Simon Terry

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Pulling the chain of knowledge

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I am lucky at the moment that I am participating in a number of fantastic collaborations with really talented experts, especially in the domain of social business and the future of work.  A few of these collaborations are international so I get this extraordinary experience:

When you are collaborating like this, what becomes so evident is that knowledge is not a stock, it is a flow, like the constant motion of a chain. If the only progress was from my efforts, nothing will happen when I sleep.  When others can take up the chain and improve things overnight, I am far better off and can learn from their insight and effort.

A network of others like this can help you learn more faster by accelerating the little improvements in the knowledge that you have.  Success comes as you accumulate and accelerate those learnings together. The community also helps you stay engaged and provides support.

If you are trying to address a major complex challenge, it is unlikely the answer will come to you in an inspired flash or through your hard work alone.  Solving big challenges, like curing a major disease, addressing social issues or solving a complex & dynamic business challenge, involves engaging with what is known, engaging with others working in the space and putting your effort into pulling the chain of knowledge further along together. Not every idea works but lots of experiments and insight contributed in parallel and discussed together sifts out the progress.

We all move our knowledge forward together because we contribute our share to pulling on the chain of knowledge.


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