4 Simple ‘How’ questions to make whatever you know practical and to help you A.M.P the world.

Someone who has dedicated themselves solely to theory knows everything but can do nothing.[1] Professor Lohn

In this age of knowledge, information and data, it is no longer a matter of what you know but, what you do with what you know. We live in a highly competitive and cluttered world where our knowledge and relevance is easily drowned out by the latest fad or the thing deemed the most relevant or practical.

It is an age replete with options and multiple paths to follow. The question is which is the right path to take? This is a question not easily answered especially when we are bombarded by so much data and information.

I’ve been in this situation countless times over the years. I have often failed to pick the right career path or failed to maximize an opportunity because of indecision and inability to convert my know-how into some sort of relevant practice. Each time it happened I learned that it was simply because I couldn’t make what I know practical and valuable to whoever was interested.

While reading through an old journal of mine, I came across 4 simple ‘How’ questions that turn the knowledge practical and the actions they take more direct and decisive. The 4 simple questions will help anyone find the simplest and shortest path toward successfully making any knowledge practical.

How simple is it to turn what you know into actionable steps?

By asking this question, you are exploring what needs to happen to turn your knowledge into something practical. What are the steps involved? How much will it cost? What resources are required and when? Who is interested and will pay for what you know? It is not the knowledge you lack that is important but the knowledge you already possess.

What renders you helpless is often the sense of feeling ignorant or incapable. True empowerment is when you find the simplest and most relevant ways to do what you know. Simple just means the shortest and right path toward success.

How simple is it to adapt what you know to a given context or situation?

Your knowledge works best in a real world context. This means it has to be applicable in a particular situation. This question challenges you to look at how your knowledge can work of function in a particular context. The essence and secret to sales is to present a product as the ideal fit to solve a customers need.

Adaptability is the “pearl of great price” in a world full of clutter. Your ability to frame your knowledge to make it relevant for someone else means that you can create a saleable product or service or solve a pressing problem. whenever you face a challenge or a problem you ability to draw from your experience and vast stores of knowledge determines success or failure. We live in a world of patterns and models and the model you use to solve problems in your garden (Crop rotation) could be the same model that you can use to solve a big organizational problem (skills -sharing).

How simple is it to revolutionize what you know?

To beat the clutter and noise you need to be innovative. Knowledge isn’t a static entity. Rather, it is a dynamic system that needs to be nurtured and fed. What was relevant and practical 100 years ago may no longer work today. This is proof that knowledge is constantly evolving and changing. And it is insufficient and unsustainable to have the appearance of innovativeness but lack the substance.

“Why is the moon round? Why does the apple fall from the tree? Why are there five planets instead of twenty? Why does milk go sour? …One of the hallmarks of genius is that he has never lost the habit of asking foolish questions like these-each of which led to momentous discoveries.”[2] Arthur Koestler

Innovation and revolutionary thinking emerges from asking questions and searching out answers from the people and the world around you. It is discovering what works in the present context. It may mean reordering and shuffling what you know to suit a particular situation or integrating what you know with new discoveries uncovered when you interact with other people.

How simple is it to change?

Change is the only constant. If you have ever been rendered redundant you will understand that axiom. The point is that redundancy should never be the end of your life. Rather, it should be the beginning. Every time you are faced with irrelevance, it should be a sign that it is time to change.

You may have dedicated yourself to a particular specialization for a lifetime and now that it is redundant it feels hard to make the shift to something new. But, the best form of change and transformation is learning. Whatever process, model or pattern you learned while specializing can be applied to something new and different.

You can A.M.P. the world

These 4 questions help you turn your knowledge into practical steps and to keep your knowledge fresh and relevant to the world. Lastly, turning what you know into practical steps will help you A.M.P the market

  1. You will APPROACH the world with the practical know-how that makes a difference.

2. You will MAKE every effort to use your knowledge to attain measurable success.

3. You will use your knowledge to PURSUE practical solutions in whatever you do.

[1] Quote in Guest of Honour speech at MBA graduation 2018–07–31 New organizational concepts of Higher Education Institutions Harare — Prof. Dr. H.C. mult. Johann Löhn President Steinbeis-University, Berlin

[2] Quote by Arthur Koestler https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9558997-only-geniuses-preserve-their-infantile-voracity-for-becauses--and-the-naive

Musekiwa is a prolific and eccentric author with amazing titles suitable for business strategy and daily living, which he has published.

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