What does making wooden spoons and knowledge management have to do with each other? Read on and I’ll explain in a couple of minutes.
The beginning of everything
For reasons that are not relevant, I started making wooden spoons not long ago. I started with nothing more than a knife and a piece of wood, after watching a Youtube video. In the video a participant in a solo survival competition was making spoons to keep his mind busy. This is already an important part: I knew that wooden spoons could be done, but I didn’t know exactly how to make them. Although it was obvious before watching the video that it is possible to make wooden spoons.
The importance of knowledge
And that’s the point, the first spoon didn’t go too bad. You could clearly see that it was a spoon and could be used as such. But it was not a good spoon (sorry first spoon, it was not your fault). Besides, it took me a long time to make it and I didn’t even treat the wood. In fact, at that time I didn’t even know that it needed to be treated.
And this is where the importance of knowledge comes in. There was A LOT I didn’t know about making wooden spoons. That prevented me from making a good spoon, within an acceptable time frame and with quality. So I looked for knowledge: videos and videos about how to make spoons, how to sharpen a knife or a gouge well, how to “read wood”, how to treat a spoon to be used and a few other things. At the end of the day, I was making a spoon, not a rocket.
Knowing how to do something is very important. It helps you not only to do it better, but possibly even faster or to make better use of your resources. The first time I saw a clear example of this was a few months ago at the 1st Paraisu Startup. There we had a group dynamic to explain the importance of knowledge.
The paper tower dynamic
Basically this dynamic consists of trying to make a tower as high as possible with given materials (in this case, a large sheet of paper, some pieces of jenga, some Moorish skewers and rubber bands). Normally every group managed to make a tower, but not too high in the first attempt. After that attempt they showed you how other teams from other editions had managed to make the tower taller.
In a matter of minutes and with a couple of images, you go from a tower that barely reaches a meter high, to a tower that practically reaches the ceiling. The materials were the same, the people who made the tower were the same as a few minutes before, but now they knew how to do it.
And that’s the importance of knowledge, it can make you better even at things you can already do. Someone found a better way to do it, and if they share it with you and you learn that knowledge, you can apply it from that very moment and improve.
Do you know a tool that does that very well (the knowledge sharing I mean)? It’s called Zapiens, I invite you to know about it.