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Knowing vs Doing

The Biggest Secret to Improvement

I’ve done it, and I know you have, too. Do you ever get back from a conference or full-day meeting and are so full of ideas that you want to implement right away in your organization? Like, right NOW! You have pages and pages of notes, photos of slides from your phone, and maybe even some clever tweets? Not to mention a thousand great ideas spinning in your brain. Yeah, me too. 

The problem is we have a desire to improve, and we even have lots of great ideas about what to do. Unfortunately, we all too often fail to ever implement any of it.  It’s called the “knowing-doing gap.

In order to improve, at anything, we need to cross this “knowing-doing gap.” But how? One way is to actually create a gap after you consume lots of information or material. STOP. Yes, just stop. Make a commitment to not consume anything else until you create something with what you have already heard or read. But don’t just sit there. Think about what you’ve learned. How can I apply this material to myself or my organization?  Is this relevant to where we currently are?  Could someone else in my organization use this information or find it helpful?  Once you’ve done some thinking, write down your thoughts. And then save what’s pertinent in a folder on your computer that you can access later to use yourself or share with others.

This one simple step can go a long way toward closing the knowing-doing gap and making sure we implement what we’ve learned. Let’s make a commitment to CREATE and DO more than we consume and know.