How often have we uttered the phrase “we don’t know what we don’t know” as a way to shrug off uncertainty? But have we stopped to think about what lies beyond this comfortable ignorance? The truth is that accepting what we don’t know without taking action can be a recipe for disaster.

Taking Responsibility for Knowledge

Rather than relying on this phrase as a crutch, I believe it’s essential to take ownership of our knowledge gaps. We must ask ourselves: what am I doing to seek out the unknown? Am I engaging with external networks, seeking advice from consultants, or prioritising professional development? Am I undergoing training in critical areas like governance, risk awareness, and regulation?

Proactive vs. Reactive

The alternative to proactive knowledge-seeking is a reactive approach, where we wait for problems to arise before scrambling to find solutions. But by then, it’s often too late. Instead, let’s signal to our teams that we’re on a learning journey together and invite them to join us. By sharing the challenge of equipping ourselves with critical knowledge, we can create a culture of continuous improvement and stay ahead of the competition.

The Consequences of Complacency

What if our competitors are already seeking out the knowledge we don’t know? What if they’re proactively addressing the gaps we’re ignoring? The consequences of complacency can be severe, from missed opportunities to reputational damage.

Time Move Outside False Comfort

So, let’s move beyond the false comfort of “we don’t know what we don’t know” and take control of our knowledge. Let’s engage with external experts, invest in professional development, and prioritise training in critical areas. By doing so, we’ll not only mitigate risk but also unlock new opportunities to drive success.

Remember, knowledge can be leveraged to create an advantage, and proactive knowledge-seeking is essential in unlocking it.