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Embracing the Creativity and Innovation of the Knowledge Worker. Team 1 December 10, 2009. Knowledge Worker. Knowledge worker - a term coined by Peter Drucker in 1959, is one who works primarily with information or one who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace. .

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Embracing the Creativity and Innovation of the Knowledge Worker


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    1. Embracing the Creativity and Innovation of the Knowledge Worker Team 1 December 10, 2009 MGMT E-4000 M. Naddaff

    2. Knowledge Worker Knowledge worker - a term coined by Peter Drucker in 1959, is one who works primarily with information or one who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace.

    3. The Role of A Knowledge Worker Every knowledge worker in modern organization is an "executive" if, by virtue of his position or knowledge, he is responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to perform and to obtain results. - Peter Drucker in The Effective Executive (1966)

    4. Creativity • The thinking skill used to develop new ideas and solutions. • The ability to produce something new, to generate unique approaches. • “Innovative Infrastructure”, Dennis J Heindl, (2008)

    5. Innovation Complex thinking process use to transform creative ideas into useful new products and services, thereby adding value and profit. • “Innovative Infrastructure”, Dennis J Heindl, (2008)

    6. Knowledge Pyramid • Sustainable Competitive Advantage – Peak of an individual’s knowledge capability. It’s where creativity and innovation predominantly flow. New to the world ideas. • Competitive Advantage – Builds on previously acquired knowledge. More complex, making connections between concepts previously overlooked. Think outside of narrow functional silos. • Competitive Parity – Fundamental, often shared by competitors, acquired through past experience, consultations w/ co-workers, formal training and reading. Base for higher levels of knowledge. • Henard, David H., and McFadyen, M. Ann. “Making Knowledge Workers More Creative.” Research Technology Management. March 2008

    7. 3 Aspects of the Knowledge Worker • Individual • Team • Organization

    8. Knowledge Worker - Individual

    9. VALUESWhat is important to a Knowledge Worker? • Educational benefit • Work/Life balance • Flex work schedules • Work environment • Career aspirations

    10. Challenges Education: • Undergrad as a Starting Point • Master’s Program – More important • Professional Certification

    11. Technology • Working remotely is becoming easier • Tough to “unplug” from work with email, Blackberry, etc

    12. Expectations • Ideas • Workers are expected to bring Ideas to work. • Front-line workers get to have a bigger impact on the organization.

    13. Knowledge Worker – Team

    14. Role of the Knowledge Worker Team • “What Would Peter Say?,” Rosabeth Moss Kanter (2009) If the twentieth century gave rise to knowledge workers with deep expertise, the twenty-first century will require leaders who can foster integrative thinking and collaboration across fields and specialties. Collaboration, not coordination, will be the task of management.

    15. Team Types Baseball Team / task passed from one member of team to another Soccer Team / working in sync • “New Society of Organizations,” Peter Drucker (1992)

    16. Team Dynamics • Technical: tools for remote teams • online conferencing • group documents • wikis • Interpersonal: Creating psychological safety • team norms • feedback • leadership

    17. Diversity of Knowledge and Skill Variety of types of team members Rotation/cross – pollination Inclusion of intrapreneur Inclusion of disruptor Aim to avoid “GroupThink”

    18. Interplay between Individual and Team Teams: • Engage in the constant dialogue on which effective reflection depends • Create new points of view through dialogue and discussion • Pool their information and examine it from various angles • Integrate their diverse individual perspectives into a new collective perspective • “The Knowledge-Creating Company,” Ikujiro Nonaka (1995)

    19. Cycle of Creative Knowledge Goal of moving the team  and more of its individual members  to the top of the pyramid Team moves up the pyramid  its individual members move up the pyramid Same individuals join another team (or work again with same team)  team moves up Repeat cycle!

    20. Knowledge Worker – Organization

    21. A learning organization is a place where employees excel at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights Reasons to be a learning organization Employee retention Sustainable Competiveness Creative Knowledge rather thanAcquired Knowledge The Learning Organization • “Is Yours a Learning Organization”, David A Garvin et al., 2008

    22. The Building Blocks of a Learning Organization A supportive learning environment Time for reflection and analysis Openness to new ideas Psychological safety Appreciation of differences Concrete learning processes and practices Programs or events designed with explicit learning goals like strategic reviews, systems audits, study missions, and symposiums or conferences Leadership behavior that reinforces learning Active listening Encouraging and supportive behavior • “Is Yours a Learning Organization”, David A Garvin et al., 2008

    23. Creating a Learning Organization • Workplace environment is one of the top three factors influencing an employee’s decision to accept or stay in a job, just behind compensation and benefits (ie: Google) • Flexibility • Location-independent working • Workspace design fluidity • Available technology • Informality • Comfortable, informal settings like meeting/training rooms and break areas • Sustainability • Perks like going green, telecommuting, and flexible work schedules • Building of workplace amenities • “Location Alone”, Dale Anne Reiss & Mark R. Costello, 2007

    24. Embracing Change with Creativity and Innovation “Innovation is the only competitive advantage a company really has, because quality improvements and price reductions can be replicated, as can technology. Therefore, if a company could have just one major capability it should be innovation.” – Peter Drucker Creativity inspired innovation requires change Resistance is normal Performance varies from different learning styles Focus levels and learning maturity Culture No one-size-fits-all strategy Idea management system hurdles • “Is Yours a Learning Organization”, David A Garvin et al., 2008

    25. Summary Lead the initiative Creativity and innovation - a revolving door Embrace and build your knowledge power

    26. Conclusion • Sustainable Competitive Advantage – Peak of an individual’s knowledge capability. It’s where creativity and innovation predominantly flow. New to the world ideas. • Competitive Advantage – Builds on previously acquired knowledge. More complex, making connections between concepts previously overlooked. Think outside of narrow functional silos. • Competitive Parity – Fundamental, often shared by competitors, acquired through past experience, consultations w/ co-workers, formal training and reading. Base for higher levels of knowledge. • Henard, David H., and McFadyen, M. Ann. “Making Knowledge Workers More Creative.” Research Technology Management. March 2008

    27. Q & A