David Brett of Knexa, a friend of mine, just sent me this link, to consultants who look like they’ve put language to Drucker’s notion that knowledge workers own the means of production in an increasingly knowledge-based economy (see his article titled Beyond the Information Revolution, a central article to the creation of the concept of wirearchy for me).
I have spoken and written about this sea-change in the nature of work in terms of the “Mass Customization of Work“, which I think is the logical and very likely result of individuals’ knowledge and working styles (necessarily) interweaving with the structure and flow of large integrated systems for the distribution and manipulation of information.
I’ll have to check out in more detail the site of Volitional Partners, who say they are launching a revolution in the nature of work, wherein individual employees “own” their knowledge. It looks interesting, and also looks like they want to stake out some mindspace with their language and wordings.
There are many people, processes and applications purporting to do some or all of this, in terms of human capital, intellectual capital, social capital, relationship capital and so on. I think it’s all part of a very big and very permanent shift, in which conversations and dialogue between human minds, imagination, voice and purpose play a central role.
Nothing is more human than the capability to engage in conversation and dialogue, point and argue, push back and pull forward ideas into newer, more interesting, more stimulating, more coherent shapes. This will be central to work, to culture and to democracy as we believe it should be, in the next few years to come.
My first reactions to the site of Volitional Partners are more cynical than Jon’s. We have lots of perfectly serviceable language already. Anyone whose homepage is littered with neologisms, trademark symbols, and talk of “Proprietary Platforms” has dug themselves a hole that I am reluctant to explore.
It comes across as a hybrid cross between New Age Mysticism and MBA MarketingSpeak. I can only hope it’s a sterile hybrid. If there is something real and useful there, wouldn’t it come across without the noise?
Jon calls this another step along the way. I wonder in what direction?