The Knowing-Doing Gap


The so-called knowledge advantage doesn’t exist—even though companies pour billions of dollars into training programs, consultants, and executive education.  Although knowledge is important, most companies know, or can readily know, the same things.  Moreover, even as companies talk about the importance of learning, intellectual capital, and knowledge management, they frequently fail to take the important next step of turning knowledge into action.  This book confronts the paradox of companies that know too much and do too little by showing the barriers to turning knowledge into action and how some companies successfully surmount these obstacles.

Firms that turn knowledge into action avoid the “smart talk trap.”  Executive should use plans, analysis, meetings, and presentations to inspire deeds, not as substitutes for doing anything.  Companies that act on their knowledge also eliminate fear, abolish destructive internal competition, measures what matters, and promote leaders who understand the work people actually do.

Using examples from dozens of firms, The Knowing-Doing Gap shows how some companies overcome the disconnect between knowledge and action, why others try but fail, and how still others avoid the problem in the first place.