Creating Business Wisdom
Many people view wisdom as something that can only be obtained through years of experience. Wisdom is built through experience but planning can help you direct that experience. Knowing what you want and need can help you in creating business wisdom.
Wisdom is the sum of knowledge gained through experience and the ability to combine that knowledge with good sense and judgement. Business wisdom is a combination of your own personal knowledge, good sense and judgment along with the institutional wisdom that has accumulated over time. This institutional wisdom, when it exists, can take several forms including: policies, systems, procedures and knowledge, information, and data regarding past events. But how do you go about the process of creating business wisdom?
The first thing to remember is that, while there will be some things you pick up along the way, as a general rule you will be much more successful at building and creating wisdom when you have a goal or a plan in mind and the first part of that is identifying areas or subjects where you want to be wise. Knowing where you want or need to be wise and creating a plan for it is one of the best short cuts. If you know where you need wisdom you can create a plan to get it.
The second thing to remember is that just because you have a policy, system, procedure doesn’t mean that you have business wisdom. That’s where judgement and good sense come in. You need to be able to look at the supporting data and information and judge whether these things are actually supporting your business.
Thirdly, you need to have a way to keep track of the important data and information that your business generates so that you can use these items as building blocks. If you can’t bring it together, you will have a much harder time turning it into wisdom. The point here is to bring data together in a way that allows you to use or analyze it. Merely collecting the data can still be valuable, but you will most likely miss out on some of the possibilities.
Finally, be prepared to make mistakes and deal with changing circumstances. Admit mistakes (to yourself at least) and learn from them. And accept that sometimes circumstances change or a course of action doesn’t provide what you thought it would. If you are (appropriately) flexible in these circumstances, you will be able to find solutions that you might otherwise miss. Appropriate flexibility can also prevent you from getting stuck in systems and projects that will never provide the benefits you hoped (or planned) for.
Does your business have a culture that supports creating business wisdom?
Think about areas where you would like to create business wisdom in your business. You won’t create wisdom overnight, but there are steps that you can take to direct and encourage the process. Pick one area and list three things you can do to build your wisdom in that area. Then select one short-term goal to help you achieve one (or more) of those things.