Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of 18.

Mike Morrison (Dean of Toyota University)

There is no efficiency in knowledge work — it’s the wrong target. Discretionary time is required for problem solving, innovative thinking, and fruitful collaborations.

Karen Stephenson

Networks are based on trust. Because trust is determined through face-to-face interactions, one needs to appreciate the profound and stark truth about networks: ‘You don’t look like me, you don’t dress like me, you don’t think like me, therefore I don’t want to know or understand you.’ This fetish for the familiar is fundamentally tribal and resistant to the heterogeneous qualities of hierarchical organization. So … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

Today’s corporation is structured around layers of management. Most of those layers are information relays, and like any relays, they are very poor. Every transfer of information cuts the message in half. There needs to be very few layers of management in the future and those who relay the information must be very smart. But knowledge, as you know, often becomes obsolete incredibly fast.

Jim Stovall

In the final analysis, when we fail it is not from lack of knowledge. It is, instead, from lack of wisdom to apply the things we already know. We don’t fail because we don’t know what to do. We fail because we don’t do what we know.

Thomas A. Stewart

Knowledge management resources go unused for one simple reason: They’re not useful. Either the work isn’t connected to the knowledge or the knowledge isn’t connected to the work.

Michael Watkins

In order to work, knowledge-management systems have to be kept live, and there have to be incentives to keep them live. In some sense, the most important source of knowledge is inside people’s heads. You don’t want an organization that’s leakier than necessary. You don’t want too many people cycling out. You need to set up team structures, so that the more experienced people teach … [ Read more ]

John Seely Brown

In the old days, things didn’t change quite so fast, and media or more accurately genres with a given medium had a chance to stabilize. Then we would subconsciously appropriate a genre and know how to read the content through the lenses of that genre. But today things are changing so rapidly that you don’t have that much stability in many of the genres which … [ Read more ]

Richard Saul Wurman

People still have anxiety about how to assimilate a body of knowledge that is expanding by the nanosecond. Misinformation and mayhem are rampant. Information anxiety is produced by the ever-widening gap between what we understand and what we think we should understand.

Information anxiety is the black hole between data and knowledge. It happens when information doesn’t tell us what we want to know. Our relationship … [ Read more ]

Jim Collins

On our global information superhighway, the last thing we need is additional lanes or more information. In fact, to accelerate effective information exchange and collaboration, we need more rest stops. We need someone to guide us in processing information. Rest stops are integral to sifting through the heaps of data to get to the golden nuggets of information that will help the bottom line grow. … [ Read more ]

Peter Drucker

The outside figures will always remain unsatisfactory for the simple reason that the important things that happen outside the business happen at the margin, and so they are not expressed in figures until it’s too late. They are qualitative changes. You can quantify them, but you don’t really understand the relationship quantitatively. I’ve been struggling with this for 40 years, and I’m not the only … [ Read more ]

Thomas H. Davenport

The serious pursuit of knowledge in organizations will be challenged by an anti-intellectual orientation in the United States that has been present since the days of the frontier.

Rudyard Kipling

I keep six honest serving-men.
(They taught me all I knew,)
Their names are What and Why and When,
And How and Where and Who

Thomas A. Stewart

Intelligence becomes an asset when some useful order is created out of free flowing brain power-that is, when it is given coherent form (a mailing list, a database, an agenda for a meeting, a description of process); when it is captured in a way that allows it to be described, shared and exploited; and when it can be deployed to do something that could not … [ Read more ]

Richard A. Kleinert

…knowledge has three M’s: message, medium, and motivation. Message-you have to define the business-critical information in your organization. Medium-you need some sort of system to provide the right type of information to the right people at the right time. But most important, I think, is the motivation side. You have to motivate people both to populate a system and to use it. And that gets … [ Read more ]


When you know absolutely nothing about a skill, you are unconsciously incompetent — that is, you don’t know what you don’t know. As you learn more, you become consciously incompetent: you know what you don’t know. With training and practice you can become consciously competent, while total mastery makes you unconsciously competent, meaning that you use the skill so effortlessly that you’re not even aware … [ Read more ]

Luca Turin (subject of Chandler Burr’s The Emperor

Metaphor is the currency of knowledge. I have spent my life learning incredible amounts of disparate, disconnected, obscure, useless pieces of knowledge, and they have turned out to be, almost all of them, extremely useful.


The wise see knowledge and action as one.

Mark Kingwell

Knowingness is murderous of wonder and of insight, and ultimately it does a violent disservice to that which it sought to serve.

John Seely Brown

Learning has to do with integrating information into your own internal framework so you own it within your own conceptual space. That means you have to engage in some kind of action with the knowledge being transferred to you.