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Part Three

Introducing the Knowledge Work Maturity Model™

In part 1 we talked about WHY the knowledge work industry is undergoing radical change and how pursuing collective intelligence could completely reshape the industry today.

Part 2 revealed HOW pursuing ten statistically proven strategies can drive collective intelligence and knowledge work maturity, and we left you with five questions to ask yourself about your own organization.

In the final part, we combine everything and introduce the Knowledge Work Maturity Model™.

Remember, this is just a taste of the Knowledge Work Maturity Model™ – the full report has so much more that will allow you to benchmark yourself more accurately, compare yourself to other Knowledge Work Organizations and go deep on each phase.

The why, the which and the how of the knowledge work maturity model

Collective intelligence has its roots in science — sociology,
sociobiology, political science, and anthropology. It’s typically
considered the outcome of the collaboration, collective efforts,
and competition of many individuals that typifies consensus
decision-making or crowdsourcing.

In a commercial knowledge work context, we’re defining
collective intelligence as successfully operationalizing past and
present experience, data, knowledge, best practices, and IP
by building an infrastructure and culture of collaboration that
values and rewards diverse knowledge resulting in superior
employee and customer experiences, market leadership,
growth, and organizational value.

Knowledge work organizations (KWOs)
KWOs are either a professional firm (e.g., a legal firm, financial
services firm, tax firm, accountancy firm) or specialist teams
within an organization (e.g., corporate law, corporate finance,
regulatory, tax, audit procurement, HR department) that relies
on digital documents containing intellectual property (IP) that
requires protection and governance.

The knowledge work industry (KWI)
This is the collective term we use to refer to the full dataset.

Knowledge work (in a commercial context)
Commercial knowledge work draws on a deep level of
accumulated experience and expertise combined with critical
analysis and communication skills to translate documented
processes into meaningful action. It involves processing
and interpreting information through the lens of context to
understand its relevance, applicability, and the associated
risks of using it to solve problems, deliver services, and
generate value.

Knowledge workers
Knowledge workers continuously engage in processes
that create and exploit knowledge — typically by applying
theoretical and analytical knowledge acquired through formal
training — to develop and deliver products and services.

The future of work is knowledge work, and the future of knowledge work is collective intelligence.

The prevalence and sophistication of technologies designed to support knowledge work is increasing exponentially. The knowledge management sector is predicted to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2026 (Drexel 2021)

"The more knowledge intensive the economy, the stronger the emphasis on the producing, diffusing, and applying knowledge." (Koster 2022)

Until now, there is limited consensus on the most effective way to design processes, build infrastructure and create a culture to deliver profitable knowledge work. The Knowledge Work Maturity Model™ addresses this gap.

he Knowledge Work Maturity Model™ is designed to help organizations operating in the knowledge economy reliant on digital documents containing IP that requires protection and governance.

These organizations can be businesses e.g., Legal Firms, Tax Firms, Accountancy Firms, or specialist teams within businesses e.g., corporate law, corporate finance, procurement, HR etc.

These Knowledge Work Organizations (KWOs) and we refer to them collectively as the Knowledge Work Industry.

For those of you who enjoyed statistics class at university, the full methodology is explained in the final report so feel free to geek out there.

For now, we are going to keep our explanations of the numbers at a high level.

2,000 KWOs that took our survey were scored on the ten key drivers of Knowledge Work Maturity.

These results were correlated with key knowledge work outcomes (Collective intelligence and market leadership) and each organization was awarded a score on a 0 – 200 scale.

The five phases of knowledge work maturity in focus

Remember this is just a taste of the Knowledge Work Maturity Model™ – the full report has so much more that will allow you to benchmark yourself more accurately, compare yourself to other KWOs and go deep on each phase.

This is just to get you thinking and familiar with the five stages and we hope it makes you want to read more.



Global Volume

12% of global KWOs


Invested in document management to drive efficiency and cost-effective delivery to clients.


Intrigued, Learning, Data-driven

5 fact summary

  1. Internally focused

  2. Prioritizing productivity and cost savings

  3. Process improvement trumps technology investment or evolving their culture

  4. Informal knowledge management strategy and budget process

  5. Prefer to take one step at a time

Business outcomes currently experienced

  • Workflow and document management efficiencies

  • Cost savings across the business

Priority goals

  • Improve employee productivity and collaboration.

  • Reduce costs through operational efficiencies


Productivity, that's the first thing I hear when something's not right with the document management system is, oh my God, we're losing billable hours.

Senior Partner
Law Firm

Knowledge work index score

Global volume

80 - 119

28% of global KWOs


Invested in knowledge management practices, security, and collaboration technologies that allow them to proactively deliver higher-value work and offer enhanced customer experiences. 


Organized, customer-focused, collaborative

5 fact summary

1.       Compliance and rigor are top priorities

2.       Supporting effective collaboration is their current organizational imperative

3.       Investing significantly in transforming to be digital-first

4. Open to the power of knowledge work as one component of their future

5.       Committed to investing in serving their clients more effectively but are not yet where they want to be

Business outcomes currently experienced

·Improved stability and business resiliency – reduced IT costs and risk

·Improved knowledge worker productivity – increased billable hours

Priority goals

·Better manage risk

·Use technology to deliver a best-in-class CX


In the beginning, it really was as simple as a new attorney coming on board, he or she doesn't know anything, where will this person go look up for stuff? Instead of sitting down with this person, we want to have a knowledge base for attorneys, so they have immediate access to everything.

Director of Document Management
Law Firm

Knowledge Work Index Score


Global Volume

28% of global KWO


KWOs investing in scaling and diversifying through secure, collaborative knowledge work, building value in the business and for clients and employees.


Experiential, Growth-focused, Competitive

5 fact summary

1. Share knowledge to build value for their organization, their clients, and their employees

2. Operate collaboratively

3. Committed to digital transformation

4. Strong and functional knowledge work infrastructure

5. Developing a culture of knowledge work

Business outcomes currently experienced

·Improved knowledge worker productivity – focus on higher value work (increased bill rates)

·Increased scale and diversification – new revenue streams

Priority goals

·Better meet employee and customers’ needs and expectations of value

·Increase competitive differentiation and open new markets


We’ve had a hard time expanding further, because of everybody's bandwidth, the turnover rate, and efficiency. We are now considering whether the tools can either help us increase efficiency or reduce redundancies in workflow and process. We all need to be focused on higher value work.

Law Firm

Knowledge Work Index Score


Global volume

23% of global KWOs


Building a culture and infrastructure enabling diverse knowledge to be documented, shared, and used to drive profitable growth for both the organization and its clients.


Inclusive, Strategic, Future-forward

5 fact summary

1. Continually future-proofing their KWO

2. Committed to knowledge work as the key growth opportunity

3. Actively investing to rebalance historical tech investment by evolving their knowledge work culture

4. Pursuing collective intelligence

5. Exude leadership internally and externally

Business outcomes currently experienced:

·Improved employee experience – reduced employee churn

·Improved customer experience – lower cost acquisition and increased lifetime value

Priority goals:

·Deliver frictionless and valuable experiences to employees and customers

·Proactively add value to customer and employee relationships


We know that a happy employee and a productive employee, which means they're going to deliver better services to our clients.

Law Firm

Knowledge Work Index Score 160-200
Global volume 9% of global KWOs
Description: Single-mindedly pursuing collective intelligence with continuous innovation, diversity, inclusion, and a culture where employees meet personal goals, clients enjoy superior value, and the organization’s market value grows.
Mindset Innovative, Creative, Thriving
5 fact summary 1. True leaders2. Relentlessly pursue innovation3. Committed to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion4. Technology and culture evolve in partnership5. Creating commercial benefits through collective intelligence
Business outcomes currently experienced: ·Institutionalized knowledge – increased market value·Increased employee advocacy – lower cost to acquire employees and customers
Priority goals: ·Enable a culture of knowledge work the drives collective intelligence


We try to think very hard about how work gets done, how time gets managed, how knowledge gets shared and how we can be better are serving clients. We think about the people involved and we build our technology around creating the right environment for people to do their highest value work. It’s a journey. It’s about how you make decisions and investments.

Law Firm

Download the knowledge work maturity report now

To gain a deeper understanding of the Knowledge Work Maturity Model, where your organization sits, and how to unlock collective intelligence, explore the complete research now.