Knowledge Enterprise:

Employee Empowerment

Managing Knowledge Workers

Meeting Specific Requirements of Knowledge Workers and Unlocking Their True Potential

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

"It is difference of opinion which makes for horse races." ~ Mark Twain

Managing Knowledge Workers Coaching Corporate Vision, Mission and Goals 25 Lessons from Jack Welch: STRETCH Get Rid of Bureaucracy

Specific Traits of Knowledge Workers1

  • primarily identify themselves with their profession rather than workplace; more sensitive to the kudos and esteem they receive from their peers than those they receive from management

  • highly mobile and quick to change jobs

  • driven primarily by the pride of accomplishment

  • have strong believes and personalities; they respond much better to being pulled than being pushed

  • informal networking with peers, inside and outside their own company, helps them benchmark their personal efforts and their company's competitiveness

The bottom line:

An individual effectiveness of knowledge workers is based on results and credibility, perceived reputation, and network of relationships rather than formal authority, job description, or position in the hierarchy.3

Job Satisfaction Needs of Knowledge Workers

  • Challenge, above all

  • Continuous training and coaching

  • To know the organization's mission and to believe in it

  • The need to see results

Knowledge Workers Respond Best when You

  1. respect their professional status and identity

  2. set a stretch goal and provide challenging work

  3. minimize bureaucracy and the management burden


How To Lead Creative People

By: Max DePree

Top 10 Forces Behind New Business Models

  • Knowledge Worker Productivity.  The critical issue to being able to leverage your organisation's core competencies in real time.  If you want to optimise your enterprise start here.  Peel away everything and allow your knowledge workers to do what they do best, more of the time... More


Knowledge Workers Defined

Peter Drucker invented the term "knowledge workers" in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will "strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way." Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing "the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years."

Practicing New Approaches


You cannot lead knowledge workers by telling them what to do. You must treat them with respect and dignity, and provide opportunities that they would not be able to have on their own.

To lead knowledge workers effectively and unlock their true potential, you need to define:

  • What knowledge work professionals do?

  • How they do it best?

  • What drives them to do it?

Balanced Manager

To manage knowledge workers effectively in the modern knowledge-driven enterprise, modern manager should balance management with leadership and coaching... More

Evoking People's Passions

"The passion to go well beyond the extra mile is what drives people to create insanely great products and services." says Christopher Meyer.1 You need to shift your people management practices if you haven't done so yet to accommodate or support knowledge work and help your people express passion of their own.

 Case Study  Silicon Valley Firms

How do Silicon Valley firms attract people to opportunities, challenges, and growth?

Around the globe, leading organizations declare in their corporate value statements that people are their most important asset. In many cases, these statements are just words however. In the Silicon Valley, people really do come first. One of the main tasks of top management is to provide an environment where work is rewarding and fun. In turn, the legacy of managing knowledge workers keeps the focus on people, and illustrates why innovation in the Silicon Valley extends far beyond the technology itself.1... More

 Best Practices  Google: 10 Golden Rules

By: Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Hal Varian, Consultant with Google

Getting the most out of knowledge workers will be the key to business success for the next quarter century. Here's how we do it at Google.

At Google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of "knowledge workers." After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will "strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way." Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing "the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years."

At Google, we seek that advantage. The ongoing debate about whether big corporations are mismanaging knowledge workers is one we take very seriously, because those who don't get it right will be gone. We've drawn on good ideas we've seen elsewhere and come up with a few of our own. What follows are ten key principles we use to make knowledge workers most effective. As in most technology companies, many of our employees are engineers, so we will focus on that particular group, but many of the policies apply to all sorts of knowledge workers... More



 Discover much more in the


Working the Peer Network...

Meeting Specific Requirements of Knowledge Workers...

Let Them All Be Power Users...

Innovation in Industrial vs. Knowledge Enterprises...

Three Areas of Need Present in All Organizations...

Key Characteristics of High-performance Organizations...

Achieving the Right Balance Between the Whole and the Parts...

6-A: Important Traits that Determine Organizational Success...

Establishing an Attitude of Relentless Growth...

Organizational Alignment...

Extended Enterprise...

Organizational Fitness Profile (OFP) Road-Mapping...

80/20 Theory of the Firm...

Continuous Corporate Renewal...

Managerial Leadership...

Learning Bottom-Up...

Trust-based Working Relationships...

How To Bring About Effective Change...

 Case Study  GE...

 Case Study  British Petroleum...

 Case Study  IDEO...





  1. Relentless Growth, Christopher Meyer

  2. A Manager's Guide to the Millennium, Ken Matejka & Richard J. Dunsing

  3. Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, Annalee Saxenian

  4. 20 Breakthrough Ideas for 2005, Harvard Business ReviewINSPIRED TEAM (Ten3 Mini-course, business self-education, slides for training, PowerPoint presentation)

  5. Inspired Team, Vadim Kotelnikov

  6. Synergistic Organization, Vadim Kotelnikov

  7. Inspiring Corporate Culture, Vadim Kotelnikov