We are living in an era of free information that can be transferred at a near instant. We are inundated with statistics, articles, images and facts that in their essence define our modern culture…

Fast knowledge

In these fast-paced times it is sometimes difficult to slow down, even for a moment, to give considerate and deliberate thought to a problem or idea. We are barraged with all things new; ideas, products, discoveries, information, etc. Fast knowledge promotes quick action. But is fast always best? The author of this piece explains that fast “…is a social trap: benefits occur for some in one place and hurt others elsewhere…” In other words, sustainability is at risk when the fast path is the automatic path.

Slow knowledge

The accumulation of knowledge and learning is slow knowledge. It is at the root of sustainability and helps us

  • avoid problems
  • provide context, reveal patterns and connections
  • build community and prosperity
  • be ecological
  • deal with complexity and create resilience
  • think with our whole selves and whole brain

Learning where and when to use them is important. Some situations require the abstract and theoretical approach of fast knowledge. Others require the consideration and methodological approach of slow knowledge. We all know of the syndrome of the law of the hammer. Mark Twain summed it up best, “To a man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”

When we facilitate leaders, we often call upon them to slow their thinking to create time for reflection and context. Not every decision calls for a snap judgement. Strategic thinking requires slower approaches and operating sometimes outside of our normal comfort zones. If we become more aware of which mode we’re operating in, perhaps we’ll be able to make better decisions, become better at problem solving and ultimately make more sustainable decisions.

If you need help using more slow knowledge in your company, give us a call. We’re here to help.

Read the full article at: medium.com