Knowledge worker skills training, coaching, educational & developmental programs & services empower knowledge work management, business opportunity or home office resources, tools, equipment which support knowledge work and its tasks, opportunities, activities and actions
Knowledge worker skills training, coaching, educational and developmental programs or services became the pre-eminent "technology" back in the 1960s, when Peter F. Drucker first described the now popular term, "knowledge worker". Drucker also catalogued the critical skills, activities and actions required to perform knowledge work and help make knowledge workers effective [See Drucker's The Effective Executive
For more than 35 years, Drucker's insight into the ultimate challenge facing knowledge workers remains true, "to achieve...[workers must] work at becoming effective [or else] the realities of their situation will push them into futility". [For more of Dr. Drucker's guidance, see The Essential Drucker: In One Volume the Best of 60 Years...
During that time, there have been few training, coaching, educational or developmental programs geared to the specific needs of knowledge worker skills. We are beginning to see the link between knowledge worker focused services and the management, business opportunity, or home office resources, tools, and equipment needed to empower their contributions [recent offerings by IBM, Lotus, Microsoft and others confirm this trend].
[Learn more about Knowledge management systems and knowledge management software for business growth & communication and support systems by visiting iManage Knowledge Management at: iManage Knowledge Management]
Professor Drucker specifically cautions knowledge workers operating within the confines of an organization to be wary of the, "pressure(s) toward non results and nonperformance".
He explains that those "pressures" usually take the form of four critical "realities" facing all organizational knowledge workers:
- Their time tends to belong to everybody else - in a sense they - that is, their knowledge work tasks, activities, actions and opportunities - are "captives" of the organization;
- 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 resources, skills and ability and lose their effectiveness;
- 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";
- 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 [See Lord Whitehead's Process and Reality
]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 for fulfilling the growth objectives of knowledge workers through seminars, workshops and continuing education programs. When you find educational programs that feature methods based on those principles you will strengthen your knowledge work skills, empower your contributions to knowledge-dependent activities and energize your effectiveness as a "knowledge master and innovative leader".
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 highly 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 Intranets.com
- 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'."
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