Experience versus knowledge
Starting any new job is a strange thing – suddenly you don’t know how to use the photocopier, intranet, phone system, where the stationery is kept or who takes sugar (or sweeteners) in their coffee (or tea). A minefield of brickbats, bloomers and blunders as you use every ounce of your past experience to make up for your lack of knowledge.
Then gradually the woolly clouds part and a ray of sunshine appears – suddenly you do know the answer to a question without having to ask someone else. Like a baby learning to talk you get the hang of the jargon and the ‘way we do things around here’.
If you are as lucky as I have been, you have friendly people around you who are willing to help with the learning process – because they understand what it is like to be new and clueless.
It was Einstein who said that information is not knowledge.
My temptation when starting something new is to gather as much information as possible. However, after a week or two of gathering everything and anything, I find myself suffering from data overload and it is only when I start to sift through it all, to make sense of it, that I feel that I am getting close to acquiring knowledge.
There is an old ditty – patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, seldom found in women and never in a man!
And whilst I don’t agree with the gender differentiation I do recognise the sentiment. Note to self: be patient and you will get there.
I am aiming for a blend of new knowledge with past experience. Community Land Trusts are new to me at the moment and I am lucky because they are new to most people. So, I think I have a golden opportunity to take people along with me on my journey of exploration.
I believe it is not a bad thing to strive to make things clear and straightforward. Often those who try and blind us with science are like the Wizard of Oz – loud and bold in appearance but the reality is often surprisingly different.
So when we meet please don’t expect me to have all the answers straightaway, I do have the experience to know where to find them and my knowledge of how to help you is growing better and better every day.