The Knowing-Doing Gap


How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action


Many people know the best practices for building successful companies and teams. Few people actually use this knowledge to take action. Here’s why.


30 second summary


It’s super simple: companies have a very clear understanding of WHAT they should be doing, but time after time, the companies find that they can’t put that knowledge into action. This book deconstructs this phenomenon and offers some great practical advice for solving this problem.


My Top Take-Away


Here’s how you can address the knowing-doing gap in ANY part of your life (work, side hustle, learning, health, whatever):

1. Write a list of things you think might be important to your endeavor
2. Rank them for how important they are
3. Rank how well you are actually DOING those things
4. Identify the items with the biggest gap between important and well-executed.

You now have a roadmap for how to address improving your endeavor. Attack the important things that are not being executed well.

Side Note: This approach is eerily similar to identifying underserved outcomes in What Customer’s Want. Great book; see my page on it.


Here are some posts I wrote about the book The Knowing-Doing Gap.



Here is an example.


An Example

This is what a knowing-doing list could look like.

As you can see, it’s stupid simple.

The idea is to compile a list of things to do. Pick relevant, important things.

You then rank rank these things as being more or less important to your success.

The third column ranks your CURRENT EXECUTION of these things. In other words, how well you’re doing them.

Finally, the right-most column crunches the numbers and gives you the difference. The HIGHEST NUMBERS are the most urgent gaps to address.

In this example, “Move Quickly” is the most urgent gap in performance.