likely to be benefiting from individualised development more than anyone else.
Continuous learning
Continuous learning allows organisations to grow their workforce and it’s also a matter of finding and closing skill gaps. So knowledge workers will not only share their knowledge to allow others to continuously learn, they will also gain from continuous learning opportunities.
Career mobility
Organisations want to make sure they can demonstrate a transparent career path to team members. We know this boosts retention and it helps align people’s talent to the organisation’s objective. So knowledge workers often look for challenges and different departments and roles. They may not necessarily move up the traditional hierarchy, but they may want to move into different projects or different responsibilities. And allowing a knowledge worker to do that using career mobility is a great way of keeping them.
Knowledge acceleration
This is where you have real-time, bite-size curated content. It’s available at any time for a range of devices and it improves productivity. It increases the capacity of the individual knowledge worker and the team. So knowledge workers will guide this and really benefit from it.
Meaningful insight
Organisations need to be able to deliver smart recommendations and good actionable reports to allow people to grow their knowledge and capabilities. So identifying people as leaders and knowledge workers, and letting them comment, rate and select information can then factor into the algorithms that are used for proactive recommendations of content for everyone in the organisation.

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