“Most armchair quarterbacks have never played the sport!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Everyone is an expert at everything and yet has expertise in nothing! We are regularly surrounded by people who profess to have deep, instant knowledge, expressed in the buffoonery of their convictions.
Have you noticed how quickly average people have shifted from being experts on epidemiology and the science of pandemics to having deep knowledge on vaccine efficacy, followed by sudden deep insight on policing and managing complex protests, and now … they’re suddenly experts on geopolitics and the war on Ukraine!
And in that context, against stupidity, it seems we are defenseless.
This is the sad byproduct of the fact that we live in the midst of a massive knowledge explosion, both good and bad. The positive side of our future is that there are tremendous new opportunities unfolding: the volume of medical knowledge is now doubling every 78 days as a result of the pandemic – pre-pandemic, it was every 6 to 8 years. This takes us into a reality of wonderful new forms of treatment, diagnoses, pharmaceuticals, and care. That’s but one industry – a similar pace of discovery is occurring in science, energy, engineering, technology…
At the same time, we have allowed a culture of “mythinformation” to flourish its cancer among us. You already know that to be true, and there seems to be little that few of us can do to deal with this complicated reality. Our media universe has become a wasteland of ill-informed ‘opinion’; Twitter comment thread have become a toxic sludge of, in many cases, a new form of mental illness.
And yet, here’s a question you need to ponder – is that same culture floating into your corporate organization?
Is it beginning to creep into your corporate culture, accelerating and enhancing organizational sclerosis that was already holding you back? To what degree does the sudden pandemic of false knowledge expertise provide you more damage than good? For a long time, I’ve preached the religion that ‘just-in-time knowledge’ is a critical path forward – and yet, at the same time, ‘just-at-the-moment misinformation’ might be the real disease that is stalking your innovation efforts.