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Know Can Do! by Ken Blanchard, Paul J. Meyer, and Dick Ruhe

Know Can Do! by Ken Blanchard, Paul J. Meyer, and Dick Ruhe

Know Can Do!: Put Your Know-How Into Action

By Ken Blanchard, Paul J. Meyer, and Dick Ruhe
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2007

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At a time when we seem to be overwhelmed by information and knowledge, Know Can Do! is a simple guide on managing the conundrum of knowing versus doing.

The seemingly counter-intuitive core of the book is, “People should learn less information more often, rather than learn more information less often.” The authors’ goal is to encourage managers to cultivate extraordinary employees by freeing them up to think creatively about how great they can make the business instead of just fulfilling job tasks. This is accomplished by giving them a mastery of what they need to help create a high-performing organization.

The book is founded on simple but effective, well-grounded psychological principles. Those who have read Blanchard’s previous books, The One Minute Manager[1] and Putting the One Minute Manager to Work,[2] will be reminded of the ABCs and the importance of praise, not just reprimand.

Know Can Do! picks up where the others left off–or possibly fell short–and focuses on how to get employees to focus on what is needed to be focused on for the business to excel. The authors explain how to close the knowing/doing gap by exploring three key issues:

  • Information overload,
  • Negative filtering, or what the authors like to call “stinkin’ thinkin’,” and
  • Lack of follow-up.

The section on follow-up is particularly useful for managers who find themselves spread too thin or for companies with managers who are spread too thin and cannot understand why they are not getting results.

For managers and small business owners who are trying to keep their employees focused and optimize their results, especially in the services industry, it is well worth the read.

[1] Kenneth Blanchard, Spencer Johnson. The One Minute Manager, (HarperCollins Business, 2000).

[2] Kenneth Blanchard. Putting the One Minute Manager to Work: How to Turn the 3 Secrets into Skills, (William Morrow, 2006).

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