Leveraging your smart people

Interesting post by Dennis Howlett at AccMan (here).  I’ve always made a point of including folks who can and will challenge my thinking.  As Dennis says:

I like discovering smart people who can make connections that I miss, didn’t consider or just plain forgot.

The challenge for me is to set up my organization in a way that makes these smart folks feel rewarded and recognized.  However, some of the react in ways that are counterproductive — as soon as they get formal authority, they start hoarding info, or relying on hierarchy to transmit/receive info.  Dennis puts the challenge well:

[W]e continue to mistake our knowledge as partly defining the power we wield. In a knowledge based economy, that’s a fallacy, an illusion that serves to bind us to the past.

Genuine and lasting differentiation is not defined by how much we know but by how much we share.

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