Knowledge and Information

Knowledge is often seen as a rich form of information. A more useful definition of knowledge is that it is about know-how and know-why. It is important to note that to make knowledge productive you need information. Knowing how to make a cake is not sufficient – you need the list of ingredients. And to decide what cake to make – you need information – the tastes of the consumers of the cake.

Know-why is also important. If an ingredient of the cake was unavailable – knowing the purpose of that ingredient might help a knowledgeable cook substitute an alternative. In fact know-why is often more important than know-how as it allows you to be creative – to fall back on principles – to re-invent your know-how.

Today, the creation and application of new knowledge is essential to the survival of almost all businesses. They include:

  • Intangible products – ideas, processes, information are taking a growing share of global trade from the traditional, tangible goods of the manufacturing economy.
  • Increasingly the only sustainable competitive advantage is continuous innovation. In other words the application of new knowledge.
  • Increasing turnover of staff. People don’t take a job for life any more. When someone leaves an organization their knowledge walks out of the door with them.
  • As small and often solo businesses, our problem is that we don’t know what we know.
  • We are talking about sharing knowledge and information – not just information.
  • The purpose of knowledge sharing is to help each of us to meet our business objectives.
  • Learning to make knowledge productive is as important if not more important than sharing knowledge.

Knowledge is a perishable and can be increasingly short-lived. If you do not make use of your knowledge then it rapidly loses its value. Sharing knowledge is a synergistic process – you get more out than you put in. If you share a product idea or a way of doing things with another person – then just the act of putting your idea into words or writing will help shape and improve that idea. If you get into dialogue with another person then you will benefit from their knowledge, from their unique insights and improve your ideas further.

NAPO WDC is fortunate to have a very experienced group of Golden Circle members who want to share their knowledge with us. Please join the meeting on Dec. 7 and learn more know-how and know- why.

“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.” ~ Dau Voire


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