Abstract: In recent years, the chief knowledge officer has found a home in the executive suite as companies have come to realize that often their single most important asset is their intellectual capital. The time may be ripe, though, for the CKO to be joined by the “CIO”—a manager not of information but of ignorance.
Little attention has been paid to ignorance as a precious resource. Unlike knowledge, which is infinitely reusable, ignorance is a one-shot deal: Once it has been displaced by knowledge, it can be hard to get back. And after it’s gone, we are more apt to follow well-worn paths to find answers than to exert our sense of what we don’t know in order to probe new options. Knowledge can stand in the way of innovation. Solved problems tend to stay solved—sometimes disastrously so.
David Gray: Wanted: Chief Ignorance Officer. Harvard Business Review, November (2003): 22–24
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