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Knowledge Worker's Credo

  Fred Nickols 2012


Back in the 1980s, when I first began trying to interest my clients in the shift to knowledge work and some of its implications for managers and the practice of management, I put together a short presentation that included my personal credo as a knowledge worker.  I have been meaning for some time now to add it to the knowledge management section of my web site.  After digging it out and looking it over, I can see why some clients were less than thrilled to read it.  On the other hand, it is still true.  So, here it is.
  • I seek out and I set direction.
  • I resist supervision; I welcome support.
  • I work at my own pace within the constraints posed by the situation.
  • I put my name on what I do -- and the names of those who contribute in any way to any endeavor for which I am accountable.
  • I promote, praise, recognize and reward accomplishment and service.
  • I contribute more than I consume.
  • I seek control over myself and influence over events about me.
  • I care about my work -- it is a reflection of me.

A lot has transpired since I first drafted the credo above.  That said, I would not retract a word of it.  However, I would add to it. To wit:

  • I care about the enterprise of which I am a part and I will do my best to protect it against all threats -- whether they are external or internal.
  • I care about the people with whom I work; they are not just co-workers or colleagues -- they are also friends, allies and comrades.
  • I refuse to simply "obey orders" and "go along with the program."  
  • I will hold my superiors as accountable for their actions as they hold me accountable for mine.
  • I will not turn a "blind eye" or a "deaf ear" to wrongdoing at any level of any organization of which I am a part.
  • I will do my best to share what I know with those who are interested in learning from me and I will do my best to learn from those who are skilled, knowledgeable or competent in areas I am not.
  • I will at all times strive to advance and improve the knowledge base that undergirds my skills, abilities and accomplishments.

I will happily entertain additions to this credo from other knowledge workers.  



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