When Does Self Knowledge Have Value?

We tend to think of knowledge as a positive thing. In fact, it can be expensive to obtain. Therefore, before we say  that knowledge has a positive net value, we should consider whether the costs to obtain it are less than the value it produces. In other words, seeking knowledge for knowledge sake is a dubious proposition.

In an institutional setting, like a corporation,

(t)he value of knowledge lies in improved outcomes for external customers or stakeholders.

To realize that value, one needs to think backwards from desired improvements in outcomes to desired knowledge input. That is why we start strategic thinking with the question, “what is winning?” Winning is the desired improvement in outcomes.

All too often, we get stuck thinking the other way around. Willy  nilly, we acquire information or data through random experiences. These experiences are disconnected from whom we would like to become. Then we are surprised when we cannot become that person.

We might think of ourselves as a product that we design (to the extent that we can do so). As such, we can employe “design thinking” to work on improvements.


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