Tapping into the unique skills of knowledge workers requires leaders to adopt new ways of thinking and to apply new models of organization to the workplace. According to Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter in Executive Excellence, “Your structures should be very loose and very flexible: less hierarchy, more opportunity for people to play many different roles. Sometimes you may be a team leader, and at other times you may be a team member. Also, be very flexible with respect to titles, and very fluid in terms of moving people from project to project, depending on the requirements. And be very project oriented, rather than fixed-job oriented.”Knowledge workers are not limited to the world of high-tech, New Economy business. They are found in every industry and every business and, as Peter Drucker has pointed out, in some surprising places — including symphony orchestras. And one orchestra in particular — New York City-based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra — has become a model for Kanter’s new kind of loose and flexible organization.
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