Do you find that whilst you are really, really busy doing a lot, you never quite getting round to the bigger projects or ideas that you know you need to do?
If so, you may not be bridging the ‘Knowing – Doing Gap’ (Pferrer & Sutton). You KNOW what you need to do, for example, re-design your website, get a new project underway, de-clutter your office, but you never seem to quite get round to the DOING.
….it is quite simply a lack of time, isn’t it? However, in looking at why people have difficulty in crossing this gap Pferrer and Sutton don’t identify time issues.
…maybe it’s a lack of knowledge or information? In the times we live in we are falling over knowledge and information on how to do things – but all the knowledge in the world is useless you put it into action and use.
… and maybe you feel you are doing it – but things just don’t seem to be moving forward in the way you would like. Often we can feel we are taking action, but in reality we are doing things such as, planning, discussing and making decisions – but these are not action!
So, what is it that stops us from making that leap from knowing to doing? In many instances it can be something within ourselves – either fear or a lack of confidence that is holding us back. We can then tend to turn these inner feelings into assumptions.
For example, one of my clients knew she needed to do a new business drive, but as many of you would agree, picking up the phone to contact people you don’t know or don’t know well is a daunting task. She was failing to cross from knowing what she needed to do to actually doing it. Her fear and lack of confidence turned into the assumption that many others would be chasing these prospective clients and as a result she would be seen as an annoyance if she contacted them.
We worked together to challenge this assumption and give her the confidence to pick up the phone. As a result she has met with quite a few prospects, started to build new relationships and of course has gained some new business. Whilst others in her shoes are still sitting on the other side of the Knowing Doing gap and finding reasons not to pick up the phone.
So here are my questions for you –
• What do I need to do that I am not doing?
• What is holding me back? Is it fear, a lack of confidence, or both? What assumptions am I making?
• What do I need to do or tell myself to overcome that fear, lack of confidence and/or assumption?
• Lastly, what specific actions do I then need to take to jump over that Knowing – Doing gap?
Have you got 2 minutes now? Make your plan with a pen and paper (or ipad!) right now – what will you do and by when to get you over that gap and moving forward?
Let me know how you get on, I would love to hear from you!
The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action, Jeffrey Pfeffer , Robert Sutton