There has been a lot of talk about the fact that we are now entering the Knowledge Age in American business. Terms such as Knowledge Economy, Knowledge Worker and even Knowledge Districts are becoming more common every day. But to date most of those using the terms have been intellectuals, academics and those who deal in emergent industries.
While conversation at that level is important it will have little impact on local or regional economies until it is operationalized. For that to occur those who are currently responsible for growing the economy, i.e. those running existing businesses, must become familiar with, and begin implementing the new concepts, organizational designs and management paradigms this new age is bringing forth.
Until that happens the economic benefits will be few, far between and unsustainable. So, we must do what we can to help one another to embrace the “new normal” and to convert the theoretical into the practical.
For the past several years I have been working side by side with many forward-thinking businesspeople as we work to transform organizational models from those designed for the industrial age into “knowledge-based” organizations.
The lessons learned about how to operationalize this predominantly academic conversation into relevant practices in ongoing businesses are becoming clearer, more exciting and more natural every day.
In an effort to shine some light on our discoveries I am listing some of the basic paradigm shifts that I have found to be fundamental to the conversion of a traditional organization into one that is designed for the 21st century.
• Knowledge capital trumps financial capital:
Money doesn’t make money anymore than money loses money. It takes people to do both or either.