Learning is fine, but what about knowing?

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. During the last week of July, I earned my PMP certification for project management, finished up a personal issue that had been hanging around since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally made a thought a reality by launching a free video series to help non-technical project managers. While that would seem to be the busier time, I have spent the last seven days launching the series through my LinkedIn page as an organic social campaign. I’ve been keeping up with it and playing the tracking game, trying to pull together data and figure out what lessons I am learning from the campaign.

As I’ve said before, data is the new currency of the millennium. Every industry, job and activity out there relies on data in some way. Warehouses need data on inventory, marketers need data on their campaigns and their subscribers, data is yielded by the bucketful in projects across the globe. It’s how we all use that data that makes the currency valuable. I heard a great podcast from PMI’s Center Stage about knowledge in the project economy. The analogy they used was cooking; ingredients are the data, the recipe is information, and the knowledge is how to cook. As someone who loves to be in the kitchen – and whose daughter is now finally enjoying her time in the kitchen – this was brilliant.

This pathway of data to information to knowledge is not just in our professions and professional lives. We depend on that pathway as well. Over our lives, we all gather those ingredients. We learn facts, we learn skills. With baseball season in swing, I’ll put it this way: you learn how to throw a ball, how to hit, how to pitch, catch and field. You take those discrete skills and start putting them together and you learn how to play baseball. Then you can expand that knowledge into getting better and learning how to play baseball well. You translate that knowledge across situations to watch and understand MLB, college, international play… the knowledge takes shape.

With two analogies out of the way, what did I pull from this that I now put in this article? My video series is the culmination of data, information and knowledge in multiple scenarios. I took my knowledge and skills in project management, translated it into another expression (one to teach and help), used my knowledge of technical skills (video, web, social media writing and graphic design) to create and distribute my knowledge, and am now using the results to see how it’s going. I’m analyzing data – post views, page views, downloads and video views – to get information and then use that information to make corrections or stay the course.

What have I learned? So far, my initial post has done exceedingly well in reach, as has the second. I’m getting movement around my site from the conversions. My views are modest, but I went in with some lower expectations for a first foray. This information has given me a plan for my second week of posts to promote the remaining videos; and I have not received any concrete feedback from users/viewers on the actual content yet so I’m holding off on that.

And I know I enjoyed doing this, so I fully expect to continue doing this as time goes on. So stay tuned, connect with me on LinkedIn and join me in the process.

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