If you offered ten business leaders the same book to read or video to watch, how they would understand it, relate to it, and create knowledge based on it would depend more on “who they are” at the time than the quality of what is presented. In other words, the importance of the information has less to do with its inherent value than the receptivity of the person to incorporate the message and relate the message to themselves.

If we look at a continuum from data to information to knowledge to wisdom, only the latter two require a degree of self-knowledge. We can take in data and information all day long and it will go nowhere until we create meaningful knowledge from it. Staying at the data and information level is a subtle way of relying on the outside without having to integrate it with what is on the inside. This may be the only viable choice if we don’t know ourselves very well and there is limited value in adding our perspective to what we observe. Yet, this is how many people and business leaders live. In doing so, they rob themselves and those entrusted to their care of their true genius. Perhaps the greatest loss is that they never fully experience being a conscious part of creation by offering themselves as conduits of wisdom.

Two questions come to mind here, “How could resources designed to change and improve human functioning and culture be better spent?”, and “How much energy, creativity, and happiness would be liberated if the training paradigm actually changed to transformational learning?”