Tag Archives: knowledge

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smart approaches

Smart Approaches and Being Well-Educated

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Do you use smart approaches to work and strategy? Are you or your team well-educated?

People often talk about being smart, doing smart things, and how to become more successful. Can you be smart and not well-educated, or vice-versa?

Traditional education systems have faced a lot of challenges over the past few years.

Many people suggest that the pendulum is swinging a different direction for higher education. What was once considered essential, or a dream for first generation college degrees within a family, has waned slightly.

Education still matters. It matters a great deal. However, you can be well-educated and not necessarily make smart choices or decisions.

What matters the most for your job, your career, or your business?

Smart Approaches

More experience sometimes suggests smarter. When people have tried something and it doesn’t work, they often try again just a with a little more knowledge.

Learning can happen in many ways. It can happen from experience, from reading, listening, watching, and from a formal setting.

A combination of knowledge and experience seems likely to produce the best results.

Experience only, may give you skills, yet, at the same time it may limit knowledge base to a somewhat fixed opinion.

Can you learn commonsense? Can someone teach it?

Success for many people in the workplace comes more from navigation rather merit. It matters more how you can navigate situations and people rather than the technical aspects of work.

Both are needed, but both are not often in abundance.

Doing things the way you were taught may not always mean you’re doing things right. It is true for what you’ve read, learned, and even what you have experienced.

Being smart often matters more.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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shared knowledge

Shared Knowledge, Are You Using It?

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Do you move through your day by analyzing or utilizing shared knowledge? Is the knowledge you seek or use, universal? Is it manipulated?

Many people accept what they discover in writings or pictures as valid and reliable. It’s been a universal truth for thousands of years. Belief systems develop from the amazement of things that can’t otherwise be explained.

It is certainly nothing new.

Do you remember something from when you were five years old? What about ten years old, or just three or four years ago?

Do you member what you did during this month last year?

Memory Recall

Humans are blessed with the ability to learn and recall. The power of your mind is amazing. Your mind can also play some tricks on you. You might remember details a little bit differently across time.

Like the big fish story, your memories once recalled get stored again. When you store them for the second, third, or one-hundredth time, that memory might be a little bit different from the original.

What we learn and believe is based on information. Information shared from others or searched for and discovered.

What is being shared?

Shared Knowledge

The story that you tell in your workplace today is something you’ve shared. It may be something you don’t even realize that you’ve shared. How you dress, interact, and set the example. What you do or how you react to pressure, stress, and the unexpected.

Recognized, or not, you’re sharing something.

Across time in your workplace all of the daily interactions whether they are considered good or bad, become part of the culture.

What you pass along, pass down, hand down, or teach, has an opportunity to become shared knowledge.

What people remember and how they remember it may shift or drift from its original meaning. The written word, pictures, signs, and videos may be searched for and honored or subject to ridicule and disbelief.

It’s not really anything new. It’s been happening for many centuries.

How you use information will determine its value.

Be cautious of information that has been manipulated, misunderstood, or misused.

What you share comes with responsibility.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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finding instructions

Finding Instructions May Be All That You Need

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Finding instructions may be the missing piece, except when the willingness to put in the effort is absent.

Some have considered YouTube to be a game-changer. The hobby mechanic likely loves YouTube. The same is true for the 1980’s era MTV crowd who want to have their own private stream of music videos. This online video-sharing platform is still evolving, from offers of amateur reality TV to fashion shows to home improvements.

One hundred years ago if you needed to know how to work on a gasoline engine you probably needed a book. Otherwise, the knowledge had to be handed down from someone else in the know.

Fifty years ago, if your clothes dryer broke a belt you may have called a repairman. Today, if you have the willingness to put in the effort you likely can discover how to repair it yourself from an online video.

This type of access to knowledge, information, and instructions has never been easier. Yet it still requires one important thing, a willingness to do the work.

Finding Instructions

Most people don’t lack the ability to source the how-to, they lack the willingness of the want-to.

One argument is time. The time it takes to learn or the time it takes to do the task.

A house cleaner, a yard landscaper, or a swimming pool caretaker all provide some type of service to the purchaser. It may not be necessary, but it is a convenience or luxury.

In your job or career, you may not have the same luxury.

Do you want to grow in your workplace? Do you want to advance your knowledge or skills?

It has never been easier to find the instructions.

There is still a question though, do you have the willingness to do more?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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box checkers

Box Checkers Don’t Get the Value of Expertise

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Task masters like to check the box. Box checkers often forget or fail to understand one important thing.

The value of expertise.

People sometimes view education as a box checked. Get the certificate, get the degree, check the box.

In your workplace boxes are often checked. Did the data get entered, the messages sent, responses provided, and the calendar updated? Yup, boxes checked.

It can go much deeper.

What do you have a budget for? Office supplies? OK, great let’s spend some money. Budget spent; box checked.

There are boxes checked everywhere.

When it comes to employee growth, development, and career success you may want to pay closer attention before you just check the box.

Box Checkers

Expertise has value.

If it didn’t, anyone could fix their car. Anyone could build a house, fix their computer, or understand what is wrong when they feel ill.

They could solve their own legal problems, repair a dental cavity, and cut their own hair.

It is true for workplace culture development, employee training and coaching, and for the technical aspects of every job.

That free webinar? Not much with real value is free. Someone is paying or it is a sales pitch. Is there some value? Sure maybe, but it is likely very limited.

You can probably learn how to make a smoothie, change a setting in your software, or refinish an old wooden cabinet by watching quick video or reading a blog post. Yet, you probably haven’t mastered the craft.

People can stand in front of a room, or get on a Zoom session, and talk about a PowerPoint to the audience. Are they an expert?

If your goal is to check the box, you can consider it is already done.

If the anticipated outcome is a change in the results, a gain in knowledge or skill, or the timely production of an error free product, you may need an expert.

Skills and expertise are built by learning and practicing across time.

If you’re going to skydive would you want your parachute packed by someone who just watched a video titled, “How to pack a parachute”?

Can it be done?

Yes, box checked.

You’re now good to go.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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sacrificing experience

Sacrificing Experience for Checking the Informed Box

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There is information everywhere. Every place we step, turn, or take a rest. Information is plentiful and knowledge is abundant. Are you sacrificing experience for information?

In workforce development circles the chatter is often about experiential learning. On the surface many believe this means hands-on learning.

Experiential or Hands On?

Hands-on learning is can be experiential and it is important for the carpenter, the mechanic, and the electrician.

Are there other forms of hands-on learning?

Hands-on doesn’t always guarantee it is experiential. Experiential learning is about the act of doing something and then being able to reflect about it.

In seminars, it is the debrief following the subgroup exercise. The case study with a question and answer component, or perhaps even the often-dreaded role-play.

Confused?

Understanding Information and Experience

The confusion exists because of our comprehension of the word experience.

As people we connect experience to motion. Turning the screwdriver, cutting the board to make it fit just right, or setting the torque specs for the cylinder head.

Learning to do it just right comes from experience. Because of the experience we can feel it, and reflect on it.

Today we have more opportunities than ever before to gather information. We’re plastered with information.

New age vehicles deliver more opportunities than ever. We have podcasts, social media posts, and YouTube, just to name a few.

We are exposed to information on a grand scale. Does it make us smarter? Does it improve our experience?

Sacrificing Experience

In a World full of opportunities to gather more information it is important to remember that information on its own does not necessarily improve performance. Our learning and the ability to contribute in the future often develop from experience.

We may be able to recite information but not do the job.

Having the new employee watch several hours of training videos doesn’t necessarily improve their competence. The same is true about the podcast or the technical specifications sheet.

Are you reflecting or just absorbing?

Be careful about confusing knowledge with experience.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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knowledge equalizer

Knowledge Equalizer and What You Study

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Knowledge is often considered to be power. Those in the know versus those who don’t know. What you study may be the great knowledge equalizer.

Jack’s hobby is gardening. He knows much more about growing vegetables than the average person. He reads everything he can find about creating the perfect gardening environment.

Susan loves cosmetics and beauty aids. She watches hours of makeup videos, reads on-line blogs on the subject, and knows hundreds of tricks and tips.

James is into big diesel pickup trucks. He watches videos, studies hop-up literature, and attends every swamp meet he can find. His truck is awesome and everyone in his small town seeks him out for diesel hop-up advice.

Technology and Knowledge

Just three decades ago it was much harder to access information.

In the workplace, the data processing department held the key to what you wanted to know, only, very few could access it.

Green bar continuous form paper spewed from line printers in climate-controlled rooms with false floors. The computer operator assembled reports in 14 7/8 inch hanging binders.

A few of the more advanced executives had a green or amber monochrome monitor in the corner of their office but many those didn’t know how to log on.

Knowledge was definitely power, only very few had access.

Knowledge Equalizer

Today it is a completely different World for those in first World countries. Information, lots of information is available right at your fingertips.

You can read, listen, and watch information right from the palm of your hand. You can study whatever you choose. If you study the information, becoming knowledgeable about a subject happens faster than ever before.

Certainly, data reliability and validity matter. The quality of information sources needs to be scrutinized. Facts will always need to be separated from opinions. Yet, the opportunity to gain power through knowledge has never been easier.

What should you know more about?

What are you reading, watching, and studying?

Is there information to help you build your career?

Knowledge is the great equalizer.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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half knowledge

Half Knowledge, Dangerous or Valuable?

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Do you decide based on half knowledge? In a World of skim, scan, and watch a short video, are people more likely to claim knowledge but lack a significant understanding of the topic?

We have a problem with our car, we watch a video, and diagnose.

Feeling a little sick, we check our temperature and search the web for our symptoms.

Workplace issues, management skills, and how to improve our career. Social media may have some answers.

It seems everywhere we turn today we seek information for self-help. People want free answers.

Free legal advice, free personal tax advice, and certainly no one wants to pay for investment or financial help.

One trouble spot for all of the free information is gaining enough depth in truth, facts, and evidence to be helpful, not hurtful.

Is having half of the knowledge more dangerous than having no knowledge at all?

Half Knowledge

Yes, it is true, that someone with some decent mechanical skills can probably fix something on their car by watching a video.

Yes, sometimes when we have a minor health concern, we can learn more from our web-based research.

We can also learn more about becoming more valuable in our workplace, enhancing our career, and working more effectively with others by self-study.

Is this valuable? Certainly, it is.

Dangerous Half

Much of the danger comes from half-study. We only understand a small piece of it and make a big mistake by not reading the fine print.

Ask someone with half of the knowledge for advice on fertilizer for your roses, you may accidentally apply a herbicide. Spread a little special formula on your lawn, and your lawn turns brown instead of green. Sorry, all you had was crabgrass.

Knowledge is power. Assumed knowledge may only be powerful until it results in a big mistake.

Know the difference between having knowledge, or having only half of it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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knowledge acquisition

Speaking of Knowledge Acquisition

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Is your career on track? Are you leading an employee department or team? What are you doing about knowledge acquisition?

I feel fortunate to meet so many new people through my work. Some are executives, some are front-line hard chargers. All of them face similar decisions about what happens next with their career or employee teams.

Two Problems for Knowledge Acquisition

The first problem is how fast you are able to acquire it. Once you have obtained the knowledge, you can start making positive change. A long road to knowledge acquisition means you are wasting precious time.

The second problem with knowledge acquisition is what you do with the new knowledge. Knowledge gained, but not used, doesn’t have much value. Practice and application of new knowledge is critical for change.

Therefore, there are at least two questions you should be asking yourself.

How can I gain more knowledge faster?

How can I ensure it is practiced?

Whether you are considering your own individual career or the development of employee teams, these questions apply.

Opportunity Cost

While there are not any real shortcuts, there are costs associated with opportunities missed. Learning can occur in many ways, how are you helping with forward progress? Have you hired a coach, a consultant, or attended educational opportunities?

What happens after a learning event? What will you give up in order to make room for something new? If you feel you are at or near capacity, you’re going to have to give something up.

Giving stuff up may be easier than you think. You can give up reliving past negative experiences. You can skip the energy it takes to participate in the workplace drama. Perhaps you have to stop fighting fires and start thinking more strategically.

Knowledge acquisition starts with an opportunity. What happens next is really up to you.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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simple workplace knowledge

Simple Workplace Knowledge May Work

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Do you already know all of the key points to navigating challenging obstacles? Are you delivering on simple workplace knowledge?

In the meeting, the seminar, or while reading a book do you have a feeling that the information is really simple?

I already know all that stuff.

Oh, I’ve heard this before.

This is really just basic stuff.

The more experience we have, sometimes the more we disregard the basics.

It is easy to slip away from good ideas. Good ideas mean change. A change in style, actions, or behaviors. Something repeated, habits.

Examining Results

We can measure things that happen in our workplace, yet what actions are taken after reviewing the results?

Measuring performance may be step one. What about step two or three?

Are you congratulating results and launching the next stretch goal or are you inquiring about why things came up short?

Simple Workplace Knowledge

Accountability matters, are employee teams held accountable? It is easy to praise when expectations are exceeded. It is also easy to walk away from shortcomings without addressing corrective actions.

Maybe it is time to stop assessing what you know and start assessing what you do? Knowing what to do and when is valuable. Doing nothing ensures that it really doesn’t matter.

Don’t tell yourself, “I already know all this stuff.”

Ask yourself, “What do I practice?”

Challenge of Leadership

Identifying problems or trouble spots is often easy. Getting to the root cause and solving them is more challenging.

It is also easy to forget the role of leadership is not only to solve problems. The role of leadership includes building effective teams, creating motivation and engagement, and showing appreciation.

Keep in mind, the challenge of leadership is not always about knowledge or what you know. The challenge of leadership is often about what you do.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace knowledge

Workplace Knowledge and What You Don’t Know

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Have you ever thought about what you don’t know? When you hear new information do you consider it, or quickly disregard it? Workplace knowledge is often about learning what you don’t know.

A shopper, backing her car from a parking spot taps the bumper of another car because she didn’t realize it was there.

The person in the restaurant with barbeque sauce on the side of his face doesn’t know it.

Hurried, a businessman dresses in a dark room before leaving home to board a predawn flight. He is wearing one blue sock and one black.

Knowing what we don’t know can be helpful. Yet this concept sometimes eludes workplace professionals.

What You Don’t Know

Are you quick to disregard the new information? Do you find yourself disagreeing with suggested best practices of other professionals?

An attorney gives you advice and you ignore it.

The architect claims you’ll never be able to heat it or cool it, you say, “Build it anyway.”

A marketing consultant suggests your new ad campaign has flaws you say, “Launch it, it will work.”

Making your own way in life can be valuable and important. Disregarding professional advice may be why you are stuck.

Workplace Knowledge

Two things get many people in trouble, their ego and being overconfident.

In carpentry, we know you should, “Measure twice, cut once.”

In listening, we recognize that, “You have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.”

When your company makes an investment in your continued learning don’t expect that you already know it all. Your ego and overconfidence may be exactly why you’ve been invited in the first place.

You have barbeque sauce on your cheek and you should change your socks.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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