Ignorance is a Precious Resource

The value of what you don't know:

Little attention has been paid to ignorance as a precious resource. Unlike knowledge, which is infinitely reusable, ignorance is a one-shot deal: Once it has been displaced by knowledge, it can be hard to get back. And after it’s gone, we are more apt to follow well-worn paths to find answers than to exert our sense of what we don’t know in order to probe new options. Knowledge can stand in the way of innovation. Solved problems tend to stay solved—sometimes disastrously so.

The author goes on to recommend four ways to cultivate healthy ignorance in your organization.

Ignorance is one reason why young entrepreneurs succeed when they do — they're ignorant about how the world works so they ask dumb questions, challenge inbred assumptions, and dare the thing that age will fear.

In a post I wrote 2.5 years ago entitled How do you fall upwards? I listed three suggestions in this arena, including "cultivate the naive mind" (not as tactically useful as the above-linked article) and "spend time with children."

(hat tip to the book Chief Culture Officer which comes out in November. I will blog more about it at that time.)

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