Knowledge work skills training, coaching, education, or development programs demand empowering knowledge work resources, tools, and tasks that support knowledge work activities and actions

More than 35 years ago, Peter F. Drucker coined the term, "knowledge work", and he described how the key knowledge work skills, activities and actions help make knowledge workers effective.

Drucker also defined the ultimate challenge of knowledge workers, which is, "to achieve...[workers must] work at becoming effective [or else] the realities of their situation will push them into futility".

Drucker specifically cautions knowledge workers operating within the confines of an organization to be wary of the, "pressure(s) toward nonresults and nonperformance".

He explains that those "pressures" usually take the form of four critical "realities" facing all organizational knowledge workers:

  1. Their time tends to belong to everybody else - in a sense they are like "captives" of the organization;

  2. They "are forced to keep on 'operating' unless they take positive action to change the reality in which they live and work" - if they let the flow of events determine what they work on or what they take seriously, they will waste their knowledge, ability and lose their effectiveness;

  3. They are "effective only if and when other people make use of" what they contribute - the organization takes their "knowledge and uses it as the resource, the motivation and the vision of other knowledge workers";

  4. They can clearly see the 'inside' - their close and immediate reality - but can only see what goes on in the 'outside world' through thick and distorting lenses

The danger from the tremendous amount of computer information, says Drucker, is [that knowledge work professionals], "may become blind to everything that is perception (i.e., event) rather than fact (i.e., after the event)".

Alfred North Whitehead foresaw the dangers of today's knowledge work skills training, coaching, education and development programs when he warned us to avoid educational processes which encourage, "ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilized or tested or thrown into fresh combinations".

In his, "Aims of Education and other Essays", Whitehead insists that the most effective training and coaching programs are those which define learning as, "the acquisition of the art of the utilization of knowledge".

These beliefs are especially important to the continuing education efforts of knowledge workers. When you find educational programs that employ methods based on those principles you will strengthen your knowledge work skills and empower your knowledge work activities and actions. You will discover that today's "fresh combinations" use online 'reality-based' training and coaching programs to energize your business, organizational, professional or leadership competence.

We agree with Lord Whitehead, and suggest that many training, coaching, educational and developmental programs could use more potent and compelling "combinations" of knowledge work resources, tools and tasks support mechanisms incorporated into their curricula.

These more dynamic forms of educational resources might include proactive tools, productivity objectives materials or strategic mapping - anything which can support vital knowledge work tasks, for example:

  • peer-group interactions [consisting of managers, professionals or other specialists], called a "community of practice", a group of people with a unique set of similar work duties from different companies who share ideas/experiences and are sustained via expert-/instructor-led or supervised discussions,

  • task and assignment management applications for individuals or teams - enables students to work with and be consulted on their own specific challenges in a private, confidential manner

  • The Syntopic Intranet - powered by our intranet provider
    - Personal office facilities for each student. Which comes complete with a unique email box [to send or receive private messages which no one else can see or read], access to a complete library of educational resources and reference materials and documents, an easy-to-use program for managing your personal or group calendars and task/event schedules - all these intranet functions are online and most can be synchronized with your PDA or accessed via your wireless devices.
  • As the online training programs division of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania observes, that knowledge workers at all levels throughout the US are "taking responsibility for their own professional and economic destiny," they're also heavily "investing in" traditional and online educational services of all types: using "continuing education" such as online "training" and coaching programs, "to assure that they will not become 'jobsolete'."

    Knowledge work skills online training and coaching programs - 3 full months of knowledge-rich, "reality-based" affordable educational services with personal attention and power-packed resources for only $97
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