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A day in the life of a Knowledge Worker

29 Nov 2016 |

A day in the life of a Knowledge Worker

By Amy Cipolat, IQ Business

Knowledge Worker behaviour series comes to an end


For each of the last eight months, we have featured one of the eight facets of a Knowledge Worker (identified and put into practice at IQ Business: Learner, Teacher, Sharer, Maven, Linker, Helper, Networker, Innovator), aligned with the 3 Cs of development (capable, competent and competitive), featuring special people in our knowledge network who we think epitomise these behaviours. This month, we will round up this series with an holistic view of the eight facets of a Knowledge Worker.


Why “facets”, you may ask? Well, if you think of employees (knowledge workers) as companies’ greatest assets, which is particularly relevant in our business (a management consultancy where we value what our people know), then it follows to think of a knowledge worker as a precious gem. Now, think of holding that gem in your hand and turning it over and over, so that each facet of that gem catches the light as it moves. That is how knowledge worker behaviour operates – we all display different behaviours at different times depending on our role (I typically play at least the roles of project manager, mentor, teacher, helper and sharer before lunchtime), but the essence of a true knowledge worker is the realisation that we have the ability to play all of these roles and more.

Let us recap on what we have learnt about the eight facets of a knowledge worker over the last eight months:


Action is a crucial component of being innovative in an organisation. The Innovator (competitive level) knowledge worker behaviour means having an entrepreneurial mind-set and not being content with the status quo.

An open mind, inquisitiveness and a learning mind-set are required for the Networker (competitive level) knowledge worker behaviour, which is about establishing two-way communication and building relationships of value by connecting with individuals based on friendships or common objectives.

The Helper (competent level) knowledge worker behaviour means building genuine relationships with people and taking an interest in what they do, as well as being patient when helping others, even if you have explained something a hundred times before.

The Linker (competent level) knowledge worker behaviour is about being creative and engaging, as well as building relationships.

As “information specialists” (The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell) the Maven (competitive level) knowledge worker behaviour means ensuring that the background and context to the answer to a question is clear, as well as being willing to share and making oneself available to learn and share together.

The Sharer (capable level) knowledge worker behaviour means seeing the bigger picture and realising that you are only one small part of a broader spectrum of knowing and learning, and that what you have to share helps to develop that bigger picture.

Experience is key to the Teacher (competent level) knowledge worker behaviour. The best training that a Teacher in a business context can provide is not through theory, but through personal anecdotes, in that real life experience and practical implementation of theory adds the most value.

For our graduates, whom we interviewed soon after they completed IQ Business’s BasIQs school, the Learner (capable level) knowledge worker behaviour means being open-minded and embracing the idea of lifelong learning, as well as being “hungry to learn”.

We feel that only by harnessing the contribution that each of the knowledge worker behaviours can make to our work, can knowledge workers take their value-add to the next level of effectiveness, culminating in the final facet of a knowledge worker: the role model. This ninth knowledge worker behaviour is about being an example to your peers, and (a la Stephen Covey in The 8th Habit) finding your bright spot as a knowledge worker and inspiring others to find theirs.

So, keep that gem moving and growing as you traverse your own 3 Cs, and you can only shine brighter.

“The knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail. He can only be helped. But he must direct himself, and he must direct himself towards performance and contribution, that is, toward effectiveness.”       Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive (1967)