Think Level Four

Facilitating Learning That Drives Performance

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6 Reasons why we don't translate knowledge to action - Part B

In my last blog post , I elaborated 3 out of 6 reasons why we don't translate knowledge into action. The remaining three are as follows:

  • Bookish knowledge does not work in real life
  • I'm too busy and there is simply no time
  • Where's my immediate pay off ?

4.Bookish knowledge does not work in real life - As one endures the hardships at work and starts experiencing the realities of what works and doesn't at the workplace, one forms strong beliefs rooted in previous experience. Soon , employees feel less inclined to try out new initiatives. Somehow there is a feeling of hopelessness that gets translated to protecting the current status quo. Where does knowledge written in the book come from ? They come from real life and most are based on emperical evidence. But we are so caught up in fire fighting on a day to day basis that we seldom have the mind space to even consider alternate ways of doing things.

5.I'm too busy and there is simply no time - Activity does not equal productivity. As Thoreau once said " It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants.The question is : What are we busy about ?" Are we aligning what we do on a day to day basis with the larger goals of our team,department and organisation ? Can I add value by translating new knowledge into actions at work ? Am I willing to pause and spend some time to think through new knowledge ?

6.Where's my immediate pay off ? - Our impulsive brain is always looking for an immediate pay-off.  Delayed gratifcation is not something that is the default mode for our evolutionary brain. The pleasure of an instant reward is far greater and difficult to resist than waiting patiently for rewards for a longer duration of time. This is true even when the rewards are much greater later. Behavior change takes time. It is non-linear. There are high chances of relapse to occur especially under stress. All this shouldn't dissuade you to harness the power of choice that human beings are gifted with in order to make a difference to their lives and those of others. Accept and be ready to stick through the course of time that it takes to master a new skill.

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