October 24, 1997
For the first time in history, where employees work with their minds them with their muscles. Their value lies in their mental abilities and their knowledge. Collectively, they are the “mind” of the company – a mind spread across many individual brands. The authors of this breakthrough book call it “the distributed mind.”
The distributed mind is a powerful force, for of two heads are better than one, imagine how much better 20 heads are – if it is possible to manage them all! That’s the fascinating subject of The Distributed Mind: How progressive companies are creating teams of “knowledge workers” and coordinating their individual efforts into a web of high performance.
Using interviews they conducted with hundreds of knowledge workers, Kimball Fisher and Mareen Duncan Fisher provide an intriguing look at how to:
Understand the characteristics of knowledge work teams (what they are, how they operate, and how to maintain their productivity)
- Use the innovative concept, “vertical multi-skilling”
- Work with creative, strong-willed, independent people
- Install self-regulating processes to avoid hierarchical controls
- Organize multiple specialists into a cohesive unit
- Share knowledge Without creating information overload
- Coordinate activities one half the team is spread across the globe (or never in the office)
- Understand the critical role of technology in this new work structure
- Grasp a new organizational form, called “the learning lattice”
- Learn the seven key competencies of knowledge work team leaders
Dozens of case studies and examples show that “knowledge workers” aren’t just engineers, lawyers, and programmers – they are the predominant workers in virtually every industry, at all levels and in all functions. They represent a fundamental change in the nature of organizations and the way work gets done. The Distributed Mind not only reveals this new world of work, it helps you make sense of it – and make the most of it.
Kimball Fisher and Mareen Duncan Fisher (Portland, OR) are cofounders of the Fisher Group, and internationally known consulting and training company that specializes in the development of high-performance work teams. Their clients include many Fortune 500 companies, and they have worked extensively across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Mr. Fisher is the author of the bestselling Leading Self-Directed Work Teams and co-author of Tips for Teams.