Bob Sutton’s great book “The Knowing-Doing Gap” has been on my mind. And something that is being noticed with managers in the Exponent Leadership Process. When working with established managers, they know how to set goals, make decisions, plan, manage their time, delegate, etc… and they tell me this, often time forcibly.
When you ask for evidence of what they are doing in reference to goal setting, decision making, planning, coaching performance, listening to people, etc… there is nothing. We fall into the knowing / doing gap.
An example of this that is not organizational is that I know every 3000-5000 miles I ought to change the oil in car car, although I don’t always do it. In Sutton’s book he explores this way better than I can. Here is a short clip from Sutton’s Blog on the gap;
Talk is not a substitute for action. Guidelines like these are great when they are drive and reflect behavior, but when they are consistently violated, they are worse than having no guidelines at all because the stench of hypocrisy fills the air.
Here is the question;
- What knowing-doing gaps are you guilty of?
- What knowing-doing gaps can you identify in your department?
- Describe how you can take action to fill and close the gaps.
Take Action…is the necessary step, if you identify the gaps and do nothing…then it only increases the gap, because know you know more about it and you are still not doing anything.
michael cardus is create-learning
image by limaoscarjuliet