Posts Categorized: Work

the knowledge artisan

An artisan is skilled in a craft and uses specialized tools or machinery. Artisans were the dominant producers of goods before the Industrial Revolution. Knowledge artisans are similar to their pre-industrial counterparts, especially when it comes to tools. Knowledge artisans not only design the work but they can do the work. It is not passed… Read more »

change takes time and effort

The idea that generalists and soft skills are needed in the modern workplace seems to be hitting the mainstream of HR, L&D, etc. I have written about these for the past decade or more, and I think it’s necessary to clarify some of the discussion. 1. Wicked problems need neo-generalists Neo-generalists defy common understanding. They… Read more »


Crooked Broker Capitalists Dave Pollard (2007) showed that in a ‘crooked broker society’, an Exploiter oppresses a Desperate Supplier. This unbalanced relationship is reinforced by a Procurer who in turn gouges an Addicted Buyer. It’s the underlying nature of unregulated capitalism that drives us toward such a society. For example, Peter Thiel, a platform capitalist,… Read more »

adding value with teams

In working collaboratively & learning cooperatively I noted that team collaboration requires the transparent sharing of knowledge — using enterprise social networks and other technologies — so that everyone on a team knows what is going on and why. Decisions, and why they were made, are shared. New processes and methods are co-developed to create… Read more »

insights over processes

Process improvement, like Six Sigma, stifles innovation. Process improvement is a tool set, not an overarching or unifying concept for an organization. Process improvement is a means — for certain contexts like manufacturing — and not an end in itself. The fundamental problem with all process improvement methodologies is that you get myopic. The evidence… Read more »

co-learning is better than marketing

Work is learning, and learning is the work. Marketing, for the most part, is about learning. What’s interesting is that ” … the content developed by most marketing departments is used in less than 7 percent of all buying decisions”, according to McKinsey, as cited in The Hypersocial Organization. So it’s not about the content…. Read more »

more than re-skilling

Here is the advice of the co-founder of Degreed on a ‘workplace self-training paradigm‘. First, encourage them to think of reskilling as a game — one they now have more control over winning … Next, help workers manage their skills with regular checkups to evaluate their current expertise against market conditions … Finally, work with… Read more »

relatedness for knowledge sharing

In the HBR article Why Employees Don’t Share Knowledge with Each Other the authors find three main reasons [research paper behind a paywall]. First, people share knowledge when they are autonomously motivated, and not directed to do so, or pressured by peers. Second, cognitively demanding work is shared more frequently. Third, knowledge is shared best… Read more »

the silo effect

“Silos are cultural phenomena, which arise out of the systems we use to classify and organize the world,” states Gillian Tett in The Silo Effect. Silos are bounded hierarchies that define specialized work or areas of knowledge. They come in the form of academic fields, organizational departments, schools of thought, and many other forms created… Read more »

liberating meetings

In meetings, bloody meetings I covered some common issues with how meetings are conducted and also provided some ways to address these. Another form is the silent meeting, put forth by David Gasca at Twitter and used at Amazon as well. These meetings are based on the common phenomena that most attendees do not read… Read more »