Peter Drucker Wisdom — 4
Knowledge and More Knowledge
|Dr. KS Raghavan|
Not surprisingly, Peter Drucker put a great emphasis of knowledge and learning. He was witness to exponential growth of knowledge during the twentieth century. In his words
“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly.
Otherwise it will vanish”
Here each of the three actions has its own importance and significance. But collectively, they put emphasis on research. The seed for learning has to come from the act of challenging. It is only by way of challenging that one dwells deeper into the available knowledge. Incidentally it has been identified that one of the qualities to become a successful innovator is the habit of CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO. Closely related to the above quote is the following.
“We now accept that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.
And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
Change is continuous. Knowledge explosion is also continuous. Not being aware one can become obsolete. Learning is the only cure for obsolescence. This is where the managers have a vital role to play. Teaching people, especially the younger lot, how to learn and make them learn.
Knowledge occupies the third position in the “wisdom pyramid”.
What we consider as knowledge is information in action. Information focused on results.
Around forty years back he made a forecast for the next century by saying
“The only skill that will be important in the twenty first century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything will become obsolete over time”
The above is becoming more and more true as days pass in the current century.
Professional people such as programmers, architects, engineers and design thinkers are collectively known as “knowledge workers”. Their main capital is knowledge. They are the people responsible for bringing about change, and ultimately progress, in a given organization. Drucker advices knowledge works to have a very broad outlook.
“Knowledge workers need to be asking continuously ‘What can I contribute”.
Otherwise they will be aiming very low and possible be aiming at wrong things.
Above all, they may define their contribution too narrowly”
Finally he has a very useful tip for knowledge gain.
“No one learns as much about a subject as the person who is forced to teach it”.
This is hardly surprising. Drucker spent his lifetime teaching people how to manage anything and everything. In the process he himself become more and more knowledgeable no doubt.
Fortunately for us his legacy is permanent in the form of nearly forty books he authored.
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