Living In The Knowledge Age

Self - By: Clive Sury
Business Coaching Article | Ten Principles of Leadership

Coming out of the dark ages, we lived in the Agrarian Age where wealth was created from the land and, therefore, a few landholders had the power and wealth of the nation.  Battles were fought over land and the differing resources that the geography possessed, giving title deeds to the victor.

The Industrial Revolution changed this order. The era of capitalism was born with the creation of factories engaging workers through Adam Smith’s division of labour principles and the production of mass market goods, provided ever more cheaply through ever greater size of operations and the economies of scale employed.  This era started in the seventeenth century and culminated with massive industrial complexes such as Henry Ford’s car plants in Detroit.  

In the Industrial Age, the ability to attain capital, own and run factories by organising workers and machinery led to wealth for the individual.  There was a fundamental shift in financial power from the land to capital.   On a global scale this became the age where America industrial might showed itself and then latterly German engineering prowess and Japanese production efficiency rose to the fore.  Within all this there was the creation of industrial magnates, tycoons and a new rich.  It was also the birth of the middle classes.

In the latter half of the twentieth century we witnessed the birth of the Information Age which has allowed rapid global communications and networking to shape modern society.  Communications around the globe are now instantaneous through a multitude of channels with access to information on any subject only one click of a button away.  

The providers of these channels and sources have prospered on an unprecedented scale benefitting from a global marketplace with seemingly no financial boundaries or constraints.  

The Knowledge Age is now upon us and it has profound effects for business.  Once you have access to all the information you may need on any subject, instantaneously available at no cost, then what next?  Where’s the competitive advantage?

It lies, now, not in the information itself but how you know how to assimilate it, using one’s experiences, intellect and understanding to create added value to customers – and on a constant basis.  The Knowledge Era upon us is where ideas are paramount.  In this era, knowing how to use the relevant information in a digestible, implementable form and take it to market quickly is the key to success.  It has never been truer that it’s not what you know it’s what you do with what you know.   A good depth of knowledge, enables asking the right questions, to get the right decisions, to take the right actions and then – get the desired results.

In summary in the Knowledge Age a business owner needs to apply constant learning to their own development and seek out the best advice and ideas from knowledge rich sources of business.   In a competitive market those that choose to know more about their ever-changing marketplace and take Action will win.