Today knowledge is not power, but sharing knowledge is. Do you agree? Disagree?
With such generous sharing of professional expertise on social media, would you agree with the above statement? How has such sharing has benefited your business?
We've entered a time where transparency works and secrecy doesn't. Also, those who seek to have power over others are being discredited and those who seek to use their power for the greater good are being rewarded.
To put that into context, I help those who seek to start and run purpose-driven businesses ( aka social enterprises). The business models that work are those that serve both the owner and their ideal customers/clients. The underlying principle that our clients align with is "what would love do?", understanding that selflessness is not love as it's not sustainable and selfishness at the expense of the customer doesn't work either.
Sharing of useful information, however, does when it will satisfy the tire-kickers and possibly up-level them to buyers, while serious prospects who want a custom solution will happily pay for it from a business that freely demonstrates its expertise and supportive nature through how and what it shares.
I love the idea of sharing knowledge and have never been one of those professional types that hordes what they know to make themselves seem indispensable; though I’ve worked with a few who did just that. So yes, I agree knowledge is power. Even if it wasn’t - why would you keep what you know to yourself? No one wins when knowledge is treated solely as a commodity.
Knowledge, as defined in Merriam Webster Dictionary, is information, understanding, or skill that a person gains through experience or education. I believe knowledge comes from experience. You can present information to an individual in an educational environment but it doesn’t mean they retain it. If a person experiences a situation they walk away remembering the knowledge they gained; pure and simple – at least that’s been my experience.
I cut my professional teeth in the newspaper industry where stereotypes abound about back stabbing reporters…thankfully, that was not my experience and I learned alongside some of the best reporters/editors who were more than willingly to share their knowledge with me – a cub reporter.
I’ve always found sharing knowledge benefits both parties and spurs great ideas or compromises that propels business forward.
After 35 years of starting, growing and building small businesses for myself and others one would think that the knowledge, experience and skills that I've acquired would be highly valuable to those struggling not to get sucked into the vortex of business failure. We are all aware that 80 -90% of all businesses fail to thrive after the first 18 months. Yet whenever I attempt to share my knowledge and perspectives I am met with a persistent attitude centered on the idea "this won't happen to me." The frustration is, I know from years of working at this, that they will fail; the statistics don't lie. Yes, it's not impossible to be successful using the time honored method of "trial and error." It just takes years of hard work and every dollar you can get your hands on.
The primary problem is that the great majority of people who start their own businesses are experts in only the operations aspect. They know what they know and most know it really well. But, it's what they don't know that will trip them up.
According to the US Census department of the 28 million U.S. businesses they track 78% are solopreneurships - one person businesses. Another 17% are micro-enterprises with 10 or fewer employees. That means 95% of all the businesses operating in this country are micro-enterprises. This type of business requires a very different paradigm to become successful. They don't have the people or financial resources to utilize standard organizational operating practices learned in college or in years of working in SMB's or large companies.
I hope this has provided at least a few readers with something to think about. If anyone is interested if finding out more I've actually defined a new paradigm designed specifically for micro-enterprises. I's be happy to share it with you. I have a PDF that I can send our with an overview to this concept. Please contact me via my profile email address or through the HUB.
I think it depends on your definition of Knowledge. A lot of people confuse Data with Information, hence think having lots of data gives them Knowledge.
Data is not information and information is not knowledge. Information is when you make sense of data and understand what they are indicating. Knowledge is when you take the information and understand what to do or how to respond to what information is telling you.
In the modern world we tend to use Data and Information interchangeably, whilst we use Knowledge and Wisdom in the same way. There is a world of difference between these and Wisdom is knowing the difference!
As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is knowing Tomato is a fruit and not vegetable, but Wisdom is knowing not to put Tomato in a Fruit Salad”.
I think if you rewrite this sentence in the modern age you would say “Data is knowing how many tomatoes you have, Information is knowing Tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable, Knowledge is knowing the first 2 points are not related, and Wisdom is not to put Tomato in the Fruit Salad”.
Knowing how to turn Data into Information, and apply the relevant Information to a situation to gain positive result or gain an advantage gives you POWER.
I don't like the exact wording. I don't believe the power is in the sharing but in the usage of knowledge -- whether it's your knowledge or someone else's (as Steve pointed out).
If you know something but do not use that knowledge for anything, then you might as well not know it. Yes, you can share that knowledge with others, but that in and of itself does not create power unless THEY use it.
I personally do work similar to Steve's. The example I would bring forward is that there are tons of free educational videos, ebooks, classes, webinars, etc. available to everyone. I heard a reliable statistic with respect to business owners who listen to free online training events (webinars); no more than 5% of them will do anything differently as a result of participating in that webinar. That's sad... There's no power in the knowledge shared with them and certainly no power in the knowledge of the presenter if they cannot convince others to do anything with it.
I totally disagree (on one hand) but actually implicitly agree on the other.
I think you are just using semantics to make something appear to exist that does not.
In the old statement "Knowledge is power" there is the inherent understanding that it must be "shared, given or used." Knowledge in and of itself was NEVER the power, it was he/she who had the knowledge and then used it, leveraged it, shared it—they had the power.
So to me, the statement, "Knowledge is power" has always carried the connotation of "Knowledge used and shared is power."
So I disagree with the aspect of your statement which seems to suggest that "knowledge is power" meant something akin to "knowledge held is power."
But I do agree that "knowledge shared" is power, and I believe it always has been. And I believe it is what "Knowledge is power" has always meant.
I agree. Sharing the knowledge you possess is where the real power comes from. It's certainly where you get the most reward out of the knowledge you possess and the knowledge you acquire. It has proven itself to be true for me, both personally and professionally.
Although the advent of the internet and social media has made this sharing easier and makes it more readily available to a larger audience, it should also come with a caution - know and trust your source.
Being an unpaid consultant may have its rewards but it is a mistake to view it as a direct avenue to revenue unless you have a very specific audience, lead generation strategy and sales process attached to it. For too many professionals they mistakenly believe that sharing is selling and it is quite the opposite. Mamma said "who'll buy the cow if you give the milk away." (not my mamma, I confess)
It is knowing how to use knowledge that brings true power...and sometimes, how not to.
Knowledge is only power if you TAKE ACTION to implement your Knowledge.
Many small business owners have knowledge. They know what they need to do,but they lack the focus and commitment to IMPLEMENT their knowledge.
They go to a free seminar or webinar, but they don't ACT on what they learned. This lack of ACTION is what limits the success of many small businesses.
They can't hold themselves accountable that's why coaches and mentors are so important.
To your success,
the Marketing Coach
Yes, I agree sharing knowledge is more powerful in today's social media world. Prospective clients read my blog and social media posts to gain an understanding of who I am. If they like my style and content, then they retain my services.
It depends upon whom you ask. I believe that applied knowledge is power. What good is knowledge if it is not used for something worthwhile? Sharing it is (usually) honorable but it should be true and meaningful to be truly powerful. For example, there are many scientists who have theories but science is truth, e.g. the laws of physics. Today we hear of theories before they are proven to be true and they are presented as knowledge before being proven true.
Depends on your definition of power. If sharing one's professional expertise improves other people's jobs, lives, etc,. it will also showcase not only your expertise but you as a brand. Brand = Reputation.
By writing and publishing a number of articles in my field of expertise it has opened a number of doors I thought would not be available to me....gaining a professorship at an institute of higher learning, published articles showcasing my expertise to a wider audience, being approached about writing a book with those articles as the center piece.
Knowledge IS power.
You get knowledge from 2 sources.
1) You know it yourself or
2) You know where to get it.
Both implies that you are willing to share it.
There is NO power in knowledge unless it is shared.
It's like a battery. It has the power, but it is useless until it is plugged into something so that it can share it's power.
Wisdom, is the application of knowledge.
Knowing what is good from what is bad knowledge.
Knowing how to apply the knowledge.
To share knowledge one must first possess knowledge. I think the more beneficial debate would be "what is knowledge?"
To me knowledge is that unique blend of information and personal experience which takes you to a higher plane than you were before.
If you accept this, then you understand that it is possible for us to empower ourselves when we acquire "knowledge" and then enable others to empower themselves when we pass it on.
In this way knowledge as well as the sharing of knowledge is power and each of us has an opportunity and a responsibility to be a collector and sharer of knowledge.
It is better to know than not know. The key is culling the wheat from the chaff...
Sharing promotes TRUST, provided the people, employees are open and receptive....Goes to emotional intelligence I think...A mission & vision helps to define expectations which is shared knowledge, people have an idea about you from that knowledge, you share.
Oh I totally agree - sharing the knowledge is key - how else are you going to get someone to believe in what you have to say about a particular subject matter? I am not saying you need to give away the bank - but there are many tips and even some tricks that you should share.
It validates your position - my business blog is just what it is - a blog full of different tips and info - I have done this from the beginning - I don't have annoying ads pop up - I truly share the information with you and where it came from.
I totally believe in promoting the author of the information (if it is something someone else put together) and I don't do it to get something in return.
The most annoying thing for me is the process of getting hooked in to some type of info and when you click to "read more" you have to sign up or you can't read the rest. Or you click to "read more" and you have to make your way thru so many ads before you get to read the rest of the article.
I immediately click off and I delete that person from my email list - I find that offensive - if you are putting some tidbit out there for others to view - make sure that it is ad and email sign up free - you are hurting your reputation by thinking that you will get them to click on an ad just so you can make a few pennies.
Applied knowledge is power. So you have a point.
I often benefit from the concepts I learn from the social networks, which I then apply to better what I do personally and professionally.
Of course I agree, it's the sharing economy. Open source, crowdfunding, it all makes sense to me.
My business has grown not by selling, but sharing content, demos, freemiums, assistance without personal gain, etc. Everyone should be so lucky.