Overcoming the Knowing-Doing Gap
The knowing-doing gap occurs when knowledge is acquired but is not put into action. There are three steps that can be taken to fix the knowing-doing gap. First, the organization must determine the size of their knowing-doing gap by finding out which barriers exist. Pfeffer & Sutton have come up with solutions to overcome these barriers to action. Next, the knowledge bridge should be created and implemented. Thirdly, the action learning process needs to be applied. I will discuss each of the barriers and the solutions Pfeffer & Sutton have offered to overcome them. The first barrier is knowing what to do but not doing it. Knowing is most effective when it comes from doing and teaching others, this will create a deeper level of knowing. The next barriers are letting talk substitute for action and letting memory substitute for thinking. A solution is to make action count more than making elaborate plans, some action needs to be taken to gain experience and learn more. People need to learn from experience, so organizations should encourage their employees to try new things. This is because fear prevents people from taking risks and acting on their knowledge. The solution is to create a culture of forgiveness, not fear. Organizations can do this by treating mistakes as opportunities for learning. The next barrier is when measurement obstructs good judgment. It is important to measure what matters, focus on measuring why something is happening and on the outcomes. The final barrier is when internal competition exists. This can be overcome by creating a knowledge sharing and teamwork environment that focuses on cooperation rather than competition. Looking at which of these barriers exist in an organization will tell us how big the knowing-doing gap is. To create the knowledge usage bridge there needs to be a two way flow between the knower and the seeker, which means the stock of knowledge for both sides...
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