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Basic Business Cents: Turning knowledge into action

By Lou Schultz / For the Enterprise

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

Satchel Paige, Hall of Fame Baseball Pitcher

Paige knew that you cannot stand still, you have to keep moving forward. In business, if you are content to rest on your laurels, the world will pass you by.

It is not always easy to know what to do to improve but a method of assimilate, cogitate, and activate is helpful.

Knowledge is available everywhere and it is up to us to gather ideas and information from various sources and assimilate it into our body of understanding.

Sources of information can be found on the Internet, in books, trade journals, customers’ experiences, returns, results, consultants, and even newspapers columns. You are reading the Basic Business Cents column where thoughts are presented that might trigger useful ideas for you in the areas of leadership, strategy, process improvement, marketing, and culture. It is easy to get an overload of information so it is up to you to select what is useful and relevant.

It is undesirable to copy what others are doing as situations, talent, conditions, and timing is different so the knowledge must be studied and carefully thought about with the intention of how it can be applied to your organization.

This cogitation of knowledge inputs meshed with your knowledge of your business can be meshed into a plan for implementation. Reflection of how this new information compares with your experience should fine-tune your plan.

Knowledge without action is useless. Armed with your deep study and observation, you can implement the plan developed. Challenge your beliefs and way of doing things. Be willing to try new ways. Ensure that any changes are documented and followed up upon to see that the implementation is correct and to understand the results of the change.

It is preferable to try new ideas on a pilot basis and compare results with previous action. If the results are positive, then do more of it and document the new method to share with other parts of the organization. If the results are negative or do not show measureable results, then forego that plan and try another improvement idea. Make something happen.

Satchel Paige was right. Don’t look back at what might have been; look forward at what might be. Continually, relentlessly strive to improve work processes. It is not necessary to make giant strides forward; baby steps, little by little, are the most important in making progress, which will lead to success. Assimilate, cogitate, and activate over and over continually.