Know What or Know How

As scribblers, bloggers and tweeters look ahead to 2014 with predictions and exhortations for this year’s latest resolutions, I just saw this post from David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center on ‘adding years to life and life to years’. While his focus is about on healthy living, the analogies to healthy businesses apply just as well.

“Knowing what provides purpose; know-how provides a process for getting there from here. Having a process with no purpose is like having a route with no destination; it makes no sense. Knowing what is prerequisite to the application of knowhow. Why aren’t most of us benefiting from that knowledge? The answer is: knowhat, but no how.

The definition of knowhow refers to expertise, skills, and the capacity to do something well. These are interesting considerations that collectively suggest knowhow is not about making it happen with iron will, no matter how poorly prepared we may be. The definitional details of knowhow imply preparation, and competency. Skillpower, in other words, rather than just will power.”

A recipe for mindfulness if ever there was one as we move forward with renewed energy and focus into this new year.