Knowledge Workers

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People involved in a information bonded team based environment find it very different from what they may have previously experienced. Society has recently (past 30 to 40 years) transformed into the information age which represents a major shift in social interaction at work as compared to the more traditional or parochial agrarian way of working or the modern or mechanistic way of interacting at work. These different ways of work represent different models for life as well as different ways of thinking.

The historical traditional (agrarian age) worker transformed to the modern (mechanistic or industrial age) and now has become a post-modern (network or information age) knowledge worker. This cultural transformation is mirrored at the level of individual epistemological (mental) development in the transition from the mythical mystical mind to the conventional or socialized ethical mind, and finally to the post-conventional or morally conscious mind. In other words, as society becomes more complex, so do the mental demands of the society on the individual and in response to these mental demands the mind develops more complexity. When the industrial age began, there was a need for factory workers which was satisfied by largely uneducated farm workers. Because of their lack of knowledge and lack of mental development necessary to master the industrial age the underlying mode of social organizations for how people work together changed from the family unit of the farm to the hierarchical mode of the factory. The worker had little knowledge; therefore the boss who had knowledge controlled the worker. This single minded mode of organization dominated. Single minded means that there is a single person who makes the decisions for other workers and these other workers have no real choice about how to do their jobs as characterized by the assembly line worker of the factory. Over time the factory worker became more knowledgeable and the society more complex so the mode of work has changed again.

Today we are squarely in the information age where the social structure has moved from the single-minded hierarchy to the multi-minded team. This is in stark contrast to the industrial age where the employee had no choice and there was little information in the system creating the need for hierarchal form of management. In the information age all people in the organization have choice about how to work; all people have information and knowledge about how they should be managed. All people reading this document are “knowledge workers” and it is this knowledge that gives you the ability to perform your duties at work. When all the people in the organization have knowledge, they have choice, they can choose how to work, they can choose who to work with, they can choose the rules that they agree with in their work. People with choice will choose to work in the appreciative Safari culture that supports the cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal development of the individual and team. It is this knowledge worker who has the choice of how to answer the “should” question and who is immersed into this culture of positive language who learns effective ways to deal with situations that arise on the practical, the ethical and the moral levels of interpersonal interaction.