Knowing “What” to do is not Enough: Turning Knowledge into Action By Jeff Pfeffer & Robert Sutton
Post on 04-Jan-2016
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Knowing What to do is not Enough:Turning Knowledge into ActionBy Jeff Pfeffer & Robert Sutton
We intuitively understand that knowing is not enough$60 billion spent on training annuallyTraining not implementedBillions for management consultantsWhy dont top performers look to the Ivy League Schools?
Is there a gap?Even if evidence is strong, not always adoptedPerformance not transferred across firms
Does it Matter?Theres too much information out there to successfully hoard many secretsMost interventions are about things already knownAlthough knowledge creation, benchmarking, and knowledge management may be important, transforming it into action is at least as important
Problems with Knowledge ManagementFirst, the conception of knowledge as explicit and quantifiableWe treat knowledge like a warehouse itemDo we build it into products?Do we develop new products based on it?Working Knowledge knowledge is transferred between people by stories, gossip and watching others work.
Problems with Knowledge ManagementFirst (continued)Tacit knowledge cannot be stored readilyKnowledge storage and retrieval systems are often not developed by those who will use them
Problems with Knowledge ManagementSecond, it is conceptualized as distinct from philosophy or valuesThird, we overestimate the importance of the tangible, specific, programmatic aspects of knowledge and underestimate the underlying philosophy that guides what is done and how
Why Typical KM Practices Make the Gap WorseEmphasize technology and transfer of codified informationTreats knowledge as a tangible thing and separates it from its useFormal systems cant easily store tacit knowledgeThe people responsible dont understandPhilosophy is ignored
Turning Knowledge into ActionWhy before how: Philosophy is importantKnowing comes from doing and teaching others howAction counts more than elegant plans and conceptsThere is no doing without mistakes. What is the companys response?
Turning Knowledge into ActionFear fosters knowing-doing gaps, so drive it outBeware of false analogies: fight the competition, not each otherMeasure what matters and what can help turn knowledge into actionWhat leaders do, how they spend their time and how they allocate resources, matters