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I wanted to share an interesting article from Harvard Business Review that describes how leading corporations are taking steps to enable their knowledge workers to be more productive. The article mentions three specific approaches a company can try and describes their pros and cons. The three steps are: "1) Enact a sharp “decree” to force a specific change in behavior. 2) Build smart support systems and 3) Lead by example."
Usually knowledge workers, especially seasoned ones, will not react well to decrees. They will usually either ignore the decrees or try to figure out a way around them. Building smart support systems and leading by example, however, can be very effective methods to help knowledge workers to become more productive.
From my personal experience, nothing is more important in getting people to change the way they work that having senior leadership lead by example and also building a compensation system that rewards knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Lawyers are the classic example of knowledge workers, they do all their work with their brains. How then might law firm leaders consider the approaches described in the article to make lawyers more productive at their firms? Please share your comments and thoughts.