Those who have heard me speak know that I often quote Dee Hock, the Founder of Visa, and one of the great business innovators of our time.
I use his quote below to describe how technology is evolving us, how we’re evolving technology and how both are evolving culture.
- Noise becomes data when it has a cognitive pattern.
- Data becomes information when assembled into a coherent whole, which can be related to other information.
- Information becomes knowledge when integrated with other information in a form useful for making decisions and determining actions.
- Knowledge becomes understanding when related to other knowledge in a manner useful in anticipating, judging and acting.
- Understanding becomes wisdom when informed by purpose, ethics, principles, memory and projection.
Further, I map this evolution to a timeline:
Noise to Data
Data to Information
Information to Knowledge
Knowledge to Understanding
Understanding to Wisdom
Today, we are Knowledge Workers evolving into Understanding Workers. Understanding Workers use technology to anticipate, judge and act. Think about it. This is what we’re doing with FitBit, Quantified Self, 23andMe.com, Facebook, and so many other technologies of this era.
As we move into an Era of Conscious Computing, we’ll also be moving deeper into Understanding and closer toward Wisdom.