Wisdom Management: Can Wisdom be Managed?

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Knowledge and Intangibles Management > Best Practices > Wisdom Management: Can Wisdom be Managed?

Wisdom Management: Can Wisdom be Managed?
Sudheendra G. Mudikeri, Management Consultant, India, Member
In the discussion of the DICK and DICKS concept by Anand, the conclusion was reached that the highest level of knowledge is Wisdom.
That then leads to a logical quest of what's next to Knowledge Management (KM) and I believe it's WISDOM MANAGEMENT (WM).
My suggested definition of Wisdom is: "Knowledge put to profitable application". Knowledge has been traditionally classified into TACIT and EXPLICIT forms.
Wisdom also needs classification in terms of nuggets relevant to the area of application. Some ideas:
- Wisdom contributors may be area specific or work specific etc to an organization.
- Then we have generalists and specialists who can cater to essential knowledge.
- The people who pay for such knowledge must be enablers to convert these bits and pieces of knowledge into wisdom nuggets as applicable to their workplace.
- I am also thinking in terms of classification like Perennial Wisdom and Situational Wisdom.
Your inputs regarding my line of thinking please...

What is Wisdom?
sugiarto, Consultant, Indonesia, Member
I just read in Wikipedia and I agree with that. According to Wikipedia, Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, with good intentions. This involves an understanding of people, things, events, situations, and the willingness as well as the ability to apply perception, judgement, and action in keeping with the understanding of what is the optimal course of action. So, according to me wisdom might have a meaning like or similar to a set of knowledge that would become the body of knowledge.

How Does a Person Become Wise
SA Di Biase, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
Smart people learn from their experiences. Ignorant people don't. And wise people learn from the experiences of others. Wisdom is fueled by a person's innate curiosity to observe others around them. Therefore anyone can be wise if they elect to be.
Wisdom is rare because most people are narcissistic: they are more interested in observing themselves than others. Wise people tend to be those with the best questions; not answers.

Wisdom is Thinking of Something New
syed, HR Consultant, India, Member
I agree with Sudheendra, there are three kinds of people:
  1. The ones who acquire knowledge and work according to the knowledge gained.
  2. The ones who acquire knowledge and implement it to achieve something more with there experiences.
  3. The ones that acquire, implement and think beyond the boundaries of that knowledge to think of something new.
According to my thinking Wisdom applies to the third kind of people, who give something new to society, in terms of their knowledge and experience, creating new thoughts.

Wisdom According to Aristotle
shrishti, Student (Other), India, Member
I'd like to add one more aspect to the above: Aristotle said 'The ultimate aim of human life is to attain wisdom'. Also he classified 5 types of knowledge with wisdom being synonymous. Actually his model is quite analogous to the recent transition from info ⇒ knowledge ⇒ wisdom.

Wisdom is Common Sense Used with Common Sense
Abdullah Sultan, HR Consultant, Saudi Arabia, Member
Wisdom is to live and let live. It is the possession of common sense and the fair and skillful usage of it with a feeling of responsibility towards one's self as well as others.
So, it has nothing to do with knowledge, but knowledge can enhance one's self confidence and skills in using wisdom in a wise manner.
One of the basic traits of wise people is that they show real and authentic concern to foster welfare and stability in favor of their areas as well as for the whole human kind.
From this brief definition, you can conclude that a person even if he masters all sciences can not be considered wise if he, intentionally or unintentionally, behaves in a way that may endanger the stability of countries or the lives of people or cause damage to the human culture.

Is Wisdom 'Common Sense' ?
Steven Hughes, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
Does anyone think that wisdom is mainly "Common Sense" gained with age? I personally think that common sense can be put down to life experience.

The term KM Itself is Flawed
Rahul Deshpande, Management Consultant, India, Member
The term Knowledge Management as currently used in the industry is flawed. Most KM systems manage only data. Not even information. Let aside information. So the first step is to make the current systems capture information and then knowledge.
I feel Wisdom has lots of intangibles associated with it. The day humans are able to manage wisdom, we can create computers and robots more intelligent than us.

Wisdom Management versus Crazyness
Paolo Pozzi, Business Consultant, Italy, Member
@Rahul Deshpande: I agree. Thank you! Interesting subject.
Just to counterbalance, which is healthy in every discussion for a multi perspective approach: not too much or only wisdom either; sometimes a bit of craziness (controlled? O also loose?) may lead to knowledge and experience development.
After all that's also how we learned that we can also bend our bicycles, not just advance keeping them straight...

Wisdom Management not Possible
Makini, Business Consultant, Member
While I take note of the contributions made so far, my position is that one cannot manage wisdom. Knowledge has got dimensions while wisdom does not.
I agree wisdom generally comes with experience, but not quite, because it is more of innate than acquired through the normal way of acquiring knowledge.

What is Wisdom?
Tom Christensen, Editor, United States, Premium Member
Being intelligent is available to many people. Wisdom resides in the highest level of existential development, the level where highly complex cognition emerges. At this level of maturation we find at least 8 newly stabilized cognitive capacities, which together emerge "wisdom". Those new capacities are:
  1. Multi-Perspectival thinking
  2. Stabilized objectivity
  3. Transegoic cognition
  4. Transnarrative cognition
  5. Attunement
  6. Non-local self
  7. A quiet amygdala
  8. Systems thinking
More detail about the meaning of the 8 above terms is available here. These are the same qualities that can be found in those to whom we ascribe the highest wisdom, which is usually, but certainly not limited to, spiritual adepts. Most reading this will recognize these capacities. All it takes is acknowledging these capacities, in order to be able to apply them intentionally. It's the "name it - claim it" protocol, once again. .

Lets Focus on Wisdom Management!!
ramesh, Entrepreneur, India, Member
Apologies if I am wrong, we are discussing about wisdom rather than Wisdom Management... “Wisdom management can be described as the applied art of sharing experience through a systematic way to empower younger minds for enhancing business performance “ Ex: A great teacher, a great leader, a founder etc.,
Usually a low level executive gains experiences and insights from his career growth path through a step by step process which might take many years, but wisdom management will pre-pond this at an early stage.. ---- A GREAT TEACHER CREATING A GREATER TEACHER ----
Sudheendra has raised a important topic and a perfect explanation..

Wisdom Management
Sudheendra, Consultant, India, Member
@Tom Christensen: An excellent way to recognize constituents of Wisdom in today's complex world. The most cognitive capacities being Multi-perspective thinking, Attunement and Systems Thinking. Combined with Ramesh's definition of WM I believe we are set for an effective discussion on this topic.Thanks to one and all for sharing.

Ackoff Framework
rajiv gupta, Business Consultant, India, Member
Russel Ackoff, the great system theorist, developed a nice framework on this. If I remember right, he placed 'understanding' between knowledge and wisdom.
In simple terms wisdom is the ability to deploy knowledge at the right time, right situation. Knowledge is more about 'how' and Wisdom is more about 'when and where' and also 'when not to' and thus is more related to the wider context whereas Knowledge is more mechanical.

Someone has rightly commented here that organizations are focused on the data as part of KM. However with the advent of BI/Predictive Analytics/Big data, organizations are now more firmly moving in the realm of KM even though the implementation of BI/Analytics is still quite patchy.

Can Wisdom Be MANAGED? How?
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
The concept 'wisdom' will probably remain fluffy and very hard to define in exact terms, no matter how many opinions we collect. But we now all have an approximate understanding what it is.
So I agree with @Ramesh: let's refocus the discussion from here on the original question that I believe is even more interesting: Can wisdom be managed? If so, how?

Directing with Wisdom
Skarly Garcia, Teacher, Member
I spent days trying to choose a topic to share in a motivational chat in my work. Finally I found it on having read this forum!
To direct with wisdom is to teach our people that the fool learns from his own experience, but the wise person learns from experiences of others.

Wisdom Management
Bantwal Prabhu, Teacher, India, Member
Wisdom is the right application of the right knowledge and today it is at the highest level. I agree with @Skarly Garcia that wise people listen a lot and learn not only from their own experiences, but also from the experiences of others. They constitute a small percent of the society and hence many problems we face remain unsolved. We need to have to have more wise people in the future.

Wisdom Management
Sudheendra, Consultant, India, Member
@Jaap de Jonge and @ramesh: Thanks for bringing us back on track. The question "How to manage WISDOM?
WISDOM as Bantwal Prabhu has indicated comes out of others' experience, learning etc. That being the case, we have seen many decisions which were WISE as per that circumstance. For an organization, we can start collating such wise decisions whenever they are made and identified. The event(s) leading to such a decision may not reoccur. But the crux is first of all to avoid it will be forgotten in corporate quagmire. Hence a first step would be collating.
The collation should indicate the entire case and the TURN in that decision made WHY it qualifies as WISE. Else anyone else would have taken the same decision if it was just a routine affair.
Your views please.

Definition of Wisdom
Prakash Peter, Consultant, India, Member
@Bantwal Prabhu: a small addition to your view of wisdom. Wisdom is about the right application of experienced knowledge at the right time and in the right circumstances. Time and occasion really decide which type of knowledge/experience is to be applied.

Wisdom Management
Kurt Ludikovsky, Consultant, Austria, Member
To be honest, we can't even manage knowledge. As already stated here, all we do is storing data. Semantically arranged messages. Not everybody understands messages, so messages only become information if they have a relevance to someone. Now knowledge is when information can be applied, so this already includes that there is data from others - as they came in as messages.
What is wisdom then? My definition of wisdom would be it is "knowledge in action and relation", so the new knowledge can be built on.
All current machines are using rules - defined by humans - to perform reasoning. So how can they generate knowledge or even wisdom?

Managing Wisdom and Management
sara, Manager, Ethiopia, Member
Though it is hard for me to put the right demarcation between wisdom and knowledge, my understanding is that we can manage our own knowledge and wisdom but not others'. However, we can provide the best environment or processes through management.

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