Accidental Entrepreneur: Knowledge is King (Acquiring knowledge for Success)
Welcome to my 38th weekly article as this week is called “ Knowledge is King Acquiring knowledge for Success.”
In this article I go over the different ways I have found to be effective methods of learning new concepts that can help individuals help companies achieve success along with their own personal career success as a byproduct.
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“தொட்டனைத் தூறும் மணற்கேணி மாந்தர்க்குக்
கற்றனைத் தூறும் அறிவு”. — திருக்குறள் (396)
“Water will flow from a well in the sand in proportion
to the depth to which it is dug, and knowledge will flow
from a man in proportion to his learning”. — Thirukkural (396)
As I continue to elaborate on the drivers for success, today’s article focuses on the knowledge and how to acquire it in order to continue further develop as a professional for long term success. Since a person is born, one continues to learn and better themselves in various fields. What I have noticed is that, as long as a person keeps an open mind, he or she can learn many new things and share their knowledge as well as experiences with others to improve their situations
Knowledge is acquired in many different ways. It could be from classroom education, family/environmental experiences, reading books and articles by talking to others. In this article, I will try to explain my way of learning and sharing irregardless of the knowledge gathering methods. One fundamental premise is that learning never stops while the method of learning could change as a person matures through their life. These are my ways of learning:
- Foundational Knowledge: I start everything back to foundation. In engineering there are foundational principles or laws which govern the creation of the world and day to day activities such as movements or forces. In finance and accounting, there are accounting principles which help build all the complex rules and regulations. The same thing applies in manufacturing, governing, etc.
- I look at the learning of foundational knowledge as two areas, first one is learning the foundational laws/principles and the second one is knowing which of the principles is relevant for the problem at hand. Learning to choose and apply the relevant principle for the problem is as important as learning all the principles.
- Experimentation: Learning a key principle is one thing, but applying it to solve a problem is key. The way I have been able to apply the principles is by experimenting and learning the real application and results, then based on the results refining the approach. Many people get stuck with the foundational principles and forget to refine the results based on specific situations and experimentations. I have used this experimentation methodology for engineering while building complex products for people management. I learn this by trying out different approaches as well as learning from other’s mistakes and successes.
- Collaborative learning: People come from varieties of backgrounds and educational foundations. I try to use collaboration as my opportunity to learn and absorb from others. I have written an earlier article on “diversity” of people and their backgrounds extensively.
- Discussion/Listening: One key aspect of learning is participating in discussions and listening to learn. Some people tend to shy away from open discussions for various reasons such as being afraid of change or entertaining new or different approaches to a problem. I learned from successful founders and executives that willingness to participate in open discussions and come to collaborative decisions have yielded better success than close minded solutions and approaches.
- Learning and Coaching: One common thread in my article is learning and morphing the solution to the situation and participants. Second key item is coaching and learning from others. The learning can come from old people, young people, fresh graduates and anyone who can articulate the approach clearly and logically. I force people with specific knowledge to share their knowledge by inviting them to present at “Lunch and Learn” sessions or by asking them for their opinions during meetings, even when they don’t volunteer themselves.
People with knowledge, who are willing to learn as they grow, who are willing to coach others and learn from those experiences are key for the success of a company along with the success in their own career. Knowledge is King; But how one acquires that knowledge can vary person to person and situation to situation. In the end, with the data and foundational knowledge, a person can achieve great results. As a person learns throughout their life, just like digging deep in the sand for water in the well, knowledge will flow like the water and help oneself and the surroundings in positive ways.