Thursday, April 4, 2013

Redesigning Knowledge Work

"A worsening shortage of high-skill knowledge workers is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations. These talented and highly paid experts—doctors, lawyers, engineers,salespeople, scientists, and other professionals—are companies’ most valuable assets.

In response, some firms are redefining the jobs of their experts, transferring some of their tasks to lower-skill people inside or outside their organizations, and outsourcing work that requires scarce skills but is not strategically important.

Redesigning jobs in this fashion involves several basic steps: identifying the gaps between the talent your firm has and what it will need; creating narrower, more-focused job descriptions in areas where talent is scarce; choosing from various options for filling the skills gap; and revamping talent- and knowledge-management processes to accommodate the new way of working."
Martin Dewhurst, Bryan Hancock, and Diana Ellsworth, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2013

In my opinion, this is a dangerous extension of the industrial model. And, it is just the opposite of what should be happening (trans-disciplinary skills) to solve today's wicked problems. In addition it adds additional layers of communications - boundaries that lead to errors and oversights.

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