The knowing-doing gap. How smart companies turn knowlegde into action.
The market for business knowledge is booming, as companies looking to
improve their performance pour billions of dollars into training
programs, consultants, and executive education. Why, then, are there so
many gaps between what firms know they should do and what they actually
do? Why do so many companies fail to implement the experience and
insight they’ve worked so hard to acquire? The Knowing-Doing Gap is the
first book to confront the challenge of turning knowledge about how to
improve performance into actions that produce measurable results.
Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, well-known authors and teachers, identify
the causes of the knowing-doing gap and explain how to close it. The
message is clear-firms that turn knowledge into action avoid the “smart
talk trap.” Executives must use plans, analysis, meetings, and
presentations to inspire deeds, not as substitutes for action. Companies
that act on their knowledge also eliminate fear, abolish destructive
internal competition, measure what matters, and promote leaders who
understand the work people do in their firms. The authors use examples
from dozens of firms that show how some overcome the knowing-doing gap,
why others try but fail, and how still others avoid the gap in the first
The Knowing-Doing Gap is sure to resonate with executives
everywhere who struggle daily to make their firms both know and do what
they know. It is a refreshingly candid, useful, and realistic guide for
improving performance in today’s business.