One day you became an employee in your organization. Let’s assume you have an international office job. In order for you to be effective, it might come in handy if you start communicating and collaborating with other people both within your organization and with external contacts. Your organization will most probably also expect you to gain knowledge and to share that knowledge.
They gave you a computer with, of course, the possibility to send and receive emails. You were given internet access, you may have received access to some more tools, like SharePoint, FTPservers, you name it. If this sounds like your job, it is fair to say that you are a knowledge worker.
Now, how many of you were ever taught to be knowledge workers? Is there any department in your organization that teaches you how to find, share, document, archive information?
Did anyone tell you how to use a RSS reader to stay up to date? Did anyone give you guidelines for effective Email use? Did someone take the time to explain the main features of your intranet, and were you taught to use a Wiki? Did anybody point out to you that you need to store your documents safely, and accessible to the right people?
In our organization we would never let a factory worker work without safety instructions, yet I have to admit that in some department we allow our knowledge workers to do their job without proper knowledge of their basic tools. I have seen the same approach in other companies that I worked for.
I think organization should put an effort in educating their knowledge workers to use their tools. It would probably take on or two hours of training, and the benefits are huge.
Let me know what you think. Do you have programs in your organization? And do you recognize this need?