“No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”
—Edmund Burke, 1756.1
Whether you lead a global corporation, develop software, advise clients, practice medicine, build homes, or work in one of today's state-of-the-art factories that require sophisticated computer skills to manage complex production challenges, you are a knowledge worker.2 Just as the engine of growth in the Industrial Revolution was standardization, with workers as laboring bodies confined to execute “the one best way” to get almost any task done, growth today is driven by ideas and ingenuity. People must bring their brains to work and collaborate with each other to solve problems and accomplish work that's perpetually changing. Organizations must find, and keep finding, new ways to create value to thrive over the long term. And creating value starts with putting the talent you have to its best and highest use.
While it's not news that knowledge and innovation have become vital sources of competitive advantage in nearly every industry, few managers stop to really think about the implications of this new reality – particularly when it comes to what it means for the kind of work environment that would help employees thrive and organizations succeed. The goal of this book is to help you do just that – and to equip you with some new ideas and practices to make knowledge-intensive organizations work ...