Productive Knowledge Workers

I spent the day (and will spend tomorrow as well) at BYU as part of their annual President's Leadership Council (PLC) event. I serve on the advisory board for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The highlight of the morning was a talk by Stephen Covey (of Seven Habits for Highly Effective People) who is on the PLC. The talk was vintage Covey and its easy to see why he's so sought after as a speaker. The material was inspiring, and presentation fluid and flexible, and you can tell he has a real passion for the topic.

One of his principal topics is how organizations should be different in the age of knowledge workers from what was common in the age of industry. He, of course, if focused on the organizational behavior ideas, but I couldn't help but think of the tie that his comments had to IT and building IT systems that make knowledge workers more productive. Even Covey got into this a little talking about how the trend to dashboards is a knowledge era answer to accountability for things that matter now (whereas accounting is an industrial era answer to things that mattered then). Its not that the things that accounting measures aren't important now, but that we've come into a world where they are only one part of the story.