Why Knowledge isn’t Everything

In an age when anything can be Googled, knowledge in and of itself has become drastically devalued. If knowledge were stocks, we’d be dumping our entire holdings in exchange for the kind that still hold value.

But when knowledge is applied to problems or opportunities, it is no longer static information – it becomes a living, breathing force that can build solutions or whole empires.

Schools still teach students to memorise facts but those facts continue to change and remembering them is pointless – almost quaint; unless they deploy those facts towards something worthwhile.

In the past, we looked at kids playing computer games and saw a pack of dole-bludging losers. Now, we wonder if they’ll become the next Mark Zuckerberg.

History has shown that the goal posts continue to shift, and what was once highly valued and scarce becomes commoditized and available to everyone.

However, some attributes remain highly prized in the world of business because they take a long time to acquire, they are nuanced in nature, or they rest only with those born of their blessing. I’m talking about experience, carved out through years of problem-solving and a diverse set of circumstances. It can’t be downloaded, it can’t be bought, and it certainly can’t be faked. At least, not for long.

Likewise, creativity and instinct. These may manifest in the artistic realm but are often just as relevant in complex business settings. An organisation or a person who can resolve problems, reveal opportunities and navigate an exciting way through are a rare breed. Those who recognise these talents reward them handsomely.

Every business wants to grow – to achieve more with less; to be more profitable. To advance your business and rise above the noise and the mediocrity, you should seek out business or individuals who’ve come through the trenches, covered in mud and are still smiling.

Seek out those who refuse to follow the herd and are instead, creating their own maps, making new rules and most importantly, are acutely aware of what customers are thinking and where trends are going.

Then beg them to come work for you.

It’ll be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.


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