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Published by: Glen Brink 21-Feb-15
The Trap of Knowledge

Knowledge plays a paradoxical role in an individual’s ability to discover. Firsthand experience supplies the raw materials from which new ideas are forged but can carry with it the potential to ensnare us in old ways of thinking and seeing.

Jack Ma tells a story about the Balinese money trap that captures the point. A monkey trap is made of rope and a coconut with a small hole and a shiny treasure inside. The hole is large enough to fit a monkey’s hand, but too small for its fist when clasped around the shiny object. The trap works because the monkey, after grabbing the spoon, refuses to release his grip.

We must be willing to unclench our fist to avoid old ideas from entrapping us. Much of what holds us back is our inability to give up past ways of doing things to consider new approaches. It all starts with an alert and questioning mind.

This post has been excerpted and adapted from Amy Wilkinson's new book, The Creator's Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, to be released Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Wilkinson is a strategic adviser, entrepreneur, and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She frequently addresses corporate, association, and university audiences on entrepreneurial leadership. She also advises startups and large corporations on innovation and business strategy.

Learn more about her work at AmyWilkinson.com.

currated on Glen Brinks blog

 

 
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