Retaining Knowledge Workers LO11757

Fred Nickols (
Thu, 9 Jan 1997 00:42:04 +0000

Re: LO11703

Joe Katzman writes regarding Retaining Knowledge Workers:

>Happy New Year, everybody, and thank you to everyone who made themselves a
>part of this list in 1996. Some propositions to ponder:
>- -- Most of the people on this list can fairly be described as "knowledge
>workers," people who make their living adding value in non-physical ways:
>software, consulting, process redesign, etc.
>- -- The fact that you're reading this indicates some level of interest in
>or commitment to creating a more knowledge-based philosophy within your
>organizations and/or clients. Why? Probably because you (like many of us)
>see it as very important to their future success.
>- -- Problem: when a goodly chunk of your company's value is tied up in the
>heads of the people who work there, turnover becomes more than a minor
>- -- One possible corollary of the points noted above is that the ability to
>attract *and retain* skilled knowledge workers will be a key factor in
>organizational success. Microsoft certainly believes this, for instance.
>And now for the $128,000 question: how? How does one attract and retain
>such people?
>Are knowledge workers a different breed of cat, with different needs and
>priorities? If so, what are the factors that influence their decisions?
>How are innovative companies coping with this (or not)? What sorts of
>things influence/have influenced YOU?
>I've started to think pretty hard about these questions, and would be
>fascinated to hear from the list.

Two good sources of early and still very sound thinking on this score are
The Age of Discontinuity (1969) and Management (1973), both by the good
professor, Peter F. Drucker. I highly recommend both books to anyone
interested in understanding the shift to knowledge work and the attendant
tasks of making knowledge work productive and knowledge workers achieving.


Fred Nickols


Fred Nickols <>

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