#KnowledgeQuote: Proverbs 15:7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge…
This statement gets at the heart of one of the tenets of knowledge management: knowledge sharing. According to John Gill, one of the commentaries included in e-Sword, the wise scatter knowledge about for the benefit of others that the fruit, or in this case, the knowledge may abound (Gill as cited by Meyers, 2014). One fear many experts have on the job is that if they share their knowledge, they will lose the very thing that gives them leverage in their organization: knowledge. However, what they fail to understand is that we live in a dynamic society where change, resulting from continued evolutionary events, happens at break neck speed. In order to keep up with this rate of change, sharing what we know is the best way of evolving what we know. As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Once more, the idea of sharing what we know in order to continue both personal and organizational growth is not specific to the business world, but as you can see from the biblical quote, it is an idea that permeates all walks of life. The Bible, however, is specific about who disperses knowledge: the wise. For anyone who follows the various information hierarchies that exist today, you’ll notice that the transformation of what we know moves from data, to information, to knowledge, and (depending on the model you use) to wisdom or intelligence. We understand that knowledge is created as we learn about and experience the world around us. This makes the wise, or experts from the business perspective, people with years of experience.
According to Shi et al (2007) “Wisdom includes knowledge, know-how and understanding but goes beyond them in also including the desire and active striving for what is of value, the ability to experience value, actually and potentially, in the circumstances of life, the capacity to help realize what is of value for oneself and others, the capacity to help solve those problems of living that need to be solved if what is of value is to be realized, the capacity to use and develop knowledge, technology and understanding as needed for the realization of value” (p.139). In knowledge management, an individual’s knowledge is referred to as “know-how” while in wisdom management, wisdom is referred to as “know-why.” In Buddhist writing (e.g. Dhammananda, 1999) it is said that “the knowledge of how things work is quite different from…wisdom, which is insight as to why it works, or why it is done” (Shi et al, 2007, p. 139).
Wisdom is the application of judgment and perception to what we know and it enables us to take action where action is needed. One can only speak as to “the abilities and measure of the gift which he has received; and to the utmost of his power feeds souls with knowledge and understanding” (Gill as cited by Meyers, 2014). It’s one thing to know and a completely different to have applied what you know, generating a much more rich experience some may call wisdom.
Meyers, R. (2014). E-Sword: The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge. Retrieved from http://www.e-sword.net/index.html
Shi, Y., Olson, D., and Stam, A. (Eds.) (2007). Advances in multiple criteria decision making and human systems management : Knowledge and wisdom. Washington, DC: IOS Press.