The Value Of Knowing What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know

The Value Of Knowing What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know

It’s an obvious thing to say, but we go through life knowing what we know and what we don’t know. And, of course, running a business is no different. For example, an accountant knows that they’re great with taxation and financial strategy, and know that they are not so hot on marketing and networking. A Web Developer will know the language needed to create your ideal website. They may also know that their knowledge is weaker in bookkeeping and branding. Yet, it’s not these areas that I want to focus on. It’s the unknown unknowns that trip up many business owners. This happens when you come face to face with a challenge that you weren’t expecting and don’t possess the knowledge needed to overcome it. This was famously brought to light by Donald Rumsfeld in 2002, who was United States Secretary of Defense at the time, during his response about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. He said: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.” …and that last comment applies to running a...