People whose minds retain information well are referred to as sponges. Instead of retaining water, they are able to retain a large amount of knowledge. Organisations tend to do the same thing; in retaining knowledge.

Knowledge Being a Commodity

When it comes to hiring people, you find that the majority of individuals in large corporates are knowledge workers. Their primary aim is to ensure that they gather as much knowledge or insights as possible. So far so good right? The problem comes in when something needs to be done with the knowledge that has been gathered over time. When it comes to enhancing or creating new solutions, services or businesses emphasis is normally placed on the wrong thing; gathering knowledge is an important aspect of the journey, however, it isn’t where the journey ends. The true power of being able to come up with new offerings is developing the discipline of learning quickly. You should learn quickly in order to be able to create offerings that are desirable to your customers. The days of knowledge being a precious commodity are gone because the information has no power unless one does something with it. In most organisations you’ll find that there’s a wealth of information that exists because various research studies have been conducted over the years in order to understand why it is that certain offerings don’t gain any traction. Further to that, organisations wonder why it is that they aren’t able to create and launch new solutions into the market.

It’s a Trap

Organisations alike have fallen into the sponge trap. This trap makes them believe that just because they have collected reams and reams of information by the smartest people in the industry, that it automatically means that new offerings will be created and adopted. Unless they learn quickly, the desired outcomes won’t come to fruition.

What’s the Secret?

The ability to gather information is not what will give organisations the edge, they need to learn quickly through customer interaction. This ensures that the information collected over time is actually used. In order to potentially reap the rewards of creating new offerings, the information or knowledge gathered over time needs to be tested. Every single assumption and hypothesis made about the customer needs to be tested with the customer. This ensures that you learn quickly whether or not customers want what you’re offering, whether or not they will use it and if it could add to your organisation’s bottom line. Let’s think back to the sponge: it will become mouldy and of no use if its sole purpose is to retain water. Something needs to be done with the water it retains in order for it to be effective.

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