Preparing Your Business for the Knowledge Age

Knowledge AgeIn general society and the workplace, people are inundated with information from a myriad of sources. We are living in an age of instant knowledge. Want to find a great recipe for banana bread? You can find it in about 3 seconds online. Having a dispute about Henry VIII’s wives’ names? Just Google it. People today expect information to be available immediately, but as managers, we must understand that everyone receives and processes this information differently. Therefore, it is critical to prepare our businesses for the knowledge age, by anticipating all of the ways in which knowledge can impact our practices, and all of the ways our teams can be intellectually nurtured.

In his book, Frames of Mind, psychologist Howard Gardner identified several distinct types of intelligences:

•    Linguistic: Learn through writing, reading, storytelling, puzzles.
•    Logistical/Mathematical: Learn through patterns, categories, relationships.
•    Bodily/Kinesthetic: Learn through bodily sensations, dancing, physical activity.
•    Spatial: Learn through images, pictures, mazes.
•    Musical: Learn through sounds, songs, rhythms.
•    Interpersonal: Learn by communicating with peers, understanding others’ feelings.
•    Interpersonal: Learn by quietly absorbing, listening, often shy people.

A manager who explores and implements these concepts will cultivate a team that works better in this age of knowledge and instant information, because everyone is included in learning. Try the following methods when introducing a new concept, or reinforcing an existing one.

Speed Learning
This is a learning technique in which the mind is highly stimulated with a lot of information in a short period of time. Examples are learning a foreign language in four to eight weeks, or mastering speed reading to absorb multiple books in one day.

Project Teams
This method of learning eliminates the “grading” principle, and makes knowledge gathering the reward. Through group activities, people learn concepts in an integrated way, either to accomplish a goal together, or merely for the satisfaction of mastering something new.

Individualized Curriculum
Recognize that everyone learns differently. A technique that works for one person may be totally ineffective for someone else. Embracing multiple intelligences makes knowledge available to everyone.

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