Dickeson--Understanding Knowledge Workers
We know that people assimilate information in a variety of ways. Some get it by hearing it, some by reading, others by diagrams and charts, still others from cartoon pictographs or from video clips. Some get it from Shewhart or Gantt charts, tables or pie diagrams, benchmarking, or Pareto stacks, or pyramids, or symbolic logic.
Some people, like myself, find that actually manipulating data in spreadsheets lends meaning to it, interacting with information. Translating information to dollars—providing monetary impact—gives meaning to top management. Are we thinking about assimilation using multimedia and group interaction for information in printing? Show me some evidence. Please.
In a recent article, I suggested that we must make a transition to electronic "publishing." If "war is too important to be left to the generals," we now declare that "process and administrative information of a printing company is too important to be left to the MIS department." We have to become information "publishers" with our eyes on the prize of information assimilation efficiency, promoting sound decisions and action.
How we gonna do dat?
Who's going to lead us? Who will structure the thinking? Keep us
focused on the task? Will it be the suppliers with extranet linkage to plant information? It seems doubtful that most of them have yet articulated what their own knowledge workers need.
Who shall be the instruments of change? Shall it be the industry associations—GATF, PIA, NAPL, R&E Council, GCA, Web Offset Section? Do they have a culture that promotes change?
What about all the business management software system suppliers? Could Quebecor or Donnelley accept industry responsibility?
Most likely, it will be some now unknown or unsuspected entrepreneur in Keokuk, IA; Cut and Shoot, TX; or Truth or Consequences, NM. You'll find her on a Website on the Internet, and she'll say, "Let there be light."