Many of us have read business books and came out thinking “well, that makes sense” or “that’s just not how it works”. We then file the information away in a folder of our brain that may or may not be referred to in the future; may be tried and implemented or just left alone. Either way that knowledge was gleaned and whether or not it was used was/is somehow helpful.
I mention this because I was recently rummaging through a bunch of old books after a move and was thinning my book collection. Hoping to pass the books on for someone to glean the knowledge for themselves. I was flipping through some of the books, blowing the dust off if you will, and found a smile on quite a few pages. The smile was triumphant because I remembered reading that particular book or that particular topic and found it relevant today.
It reminded me that there are concepts, topics, approaches, thoughts and strategies that businesses in general have had and will always have as a guide to success. My point here is that many people believe that there is antiquated data in those old books. I believe that is true in some cases. We no longer find a need to use a Rolodex (whoops, dating myself) we use a database of some sort. We no longer find the need for large filing cabinets (rooms full) we have an electronic system for that.
My smile came from the underlying concepts that ring true throughout time. Sure, they are re-framed and presented differently today than how they were presented then. That does not change the concept however, only the presentation of the thought. I like to think that repetition of certain concepts we choose to hold on to and allow ourselves to mold knowledge into action, is a framework for our success.
There is a good deal of wisdom inherent with experimentation and experience. That should only open the door to applying the knowledge to current needs and acting in a time appropriate manner. The concepts are solid, the presentation can be new. The following quote is a rendition of a concept as an example that has been around for centuries:
“It is not enough to know, for knowledge without action is impotent” Dave Merrell, 1993
“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Chekhov 1898
Don’t let “Old Concepts” fool you into believing they cannot be applied in a fresh manner in today’s environment.