Knowledge…or Wisdom?

Just a quick post to point out a relevant reminder from the classic Herman Hesse book, Siddhartha (1922/1951). If you recall from this classic novel of Siddhartha, it’s the story of a young Indian man who leaves his family in search of the meaning and purpose to life. In the story, at the end of his life, he is telling an old friend, “I have had many thoughts, but it would be difficult for me to tell you about them. But this is one thought that has impressed me, Govinda. Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man [person] tries to communicate always sounds foolish.”

As consultants, we have the privilege, (and I use the word ‘privilege’ in its truest form) of seeing and experiencing many different forms of leaders, organizations, businesses, and industries. Oftentimes, we may be struck by a similar issue or problem in one setting, which may be almost identical to one in a completely diverse, other setting. Of course, from the first setting, the wisdom we may have gained from working with a client to solve his/her problem is not communicable. Resolution of the subsequent issue or problem may take an entirely different journey. And that’s okay. The important truth is that there are a variety of ways to solve problems. What works for one client may not work for another. Is that knowledge….or is that wisdom??

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