David Heinemeier Hansson at Signal vs. Noise has a piece that points to some interesting aspects of knowledge work: Getting Real: Don't pick the tools ahead of the craftsman
Would you settle on a brush and then go look for a painter that could use it? Or would you rather find a good painter and then let him use the brushes he sees fit for the task. Put like that, I’d wager few would argue for the former.
While the article (and the boatload of comments) are centered around IT workers, the metaphor could apply to knowledge workers in general. Rather than forcing smart people into one workshop, why not give them access to any "tool" they might need to do their work, along with the set of values that will guide them as they make decisions in the world.
And what about independent knowledge workers? What sets the boundaries for the tools they find in their workshops? Are they limited by interoperability with the tools of their clients? Ideally, independents have more flexibility to evaluate the effectiveness of their tool shed for the jobs being done.
This is also a component of my consulting business: How do existing tools fit what people need to do, and what additional tools may be needed to support them in the future.