Did someone say remote, asynchronous work environment?
The Knowledge Alternative Work Models©
A progressive approach to managing work in the knowledge economy.
“Knowledge workers have no business in an Industrial Model,” I said.
The room erupted into applause. I had answered a question in the Q&A portion of my presentation to 1 Million Cups, a group organized for the support and education of entrepreneurs.
So, naturally, everyone in the room was a little crazy. To be an entrepreneur you have to be a little bit crazy. You have to look around at what centuries of business progress has created and think it’s not enough. Entrepreneurs find the problem that needs solving and build a new business around it.
Clemson Road Creative is a shared services company transforming the $210B consulting industry by providing operational support to independent consultants so they can deliver kickass advice and guidance to their clients. We certify these Affiliates in a carefully crafted service delivery methodology of our own called The Road©. We maintain a knowledge base, provide marketing strategies, and manage projects on behalf of our Affiliates. Learn more here.
Meanwhile, the Clemson Road Creative team works in Knowledge Alternative Work Models©. KA is the result of our consultants and affiliates looking around at the work models that were out there and rejecting them. KA is practical entrepreneurship; it’s an idea and the idea is pretty simple: People work better when they work on whatthey want, whenthey want, wherethey want.
We’re just arrogant (naïeve?) enough to think that idea will lead to results.
We didn’t make this up. Many entrepreneurs and freelancers strike out on their own because they didn’t want to work under the confines (tyranny?) of an archaic management system. Companies across the planet are adopting flex scheduling and job sharing and all kinds of other alternatives to accommodate those bright, charming (pain-in-the-ass?) millennials.
See, we’re not all crazy.
My 1 Million Cups serial entrepreneur (risk-junkies?) are but the majority of the American knowledge economy workforce is not. Except they keep doing the same thing day after day expecting different results: go to work from 8 until 5, give up time with family, time with children, time for creative pursuits and volunteer work. Sell that time to the firm that employs them. And expect that somehow, somewhere, they’ll find fulfillment.
So how’s that working out for you?
The Industrial Standard is so ingrained in us that we struggle even thinking about how to work differently. We’ve been doing it for 200 years. It’s a part of evolution like cell phones and Netflix.
The Industrial Standard work model is the 8-to-5 work day. It has its origins in the Industrial Revolution during which businesses had a single objective: run a factory 24 hours a day. The decision makers broke the day into three shifts of 8 hours each and divided the labor among the workers. The key to this labor was its interchangeability. It didn’t matter (really) if Lou pulled the lever or if Linda did. The task was exactly the same. What’s more, the factory employed machines that never tired, required only minimal maintenance and committed the same production over and over without variance or creativity.
Now, though, it matters significantly whether Lou or Linda does the job. We’re no longer employing machines with no variance, we’re employing our brains whose abilities are the culmination of experience, education, and imagination. And our brains get tired and need to be refreshed and get bored and need to be stimulated.
Knowledge work is not the same as factory work.
In the Knowledge Economy we’re selling what we know, not only what we can do. We’re creating things people can consume, not just things people can use. Knowledge is what separates the Industrial Economy doingfrom the Knowledge Economy doing. In the Knowledge Economy our doingis digital. It’s instantaneous and iterative. We are continually improving on what came before and evolving at such a rapid pace that what’s happening right now is already outdated.
The book No Ordinary Disruption talks about the volume of data increasing so rapidly, the global wealth of knowledge is overwhelming. Professionals are using their brains to create customized solutions to unique problems and data is tracking all of the iterations and evolutions of those solutions. Access to new economies and the entrance of all new consumers are shifting the competition toward niche, specialized products. Our brains aren’t machines and they get tired and need to be recharged, but the acceleration of data means if we don’t meet the needs of our global customers, our competitors will.
How in the world is the Industrial Standard still the preferred governing mechanism for this dynamic, turbulent environment?
KA is about a new way of working. A better way. It’s about recognizing the illegitimacy of the Industrial Standard and replacing it with a more appropriate model.
Wanna learn more about the Knowledge Alternative Work Models©? Let’s have a call. Or download the white paper here and then give us a call. We’re glad to walk you through it, teach you how to do it, and change your workplace for the better.