I’ve been going through my archives and found this from 02 February 2005. A nice follow on to my most recent post on the nature of knowledge work.
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At a break between meetings at a recent big get together, the following defintion of a knowledge worker occurred to me:
A knowledge worker is someone that makes it up as they go along.
Though that expression is usually used in a pejorative way, that is not how I mean it. Over the last couple of days I’ve taken some time to think about the process of these meetings in addition to the content. I realized that although there was a well established process for what we were trying to do, the benefit we were gaining – the knowledge we were creating – came from the way we changed the process on the fly to meet our needs and meet our current goals. We literally made it up as we went along.
Of course, the “new” process will be captured as part of an after action review and lessons learned recorded for the next time this type of event occurs. But I have no doubt that for that next session to succeed as this one has that group will need to take things into their own hands and make it up for themselves as they go along.