Books and Me: What’s The Big Idea

Title: What’s The Big IdeaWTBI

Authors: Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak

From two of the leading thinkers in knowledge management comes a rather different book on one specific aspect of knowledge. Numerous ideas in business and management domain are produced, practiced, hailed and dropped every year. This book provides some insights on why some of them become successful and some become fads. The book broadly speaks about the thinkers behind these ideas, the ideas themselves and the people who put these ideas to practice.  The last group have been given a nice name called ‘idea practitioners’.  As the author’s clearly point out most of us are exposed only to the ideas and the larger than life thinkers behind them. The key element in making the ideas useful thereon bringing the guru status to the thinkers behind them are largely ignored.  These are the idea practitioners, the people who live on the boundary of thriving organizations, who choose and influence the ideas within their enterprises.

While the predominant focus of the book is on idea practitioners the chapter on people behind the ideas – namely the gurus is also very interesting.  Couple of case studies clarify the importance of the three key pieces namely the idea, the guru and the practitioner in any idea becoming a success. The book has useful takeaways for practitioners seeking fast growth and an equal amount of takeaways for thinkers (aspiring ones) too. Anyone interested in knowledge management as an area will also find useful inputs and directions for further reading.

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