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It’s not what you know, it’s how you apply it

October 25, 2015

The announcement by the U.S. Administration that too much school time is absorbed by testing is just another indication of the revolution in how we look at knowledge, its value and application in a networked world.

Increasingly, the people who are valued will not be knowledge workers, but application workers – that is, those who grasp the context of the issues or challenges they confront and can apply knowledge to achieve the right solution or result.

Why is this happening? Quite simply because knowledge itself is embedded in technology. To know things is of reducing relevance because it is so easy to look things up. The value comes in appreciating when knowledge is important, understanding where to acquire it, how to validate it and then in applying it.

In this emerging world, where access to mobile technology is fast becoming ubiquitous, ‘experts’ will no longer be those with great depth of knowledge. Rather, they will be people who show their capability in applying knowledge to great (and often innovative) effect across diverse conditions and circumstances. Initiatives such as those at the Minerva schools are an example of what is to come.

In recent IACCM member meetings, we have been challenging our community to think about the implications of these changes to the nature of the skills they need to prosper. Their enthusiastic response reveals that many are excited and energized by the prospect of escaping from the task-driven environment of today. They welcome the prospect of applying their knowledge to drive business improvement and innovation. Already we have been adjusting the IACCM training and certification programs to reflect this shift from imparting knowledge to supporting and teaching its application. Over coming months, we will be sharing insights to the attributes and competencies that underpin success – and, of course, reflecting these in our many member programs.

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