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The future of knowledge workers

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This study on the future of the knowledge worker was sponsored by The George Washington University and the Institute for Knowledge and Innovation at GWU. Some KM World readers were part of the sample population and accessed the survey through a posting on the KM World Web site. The majority of professionals and executives who took the survey indicated that their organizations will prepare proactively for the future by building scenarios and responses to emerging trends that could impact them. The overwhelming challenge organizations expect to confront is the loss of organizational knowledge through those retirements. To fill those future critical talent gaps, executives and professionals indicated that they are likely to advertise and promote a range of organizational advantages to attract and recruit the necessary professional and managerial talent needed for their future work force.

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									                                                                                                                                                                      Trend-Setting
                                                                                                                                                                                2009



                                                                                                                                                                      Products of
                                                                                                                                                                      2009
                                                                                                                                                                      Page 12

                                                                                                                                                                     SEPTEMBER 2009




                                                     The future of knowledge workers
                                                     ■ BY DAN HOLTSHOUSE                        (GWU, gwu.edu) and the Institute for       evaluate future impacts, or, worse,
                                                         In times of economic turmoil, tak-     Knowledge and Innovation at GWU            will likely wait until the trend

                             Business                ing a look into the future toward 2020
                                                     might seem like an academic exercise
                                                                                                (gwu.edu/~iki). Some KMWorld
                                                                                                readers were part of the sample pop-
                                                                                                                                           becomes a distinct disruption and
                                                                                                                                           requires focused recovery action.

                          Intelligence               at best. On the other hand, under-
                                                     standing what organizational strategies
                                                     executives and professionals believe
                                                                                                ulation and accessed the survey
                                                                                                through a posting on the KMWorld
                                                                                                Web site. Some of the main trends
                                                                                                                                              Retirements and the loss of
                                                                                                                                           knowledge. The well documented,
                                                                                                                                           coming baby boomer retirement
                                       Page 26       are needed to ensure a viable future is    identified in the survey are included      wave is one such important future
                                                     critical to identifying opportunities on   in the following:                          impact facing many organizations.
                                                     the horizon as well as challenges              Critical thinking for the future.      The overwhelming challenge organ-
                                                     before they become insurmountable.         The majority of professionals and          izations expect to confront is the loss
                                                     The purpose of this research was to        executives who took the survey indi-       of organizational knowledge through
                                                     peer into those longer-term trends to      cated that their organizations will        those retirements. Interestingly, the
                                                     determine how organizations will           prepare proactively for the future by      loss of critical knowledge far out-
                                                     likely try to provide a compelling work    building scenarios and responses to        weighed concern about potential
                                                     environment that attracts, retains and     emerging trends that could impact          operational impact, possible cul-
                                                     leverages the best of the knowledge        them. A significant number of organ-       tural/social disruptions or the task of
                                                     workers of the future.                     izations, however, are heading into        mounting an aggressive recruiting
            Google’s Wave is                             This study on the future of the
                                                     knowledge worker was sponsored by
                                                                                                the future much less prepared
                                                                                                because they have no standard or
                                                                                                                                           program to attract replacements.


            building off the                         The George Washington University           consistent approach to detect and                              FUTURE continues on page 29



            enterprise shore
            ■ BY STEPHEN E. ARNOLD
                Google’s Wave (http://wave.google.
                                                     Transparency: the new objectivity                                                            E-Discovery
                                                                                                                                             Software and Services
            com) is a Swiss Army knife of com-       ■ BY DAVID WEINBERGER                          But we have taken objectivity into       Annual spending growth forecast:
            munication and information manage-           Objectivity serves its purpose, but    realms where it really should not go.
                                                                                                                                                       $         $     $
            ment services. 
								
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