Information is Knowing a Tomato is a Fruit, Knowledge is Knowing not to put it in a Fruit Salad.

In a previous edition, we discussed the relationship between Information (organized data) and Knowledge (information in context). I bring it up again not to highlight the contents of a fruit salad, but to highlight a much more crucial issue for leaders – timely decision-making. In my work with leaders, we describe the first two steps in the decision-making process as 1) Identify the Issue and 2) Gather and Analyze Information. The decision-maker must properly define the scope of the problem, situation or challenge in enough detail to create tangible alternatives. They must also gather the right amount of the right information to make a knowledgeable decision. Information overload is not a new challenge. Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Senator and Adviser under Nero in the early part of his reign. Seneca was a prolific letter writer whose thoughts, insights and convictions were well read throughout the literate Roman Empire. Even in...
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The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

This quote from Alvin Toffler, noted author (remember Future Shock?) and futurologist is a great way to put us in the mindset of this month’s topic: Dealing with Change. Aside from being one of my favorite topics to teach and facilitate, it is in my mind, one of the crucial core attributes of successful leadership in today’s dynamic business, political and service environment. To further set the stage, consider the results of a recent survey by McKinsey & Company of more than 1,600 executives, senior managers and mid-level managers worldwide where they were asked, among other things, about how well they have responded to the current economic crisis. No one doubts the economic crisis represents disruptive change but a significant test of leadership (RPC edition 10/08) as well. In the survey, respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as a business leader in various areas. What caught my eye...
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