Early in my professional career I was introduced to Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his teachings in the early 80’s.
The Deming philosophy has stuck with me since then and subsequently when I view business and market developments I always view them from the lens of Profound Knowledge. This is both a curse and a blessing.
What Is Profound Knowledge?
The System of Profound Knowledge helps us to see the complexity of how organizations work. When we understand this we can then figure out what we have to do to get long-term improvements in effectiveness and efficiency. Ultimately, organizations led by people who are guided by the System of Profound Knowledge are likely to be much more efficient and effective than organizations which continue with the prevailing thinking where emphasis is on short term results.
Why is This So Important?
Because everything comes from organizations of people, processes and communications. To get more of what we want the organizations involved in supplying us must work efficiently and effectively. To work efficiently organizations have to learn new knowledge about how the system, or that of the market, actually works or doesn’t work well.
For example, when we decide to use social technology effectively we need three things:
- we need to understand how the technology impacts the “system”
- we need organized methods, messages, technology and people aimed at collaboration
- we need to learn what new knowledge is gained from assimilation of what is communicated
Simply using social technology is not enough. For a start there must be an adequate understanding of what, when, how, where, why and who is within and outside the “system”. Organizations and individuals will need to understand how to use technology efficiently. Data collection from usage must be accurate and real time. The messages, methods, processes and relationships sot must be aimed at quality not just quantity. And using the technology must be done efficiently. All this needs good organization(s) – not just good individuals – to deliver them.
The System of Profound Knowledge
The System of Profound Knowledge has four parts.
- Appreciation of a system: understanding the overall processes involving suppliers, producers, and customers (or recipients) of goods and services which are driven by communications. Now consider what social technology does.
- Knowledge of variation: the range and causes of variation in quality, and use of statistical sampling in measurements (understanding data patterns). Social technology creates variations in markets, institutions and society. Do we understand how use of social technology creates variation?
- Theory of knowledge: the concepts explaining knowledge and the limits of what can be known. Social technology propagates knowledge if used correctly and creates new knowledge to be applied.
- Knowledge of psychology: concepts of human nature. Every wonder what the attraction social technology has with people? It is the intersection of technology and human behavior at rates never before imagined.
“Profound Knowledge” is a system. This means that the four parts interact with one another. Real time transformation will only start when there has been some progress in all parts, not just one. On the other hand real time chaos happens when people and organizations use social technology in one of the parts of Profound Knowledge rather than the whole (i.e. delegated to marketing & advertising).
Social Media are a System
Everything is a system that should be continuously improved and not confined to parts of the system. Social technology is largely being applied to marketing, advertising, PR and recruitment. These silo efforts are and will continue to disrupt “systems” because efforts and communications are disconnected.
Profound knowledge creates order out of chaos. Without it social technology creates disorder and chaos. To learn how to use profound knowledge requires a knowledge, not social, network. Know the difference?