The knowing doing gap

Today I have been asking myself this question:

Who puts into practice all the top tips we’re gifted with through our plentiful social media streams?

Last year I conducted a little experiment.  It was motivated by a theme that runs through a lot of my work – choosing to be smart about how we manage our working lives and the vast amounts of information we encounter on a daily basis.  The experiment was this: I had booked a longish holiday but wasn’t savouring the thought of returning to an overly full inbox of emails to process.  Before I left for the holiday, I cancelled my subscriptions to updates, newsletters etc.  In short, I didn’t miss much of what was being delivered to me, and it was a good chance to refresh or ‘re-relevance’ the slate.

Now I am doing another experiment based on the question above. I read at least five to ten ‘top tip’ articles a week.  Some of them really offer little gems that we all could use to maximise our enjoyment of life and work. I am intrigued to find out how much of the advice we receive every day on Twitter and LinkedIn is put into practice.

Here are some of the titles of recent ‘top tip’ articles:

▪    4 ways to fast track that promotion

▪    5 ways to make your employees hate you

▪    10 tips to a more professional Linkedin profile

▪    11 rules of highly profitable companies

▪    12 tips for team building

▪    33 ways to be an exceptional entrepreneur

Jeffrey Pfeffer spoke about a ‘knowing – doing’ gap. We know what to do, we just aren’t closing the loop and doing it for better results.

Using the hashtag #DoingGap, through my twitter account (@gaylinjee), I am going to turn the ‘top tips’ from these articles into questions, to see who is actually putting them into practice and with what effect.  Join me and add your own answers.  I’d love to hear them.

Published by Gaylin Jee

Building a better world through leaders and teams #Strategy #Purpose #Teams #Tech Founder of 33 Emeralds | #TheGCIndex Master Partner SA | #LegoSeriousPlay Facilitator Twitter @gaylinjee

6 thoughts on “The knowing doing gap

  1. you have so much great information in your blog. I struggle to get much reading time but I know I can learn plenty from you, Thank you so much and greetings… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that years ago all this social media stuff didn’t exist and we filled our lives with doing other things. We might not have known as much. Although we probably physically did as much as we do now, it might have taken us longer to do because we didn’t have the instantaneous access and tools of the net to find what we needed etc. I firmly believe that there can be no substitute for personal experience. For instance, Freemasonry (and most other institutions) all have various rituals that anyone can read about. But until you have played your part and learnt your lines over and over again, the real lessons don’t emerge. Other people’s advice is often rehashed from some other source and dished up as original. I try studiously to avoid any article with “5 steps to ….” because at my age I should really know what works for me and what doesn’t. Although social media is a great tool to know (read about) a lot of stuff it doesn’t really assist with the living of life. Or does it? Am I missing something? Will this trend become our lives? Interesting times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Until you have played your part, the real lessons don’t emerge, well not as powerfully. One perhaps doesn’t ‘realise’ them in a personally meaningful or relevant way that changes what we do or how we do it going forward.

      So, speaking to the point in your second comment below too, is one formula to get better at focusing and selecting what you do?


      1. Yes, I think that in today’s modern age with so many distractions, the only way to succeed is to focus on your niche and make your name in that. Focus. Do.

        We are becoming a society of specialists with active networks. You need to select your network so that it both enhances your niche but also exposes you to enough other stuff to keep you plugged into the world. My concern is that too many people are focusing on the “information age”, IT type stuff whereas we really need farmers, miners, factories etc. Although maybe with the advent of urban farms we are seeing some of those functions become urbanised as well with new specialists emerging. This is the trend in micro power generation as well. Maybe 3D printing will result in urban factories too. But I am digressing from your original point….


  3. Another thought, perhaps more pertinent to your actual question. The knowing of something is relatively easy. The doing is quite often the boring bit, the hard bit, the bit that requires some work. For instance, an article might say that success comes from reaching out to your contacts once a week to push for business leads. Reading that is easy, and writing that is easy. Ka-ching, many business schools and courses make money from such easy advice. Now comes the harder part. Doing it. That means picking up a telephone and actually speaking to someone. Yikes. Most people will just email and then it gets automatically deleted on the other side. Even if you do manage to speak to someone, maybe they will cut you off, they can only meet in two weeks time etc. Then you get distracted by something else. And so it goes. The doing is often boring and far more difficult than the knowing.

    I have a 2 step course of advice for success in business and perhaps even in personal life, although personal life is the richer for all its varied distractions:
    1) Focus
    2) Do
    when distraction hits, return to step 1.

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

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