Knowledge is the Key to Success

Some of what you think that you know is fine. But some isn’t. Here’s the rub. You don’t know which is which!

The world will tell you when the tidal wave is coming.

It will also tell you where to look for the next big idea.

But you have to know how to listen.

Knowledge Video

Let me ask you for five minutes of your time to talk about a fundamental, unavoidable fact.

Whether in your life, your career, or your organization, the way you approach knowledge will determine your future.


Change is a part of the landscape and it’s here to stay!

There is only one thing that you can count on in today’s world. That one thing is change. Technology changes. Consumer preferences and demand change. Information flows in constantly evolving ways. The state of the economy, along with political and regulatory environments change. The competition is always trying new things. Change comes in many forms, and if you want to succeed you’d better keep up.

Change in a fast-paced world

In today’s world, the only thing your organization can know for certain is that tomorrow will be different than today.

There are three things that you need to know about change:

  1. If you don’t see it coming, change will take you down before you know what hit you.
  2. If you recognize change before the competition you’ve just opened a door to opportunity for innovation and competitive advantage.
  3. If you wait until change is easy to see, you’ve already lost.

Many a postmortem begins with the question, “Why didn’t I see that coming?” More often than not the answer is, “Because you weren’t looking!”

The hard truth is that the world does not arrange itself according to our expectations and desires. In a rapidly changing, high stakes world the one thing you can’t do without is reliable, authentic knowledge.

In The Lesson of Lost Value I discuss a powerful truth. The line between triumph and disaster usually lies in how we look at the world. Winners learn to see the world as it is. Losers see the world as it was, or as they want it to be. Bad knowledge leads to bad decisions, which in turn lead to bad outcomes.

Turning a blind eye on reality can be a recipe for disaster. So why do we do it all the time? We accept what our group believes. We grasp at easy answers. We allow ourselves to be manipulated. We hold on to past assumptions, and imagine that they will remain valid into the future.

Knowledge is the key to success. But in our rapidly changing world, it’s not what you know that matters. It’s how you know!

Now for the good news. You can do better than that. By changing the way you approach knowledge you can learn to avoid the pitfalls responsible for 80% of business failures, while at the same time identifying opportunities for innovation and competitive advantage.

The key to success in changing times is pretty straightforward. Never bet the farm on an idea that you haven’t tried to kill first.

Here is the key. Reliable knowledge doesn’t come from looking for reasons to think that you are right. The kind of knowledge that you need comes from looking for reasons that you are wrong!

Think about it this way. If an idea is strong, then challenges will only make it stronger. On the other hand, if an idea can’t withstand that kind of scrutiny it is better to find out now than to wait until it matters.

The only game in town.

Real opportunity comes from being first to an idea that others have missed. Sitting around waiting for a stroke of brilliance won’t make that happen.

There is a term for what happens when you discover that an assumption is wrong. It’s called “opportunity.”

But if you are the first one to find the flawed assumption that everyone else is relying on, that is opportunity that you just might be able to carry all the way to the bank.

It isn’t easy to change the way you think about knowledge. It takes effort. It can be uncomfortable. It requires learning to look at the world differently. It has to become a habit. But if you want to take control of your own fate in a world of ever-accelerating change, it’s the only game in town!”

Knowledge is the Key to Success  © Dr. Jeff Hester
Content may not be copied to other sites. All Rights Reserved.

Reality Straight Up!

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    Read Article

  • Constrained Hallucinations
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  • Entropy Redux
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Click on thumbnail to select post:

  • Correctly Predicting Failure  It’s time for scientists to get loudPosted in Thoughts
  • Typhoid Mary on Two Wheels  Spreading COVID one lap at a timePosted in Thoughts
  • Pine Boxes  Invest now, the numbers are going upPosted in Success & FailureThoughts
  • Scientists Stuck Inside  Curiosity in the Time of COVIDPosted in For Your ConsiderationThoughts
  • After COVID’s First Wave  No getting back to normalPosted in Success & FailureThoughts
  • COVID-19  Cutting through the confusionPosted in Success & FailureThoughts
  • Great Deceiverism 101  Explanation or Theory? Therein lies the rub.Posted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • One Step at a Time  The  not-so-mysterious origin of lifePosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • The Mind’s Siren Call  Being certain is a primrose pathPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Constrained Hallucinations  How the brain uses science to perceive the worldPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Entropy Redux  Why our universe isn’t boringPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Entropy’s Rainbow  The statistically likely path to complexityPosted in For Your ConsiderationUnreasonable Faith
  • Now is not the time for scientists to be circumspect and silent. We are on the short end of a battle over whether truth even matters. If scientists do not stand up for what is real, who will?

  • The morning cyclist in my neighborhood may not be standing in the Michigan Statehouse carrying a gun and demanding her right to spread contagion far and wide, but she may as well be.

  • You know those nice charts and graphs that make it look like we are over the hump of COVID-19 and that things are about to get better? Those predictions are dead wrong, with an unfortunate emphasis on “dead.”

  • Imagine three gregarious scientists, each with the gift of the gab, all coping with stay-at-home orders. Of course we started a livestream/podcast talk show! What else would we do? Welcome to the kickoff episode of Scientists Stuck Inside.

  • Even after COVID-19 kills hundreds of thousands in the U.S. over the coming weeks, we will still be almost as vulnerable to the pandemic as we are today. We’d all love to “get back to normal” after that, but the price could be a second wave, worse than the first. Some see us facing either economic Depression or allowing vast numbers of preventable deaths, but that is a fool’s choice. There are better options if we have the will to find them.

  • There is a lot of information about COVID-19 out there, much of it misleading. When looking at the future, start with what the science really says.

  • If someone can’t tell you how they would know that they are wrong, they don’t have a clue whether they are right.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Once seemingly incomprehensible, the origin of life no longer seems such a mystery. Most of what once appeared as roadblocks are turning out to be superhighways.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Being certain lights up our brains like a junkie’s next hit. Literally. Unfortunately, being certain and being right are two very, very different things.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • The unique worlds we each consciously inhabit – the only worlds we will ever experience – are constrained hallucinations, products of hypothesis testing by our predictive brains.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • A month’s worth of sunlight could pay the entropy bill for a billion years of biological evolution. Entropy is evolution’s best friend.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Entropy is often maligned as the enemy of order. In truth, without the inexorable march of entropy, the universe would be a very boring place.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

Over his 30 year career as an internationally known astrophysicist, Dr. Jeff Hester was a key member of the team that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. With one foot always on the frontiers of knowledge, he has been mentor, coach, team leader, award-winning teacher, administrator and speaker, to name a few of the hats he has worn. His Hubble image, the Pillars of Creation, was chosen by Time Magazine as among the 100 most influential photographs in history.
©Dr. Jeff Hester LLC, 5301 S. Superstition Mountain Dr., Suite 104 #171, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118