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Why Is This Important
 
The Knowledge Worker

Product Development and Manufacturing has changed significantly over time.  Decades ago, manufacturing was a dirty, labor intensive job that required little education.  Efficiencies we gained by implementing new production equipment or processes.  Due to these increased efficiencies, America saw a fifty-fold increase in Productivity in the 20th century for the manual workers in Manufacturing.

In the 21st century, Product Development and Manufacturing is a complex process that relies significantly on information technology and computerized equipment.   Along with this change, we have seen a shift in our labor force from the manual worker to knowledge worker; the knowledge worker now makes up the majority of our workforce.  Knowledge work needs to be made more productive for our workers, companies, and societies to maintain and improve their prosperity.  The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is to increase the Productivity of the knowledge worker.  The most valuable asset of the 20th century company was its production equipment.  The most valuable asset of a 21st century company will be its knowledge workers and their productivity. 

Manual work is visible - you can see the physical inputs and outputs of the process.  Therefore, it is much easier to improve.  Since Frederick Taylor's work in the beginning of the 20th century, we have improved the manual worker's Productivity through Scientific Management and Industrial Engineering. 

Knowledge work is invisible - since the work is primarily in digital form, the inputs, outputs and process are not as easily evaluated as they are with manual work.  Since knowledge workers are paid much more than manual workers the benefits of increased Productivity far outweigh that of manual worker Productivity.  Research shows that a high-performance workforce will be most important to a companies future success.

high performance workforce
- Skills Gap Report, NAM, The Manufacturing Institute & Deloitte Consulting

The current Product Development process of manufacturers is performed by several knowledge workers that are employees of different companies that are located in different geographical locations.  To see the biggest increase in knowledge worker Productivity, we must not only focus on their personal productivity but more importantly on process productivity.  The better companies can streamline and systematically improve their Product Development process, the better, faster, and cheaper they will be able to develop products.

EngineersTime

It is the Productivity of the knowledge worker that the future prosperity and survival of developed economies will increasingly depend.  Decades from now, leadership in the world will move to the countries and industries that have most systematically and successfully increased the Productivity of the knowledge worker.

Therefore, the first mission of The Innovation Machine is to:

1)  Increase the Productivity of the Knowledge Worker.

 
 
 
     
     
 
 
         
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