The Knowledge Economy is the environment within which we live and work
today. It impacts all work, both within organizations and the emerging workforce. The
Knowledge Economy relies on workers’ expertise (individual knowledge) and the informed
integration of this knowledge to move an organization in a positive direction. This article
describes a Knowledge Economy program (Project-based Internships) that enables
organizations and new workforce members to experience and grasp the importance of
knowledge work in sustaining and growing organizations. This is especially applicable to
the technology domain as the founders in this area are focused on their individual
knowledge of science and technology. They often need to build sustainable organizations
with knowledge work to deliver and sustain their expert inventions and/or discoveries.
Knowledge work has two distinct attributes that define its orientation and operation.
Knowledge workers are autonomous in their work and they are asset-thinkers, meaning that
all work is focused on a result, which will create value for an organization. Within these two
attributes, knowledge workers also must recognize the difference between quality and
quantity, use project structures, and continuously evaluate for learning and innovation.
Our current education system does not recognize the individual knowledge perspective in
shaping students’ experiences. Project-based work is structured to empower and enable
students’ experiences to be knowledge work to foster this thinking and its best practices and
to create the environment that supports knowledge work within the organizations that the
knowledge worker serves.
Various current-day methodologies are built into the structured project work, such as The Lean
Startup, the recognition of invisible capital and growth mindsets, building knowledge work
capabilities, and, finally, building an organizational environment in which success will thrive.
Keywords: Culture, knowledge work, knowledge environment, mindsets, communication, collaboration,
knowledge work expertise, data, information, knowledge, wisdom, action plan, experiential learning.
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