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Currently, most organizations have access to more knowledge than they actually need. According to Pfeffer and Sutton (2000), there are many organizations at the moment that have specialized in the acquisition and…
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KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS NOT ENOUGH Insert Insert of KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS NOT ENOUGH Knowledge is not a problem anymore for organizations. Currently, most organizations have access to more knowledge than they actually need. According to Pfeffer and Sutton (2000), there are many organizations at the moment that have specialized in the acquisition and dissemination of information. Despite the glut, there is still a huge gap between the acquisition of the information and its implementation. There seems to be much talking and little action accompanying it. In the boardrooms and otherwise, organizations are increasingly making very valuable decisions. If correctly implemented, such decisions would move the organizations to higher levels of performance. However, the organizations continue to lag behind their expected performance mainly because of the failure to implement decisions.
Pfeffer and Sutton (2000) explain the main reasons that have maintained a wide gap between knowledge and action. One of the reasons is the tendency by managers to pursue detailed behaviors, practices and techniques that work instead of finding out why such practices are suitable for their organizations in terms of philosophy and the general direction that action should take. Other managers overlook the importance of learning from practice. Putting the best practices into action would require the room to make mistakes during learning. This can be done well if the practices are implemented and important lessons taken from the implementation process.
It is also important for managers and policy implementers to recognize that elaborate concepts and plans may not count as much if they are not put into action. Action can be made more efficient if it is grounded on real experience. Moreover, staffs that implement the plans should be inspired to action without fear. This is because fear is known to widen the knowledge-action gap. If the persons operate under fear, they will not be in a position to try something new; neither will they have the freedom to make mistakes which is an important component in the learning process. Managers should, therefore, maintain an environment that encourages stuffs to try something new while at the same time their well-being and dignity is upheld.
In determining the level of progress in the implementation process, whatever should be measured is what really matters in the implementation process. The tendency to measure virtually everything is known to widen the gap between knowledge and action. The measurement should be in such a way that it does not only provide what has already been done, but also predicts what is the likely outcome in the near future so that the implementation team can focus on steering the implementation process on the right path (Pfeffer and Sutton, 2000).
In most circumstances, the leaders hold the valuable knowledge that should be implemented. It is therefore important that such leaders recognize that holding on to the information and only getting concerned with strategic decision making is not good enough for their organizations. Leaders should go beyond making decisions and determining what others should do. They should focus on helping the other implementers in the developing of practical systems that would help the in the transformation of the information held into more effective and reliable actions. Moreover, in order to shorten the gap between knowledge and action, people in the organization should work in team setups that help them share knowledge and implement it. It becomes very difficult to move the organization ahead in action if people within the organization view each other as competitors.

Reference
Pfeffer, J. and Sutton, R. I. (2000). The Knowing Doing Gap. Harvard Business School Press Read More
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