Do What You Know

A friend of mine, Tamela Lewis, shared this quote recently:

“Knowing without doing is like putting food into your oven to bake and not turning it on.”

In a book called The Knowing-Doing Gap by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, it is said that the biggest difference between companies that succeed and those that don’t are that successful ones do what they know.

They did a good bit of research about it. What they found was that when a company was unsuccessful it wasn’t because they didn’t have the right resources, information or ideas. They failed because they didn’t do what they know.

Just looking at some of the things we do individually validates the concept:

  • We don’t wear a seatbelt.
  • Or we smoke cigarettes.
  • Or we don’t exercise.

How about as a teammate in our plants?

  • We take shortcuts.
  • We don’t lockout-tagout.
  • We don’t step up to report shortcomings.
  • We don’t keep commitments.

Tamela’s quote makes a good point. To starve when there is uncooked food in the oven is a sad story. So is failing when you knew better and you just didn’t do it.

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