Knowledge Is Power, But Only If You Use It
“I keep learning, but I never seem to get any smarter.” That’s a common concern that plagues the business world. Companies foot the bill to send their employees to a variety of training sessions each year. Individuals sign up for seminars designed to help them learn new skills and maximize their potential in both the business and personal arenas. We read books, listen to CDs and watch videos –– all in a quest to acquire new knowledge. Yet, many of us cannot seem to retain and implement all of this newly acquired knowledge in any significant way.
Enter best-selling author Ken Blanchard, Success Motivation Institute founder Paul J. Meyer and motivational speaker Dick Ruhe. Together, these authors explore the “missing link” between the knowledge we acquire and our daily actions in Know Can Do!: Put Your Know-How Into Action. In it, they offer a deceptively simple, yet highly effective remedy for closing what they call the “knowing-doing gap,” so that all of those seminars you attend, books you read and videos you watch won’t end up as one more vague listing on your resume or take up space on your bookshelf. According to the authors, “We think Know Can Do! can make a real difference by giving people simple tools to close the knowing-doing gap and make their knowledge come alive.”
Tackling the Missing Link
Blanchard, Meyer and Ruhe present their theory on closing the knowing-doing gap by taking the reader on a journey following their fictional unnamed author of successful motivational books. The author becomes frustrated when he realizes that while people seem to enjoy his writing, they don’t seem to actually be implementing the principles. Thus, he becomes fascinated with the gap between what people know and what they do, and how to bridge it. In his quest for this missing link, the author meets an entrepreneur who has successfully solved the riddle. Know Can Do!’s narrative structure allows readers to gain a true picture of the process involved in putting knowledge into action since they witness how Blanchard, Meyer and Ruhe’s fictional author closes his own knowing-doing gap with the help of his new mentor.
Learn Less, Accentuate the Positive and Repeat
Over the course of the book, Blanchard, Meyer and Ruhe outline the three obstacles that prevent people from implementing what they learn. These obstacles are: (1) information overload, resulting from trying to learn too much about too many things; (2) negative filtering, where most of us engage in negative thought processes that prevent opening our minds to opportunities; and (3) lack of follow-up, the necessary plan to put our newly-acquired knowledge into action is missing.
Through the course of Know Can Do!, each of these obstacles are covered via “discussions” between the author and the entrepreneur, as well as the solutions that stem from these talks. In time, the author learns that the knowing-doing gap can be closed by (1) learning smaller bits of information more frequently instead of learning larger chunks of information less frequently; (2) listening with a positive mindset; and (3) implementing “Green-Light Thinking,” which involves focusing on the positives of a possibility before introducing any cautions. Though these may not be entirely new concepts, the authors have pulled together a successful and succinct motivational title that has already garnered praise from early readers.