Chapter 7

Hacking the Knowledge Gap

The most profoundly overlooked aspect of learning is recognizing the necessity of unlearning.

Knowledge matters; but when it comes to leadership, knowledge isn’t about being right—it’s about achieving the right outcomes. Here’s the thing: No one has all the answers, so why even attempt to pretend that you do? The biggest barrier to the acquisition, distribution, and application of knowledge is a leader’s ego. While the best leaders possess several hacks to deal with personal and organizational knowledge gaps, the most important hack is for leaders to get out of their own way and out of the way of those they lead.

It is an organization’s ability to collect and convert data into information, turn information into knowledge, and knowledge into an operating advantage that allows an enterprise to effectively address current needs as well as to strategically drive innovation and forward planning.

Put more simply, a corporation’s employees must be able to acquire knowledge (learning), transfer knowledge (out of the head and into an information system), apply knowledge (from the information system into an actionable event), manage knowledge (execute with focus, timing, and precision), and secure knowledge (keep it from evaporating or even worse from walking out the door to a competitor).

Some would say we’ve moved from information and knowledge workers to entire knowledge enterprises. While this may be true, all the institutional knowledge in the world ...

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