The way I consumed music in my childhood was via the radio, a cassette player or a record (LP) player. I vividly recall consumption changing when it became possible to take music mobile with the walkman. Then CDs came along and eliminated the bulky nature of cassettes/LPs before digital music launched, making it even easier to consume music. Changes in the way we consume in one part of life has led to changes in the way we want to consume in other parts. We want consumption to be mobile, accessible, and tailored to our desires at any point in time. Consuming knowledge that can help us make better decisions should be no different.
Netflix based its initial model after “books” which provided the consumer the flexibility to read as much or as little as time or desire permitted. This consumption convenience is now modeled in digital viewing of movies and shows which allow the consumer to start/stop at any point and have multiple options of shows. The consumer is no longer at the mercy of a set time/date of the provider (TV Channels), which might conflict with other personal events. Consuming knowledge that helps us perform at a higher level needs to adjust itself so that it follows the similar ways in which we consume in parts of our lives. What are the odds that by signing up for a leadership event today that is several weeks or months away will match your appetite at that future date? The reality is knowledge consumption is highly unique to each individual need and point in time. And although we want both ideally, between ‘right information at the right time’ versus ‘right mood at the right time’ the latter is much more desired and neurologically, it can allow us to access our own best knowledge and decision making.
In the coming weeks, ascertain how it is you as a coach or leader are distributing your knowledge to your audience. Are you giving knowledge when it is convenient to you or when it is the right time for the audience to get it and use it to make better decisions? Are you focusing on knowledge alone or are you aware of the ‘mood’ of the audience to see if they have the mindshare and emotional temperature to accept, understand, apply and internalize the knowledge? Remember, bad mood will always trump good knowledge. EQ will trump IQ. As a leader, it is your responsibility to explore how desired behavioral and leadership skills can be consumed in as similar a way as we consume music. If you can do this, performance will feel like a wonderful dance.