Sir Francis Bacon is credited with the aphorism, “Knowledge is power.”
Business professors once cited buggy whip makers to explain technological obsolescence. Today, one need only explore a smartphone for examples. Makers of cameras, calculators, atlases and restaurant guidebooks have joined those whip makers.
The New York Times speculates that self-driving cars will eliminate the need for traffic lights and road signs. The only defense against obsolescence is thorough training and continuing education across entire organizations. Managers must endorse this and listen to ideas that come from it.
Today, Sir Francis might rephrase his advice, “Relevant knowledge is power.”