Friday, June 17, 2005

Information, Knowledge and Wisdom

Recently while trying to figure out my business story for pitching to Angel Investors and others, I came to the question of "what is the difference between information and knowledge?" Since a key presumption of my business is that we are moving from the information economy into the knowledge economy in earnest, I wanted to know what the PHD's had to say (thankfully my close friend Michael Kull is just such a person).

Mike provided me with a great textbook answer (with practicality) to this which reaffirmed my original thinking, but in essence came down to this great Insyte which I quote"

Knowledge answers the question, "what should I do next." Information provides us observations about the environment of that decision: the circumstances of a situation.


While riding the bike at 24 Hour Fitness during lunch, a moment of clarity on this matter hit home. While you may view it as a semantic refinement of what Michael has to say on the subject, for me it forms the basis of a more understandable construct around the business. In brief:

INFORMATION is mostly unstructured data which is processed by the analytical side of our brains (the left hemisphere) - thanks to Dan Pink's A Whole New Mind for this Insyte.

KNOWLEDGE is when that information is put into context that is processed by the synthesizing side of our brains (the right hemisphere).

WISDOM comes about when we process the entire situation and then listen to our heart to determine a course of action.


So while I had initially planned on focusing on Knowledge, I now find it more appropriate that Insytes should become known as "The hidden jewels of wisdom that are found to be truth by genuine people with experience." Not a short catch phrase, but certainly a worthy brand identity to establish and voraciously pursue...

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