How does a toilet work?
“Most of us think we have a pretty good handle on how the world works. But when it comes down to it, it turns out we know very little about a lot of things.” This was the message from Steve Sloman who was being interviewed on CBC Radio this past month. I listened intently as I was driving to my next meeting.
Steve’s thesis is about how our concept of how much we know is inflated. He cut’s to point by emphasizing that our success in life is because understanding is stored in the “community of knowledge” — that is, because other people know things, we don’t need to know everything and we just assume we do.
Think about this concept for a moment. What are some significant events in your life? I hazard a guess that you were not alone when it happened. Collaboration leads to amazing results. It does not matter what niche you are serving either.
Going back to the toilet question, Steve added, “I think step one is to admit our lack of knowledge and to reduce our hubris,” he says. “To accept the fact that we don’t know everything and to accomplish things we have to make use of the people around us.”
The secret of knowledge, Sloman points out, is knowing what we don’t know. So now that we’ve reaffirmed that we don’t know everything (shhh – no telling my kids), it’s time to focus and assess what information is needed to achieve the next level of success.