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Peter Drucker Chapter 13

In: Business and Management

Submitted By prachieee
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Why did you select this chapter? What enlightened you? How will you use this in your career?

This chapter told me about the emergence of a new order of employees. In the age where there are millions of people constantly competing with each other to get noticed, be heard and land the perfect job opportunity, sometimes one can lose the plot. We often lose perspective of what is actually needed in a bid to be the best.
How do we define the best? Have they graduated from the best colleges? Do they have the best internships? Do they about everything? Do they have to know about everything? How does one stay at the top of their game in such cut-throat times? These are questions which have crossed almost every student’s mind and they crossed my mind too. In fact, they consumed me so that my life started revolving around resolving these questions.
We start equipping ourselves with skills and knowledge we think will make us viable employees but just having a particular skill is not the end. It is a means to the end, as the author mentioned.
He spoke in depth about the knowledge worker and what motivates them to do work. Today, a knowledge worker is a company’s asset. They are the centre when information is processed, assimilated and disseminated in the form of ideas and action plans. They tie their skills, intelligence, and imagination and apply it to real life situations in a way that a computer will not. This just proves that human capital cannot be neglected at the end of the day. This fascinated me. Day by day, people (manual worker) are being replaced by machines but there is still one valuable asset that no machine can provide .i.e. perception.
I consider myself to be a very perceptive individual and have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and problem solving. I could see myself as the ‘knowledge worker’ the author described in the chapter. And I also knew what he meant when he spoke about effectiveness.
“Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results. By themselves, they only set limits to what can be attained.”
This statement truly made an impact on me. If I want to see myself as a valuable asset of a great company in the future I need to be seen as an effective knowledge worker that can bring some value to the table. But how do I know if I am effective enough? * There is no quantifiable scale of measurement to the effectiveness of a person but as mentioned in the chapter, effectiveness can be seen in the work. When the work can be done without creating a lot of chaos and when the number of people required to work is moderate or just the right amount, you know that you are effective. This is an important lesson I want to take back home with me. It made me realise that you don’t have to be all over the place in order to show that you’re doing substantial work. It has to be a seamless process.

* Knowledge workers immediately set themselves apart wherever they go. Invariably, they end up attracting more and more work towards them. Organisations need them and it’s inevitable that they will end up drowning in that kind of work. But often that work can be just “operating” and maybe of no real value to the organization. They need to learn how to deal with that in order to be effective.

* Each knowledge worker is different from the other. One may have more expertise in one field as compared to the other. Knowledge workers need to learn how to collaborate with each other effectively in order to obtain optimum results. But why restrict this practice to knowledge workers? Every person is responsible to make sure that they can allocate the work to their best resources.

* Every employee is an Executive today. The author mentioned that the corporate landscape today has evolved. Each employee right from the bottom rung to the top senior management are doing the same kind of work i.e. “plan, organize, integrate, motivate and measure.”

The degree of influence of the work might vary depending on the seniority of the employee but eventually we are all floating the same boat. If we want to make a difference in any organization, we need to think this way in order to create concrete result. This is the only way one can own their work and be accomplished. I completely agree with the author’s viewpoint on this matter.

He also mentioned a story about an American convoy in Vietnam and their guerrilla war tactics. The American soldier said that it is eventually upto the soldier to make the final decision when they are in the middle of a battle. He can only train them, lead them and give them a direction. The final outcome is in the hands of the others.

We can apply this situation in a lot of our daily life situations. It goes to show that every step matters and we as employees may not realise how each action that we take has a larger implication on the functioning of the company.

I want to remember this when I’m in a professional work environment. I want to be able to work with such an attitude where I own all my decisions. Not just for my personal interest but for the company’s interest. Maybe, that will be a motivating factor in me cultivating productive habits.

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