Knowledge Workers Make Strategy Work
Today’s workforce is full of knowledge workers. Knowledge workers are employees who create and use knowledge and apply critical thinking to complete their jobs. There are many such workers in the Government. As a consulting firm, we find that all of our employees are knowledge workers.
More and more, managers realize that using the ideas of knowledge workers more intentionally could help revolutionize the way we work. Not just by making work more efficient, but by doing things differently.
Recently, the New York City Library implemented a new strategy for transformation in a different way than ever before. Management communicated a vision of change to all employees and then allowed knowledge workers to implement it in the way they saw fit. These knowledge workers unilaterally conceived the strategy and management guided it. The implementation of the libraries’ new strategy was very successful using this approach and this was due to the help of knowledge workers within.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also working to make organizational changes to achieve its vision “of a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards, where American interests, aspirations, and way of life can thrive.” A big part of this strategy is unity of effort, an initiative that bridged Administrations. Unity of effort on transparency and unified initiatives and decision-making which according to Nilofer Merchant, a Fortune 500 CEO, are key principles in implementing an effective strategy.
Here are a few recommendations for DHS to use when tapping into knowledge workers to help make strategy work:
- Manage Knowledge – First come up with a strategy for how the organization will manage the gathering, sharing, and retention of knowledge within. Then communicate and implement it
- Explain the Big Picture – It is important for knowledge workers to know why they are working on a specific task. This creates buy in for them and motivates workers when they know how their work will benefit the organization
- Be a Coach, Not a Boss – Knowledge workers prefer to work independently without a lot of oversight so having a manager provide the means for them to work productively can be an effective technique
- Link Technology to Knowledge – Make sure that knowledge workers have sufficient and appropriate technology to help them do their jobs. Make sure training includes practice scenarios to optimize use of the technology
With these recommendations, Government knowledge workers will thrive and will be in the best position to help DHS achieve their strategy.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com