So I read Matt Homan from time to time and the other day he had a really good post about the knowledge worker. The idea needs to ferment a bit more, but he put together some really good thoughts. My favorites:
"Knowledge workers are not like workers from the Industrial Revolution who were dependent on the employing organization providing the means of production (factories and machines). Today, knowledge workers themselves own the firm's means of production in their heads."
"The traditional metrics of productivity need to be replaced by judgment, and there is an enormous difference between a measurement and a judgment: a measurement requires only a stick; a judgment requires knowledge, insight, wisdom and discernment."
To add my own thoughts, if you look around at some of the really great companies of the last 20 years, you will find that the successful ones are those that have empowered their employees.
Last unbaked thought; I think many HR organizations are hard at work trying to figure out how to provide metrics around knowledge workers, but how do you guage someone that fails 9 times out of 10, but is beyond extremely successful on the 10th try. Extreme case, but look at the life of most entrepreneurs out there......