Talents, as I understand the word talent, own their own capital, their own means of production … their knowledge, their skills, their creativity. Knowledge workers don’t. Friedman writes more than once sentence like:
… the winners will be those who learn the habits, processes and skills more quickly. (The World is Flat, T. Friedman, p. 214)
A knowledge worker, as it was described by Peter Drucker (1975) was still part of an organization. You would give him a job and then, over time you monitor him and you try to replace his knowledge by implementing processes. This has happened during the last 30 years. Although we do have more and more people in companies with University degrees, with knowledge that would have enabled you in 1950 to run companies, villages or states, these people do routine jobs like writing software
My view on this for a couple of years was that industry tries to capture the tacit knowledge of people by writing up processes and to then put these processes into software applications to be able to devalue the “work” of the knowledge worker. At the end you can pay them less, because their knowledge is not worth anything anymore. And that the out-sourcing trend was a logical consequence based on this.
When I was in Brazil and heard about the huge Software Factories over there and their intention to become CMMi certificated I saw that I was right. The Software development industry tried to capture the knowledge in specifications and then bring it to Brazil because there you can use “knowledge worker” to work on the software to build applications more cheaply.
Friedman describes exactly this trend – he shows in his book that in India more and more people do routine “knowledge worker” jobs like tax papers, organization of events, data entry, content creation and and and for people in the USA. Because this is logical. Every businessman who can get the same “work” done for less will do it. So what happens for the people in USA or Europe?