Summary of Thinking For a Living

How to Get Better Performances and Results from Knowledge Workers

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

Thinking For a Living book summary
A Babson professor provides pragmatic advice on understanding, managing and inspiring knowledge workers


9 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Thomas H. Davenport, who holds the President’s Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College and who is the co-author of Information Ecology, addresses a crucial question for contemporary businesses: What is the best way to understand, manage and inspire knowledge workers? Davenport offers pragmatic advice and office-based case studies about knowledge workers, who provide the engine for corporate growth. The more knowledge workers a company has, the more profitable it is likely to be. Knowledge workers understand they must innovate. In return, they prefer less structured work times and environments, so organize your workplace for their comfort and productivity. Managers who expect to specify staffers’ work processes will encounter resistance from knowledge workers, who prefer to figure out their own methods. Group your knowledge workers in clusters to facilitate communication among them, and sort them by tasks: Finding knowledge – librarians; creating knowledge – scientists; packaging knowledge – editors; and applying knowledge – accountants, librarians, and such. Forward-looking companies prioritize these workers’ intelligence and autonomy, and understand that the best (and perhaps most frustrating for those used to command-and-control) management method with these workers is “HSPALTA” – hire smart people and leave them alone. Take care to adopt only those new technologies that fit and assist your firm’s existing processes. Always consult with your knowledge workers before bringing in new systems or techniques that affect their work. Encourage them to tap into their existing, diverse social networks to advance your firm and their own knowledge and abilities. Those in their networks will reciprocate, but you must become comfortable with your workers communicating with their peers in other venues. getAbstract strongly recommends Davenport’s wise overview and practical advice to knowledge workers and their managers, and to HR officers, entrepreneurs, and business or tech students.

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

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    The Knowledge Economy
    Once, time was money. Then money was money. Now, knowledge is money. Learn how to make it, save it, spend it and profit from it.

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