In his article “Knowledge-Worker Productivity: The Biggest Challenge” published in the Winter 1999 California Management Review, Peter Drucker includes these two statements:
- Knowledge work requires continuous learning on the part of the knowledge worker, but equally continuous teaching on the part of the knowledge worker.
- Continuous learning and continuous teaching have to be built into the job.
We stress the continuous learning a lot in the industry. We need to stress continuous teaching as well, for by teaching we uncover a rich source of learning.
As for defining knowledge workers, there is a wealth of knowledge required to wire an electrical panel, place a steel beam, balance air flow, and the tens of thousands of other actions required to construct a building – more so if there is an expectation that field crews are actively engaged in improving the work. We need to keep in mind that Lean thinking does not end with the last planners. Lean thinking is important for all the people working on the project team.