What is Breakthrough Knowledge?

Curry College hockey practice

Breakthrough knowledge hits you hard. It fundamentally changes your opinion in a way there is no turning back. It can be uncomfortable because it forces you to accept that you have been wrong about something or your thinking has been incomplete.

It can also be energizing because you have found something brand new to explore; something you have never considered. With curiosity and an open mind, breakthrough knowledge changes you for the better.

This is opposite to incremental knowledge which layers information on top of a previously held opinion. It’s like reading a 10th leadership book where you pick up some new ideas. However, in most cases its a twist on something you already know. It’s not changing you. Most twitter timelines are a version of incremental knowledge – confirming the things you believe (and know?) to be true. Incremental knowledge leaves us susceptible to confirmation bias.

Paradox of Abundance

There is a paradox of abundance: we have never had more opportunities to find breakthrough knowledge AND we are exposed to so much information it’s impossible to consume it all. There are incredible people sharing expertise and connecting ideas AND we are at risk of being distracted from it.

We need to be better at filtering the information we consume. A tweet is not the same as a blog – a blog is not the same as a podcast – a podcast is not the same as a book.

The Coaching Project aims to provide ideas that point you in the direction of breakthrough knowledge. That is my filter – does this information give someone a chance at seeing the world differently?

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