This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Knowledge worker: Do you relate?

Jonathan Spira (CEO of Basex) writes an entertaining piece in the February 2008 KMWorld, Knowledge worker: Do you relate?.

Despite the fact that there are 56 million of us out there, people continue to struggle both with the definition of a knowledge worker as well as with self-identification.

In a casual setting, such as a pub, a factory worker would have no problem introducing himself saying, "I’m a factory worker." But could you picture a knowledge worker making a similar introduction, saying, "Hi, I’m a knowledge worker"?

While he doesn't go into the depths of Shawn Callahan's Our need for the knowledge worker is over, the article strikes several similar themes.

Re-reading the article, I am reminded of the struggle I had as a child in describing what my father did:

Jack: "My dad's an engineer." 
other kid: "As in trains?" 
Jack: "No.  A chemical engineer." 
other kid: "What is that?"

Most people (kids) I encountered had no idea what that meant.  When I mention chemical engineering (my training) today, most of my contemporaries at least know that it is a difficult field of study if not exactly what they do.  Even though Drucker coined the term years ago, it hasn't pervaded culture like many other job-description terms have.  As a result, only a limited number of people have a good feel for what it means.  And even then we struggle articulating the sense - keeping it buried below the surface.

Rant: KM publishing IT

Whose fault, mine or yours?