Productivity and innovation become even more important as we migrate from manufacturing work to knowledge work. In a recent article in Fortune magazine (registration required), Stephen Covey discussed the need for an eighth habit. While I am not a full-on adherent to the Seven Habits, I agree with Covey's discussion about the need for the new habit.
"Because of the movement into the Knowledge Worker age. It's a whole different reality. Probably 70% to 80% of all the value added to goods and services today comes from knowledge work. Twenty years ago it was only maybe 20% to 30%. That to me is the most significant reason for a new paradigm, a new way of thinking about leadership..."
Stephen Covey gets it. The age of the Knowledge worker is here, but many of our systems, our processes and our core mental models are still in a manufacturing worker age. Many managers and executives have not made the leap to freeing up their knowledge capital. This is made clear by a survey that was included in a follow-on article in the same Fortune issue. In that survey of 23,000 US residents from a wide range of industries, Harris Interactive found that:
- Only 37% said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why (I've written about this here)
- Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team's and organization's goals
- Only one in five said they have a clear "line of sight" between their tasks and their team's and organization's goals
- Only 15% felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals.
As they saying goes, What we have here is a failure to communicate. And trust people with the vision and direction of the company. And provide the tools and processes they need to be successful.