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Updated: Nov 9, 2018

How the growth of knowledge is making scarcity obsolete

One of the paradoxical outcomes of the recent developments in science and technology is the reversal of the notion of scarcity. For all of history, and particularly since Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations in the 18th Century, value in economics has been centered on the ways to allocate scarce resources. Now, information is no longer scarce in the developed world; it is abundant. This concept of abundance is a major difference between knowledge and other economic resources. We make more knowledge every day, building on previous knowledge, and knowledge frequently increases in value—ironically, not because it is scarce, but because it is abundant.

The abundance of information has created a challenge for us, both in learning how to make use of it and how to manage it. Where we allow the constant flow of information from smart phones and social media to cause a distraction, we not managing the information and the distraction prevents our brains from functioning at optimum levels. Managing information is a key skill to learn in our current business climate.

In the business arena, work has become increasingly cerebral, as we have shifted away from manual jobs, so the need to protect our brain capacity to perform cerebral work is essential. But there is more – the ability of business leaders to set a vision for their organization is key to maximizing the value of cerebral work. It takes integrated left and right brain thinking, based on a clear organizational vision, to achieve a holistic output that meets the requirements of the market. Business helps to drive this change.

Managing and nurturing our brain’s cerebral output, in the face of abundance of knowledge, is key in our current business climate.
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