Knowledge is an important component of decision-making. A decision is a commitment to change. The wrong change could have dire consequences. The right change could be wonderful and enriching. The more we know the better, right?
Exactly what is knowledge? According to the classical definition attributed to Plato, "knowledge is what is both true and believed, though not all that is both true and believed counts as knowledge."
This is a simple and familiar way of looking at things; after all, it has been the foundation of our educational system for 200 years. Educated people are those who have 'acquired' knowledge and mastered fundamental truths. We grant educated people diplomas, better-paying jobs, and a higher stature in our society.
Highly educated people store and manage their knowledge--they often have large libraries and write about what they know. They can also be coaxed into dispensing what they know for a price, or for the good of some cause. This is the purpose of study groups, advisory panels, and special assistants: the metered dispensation of acquired knowledge, often in the guise of that even more precious resource, wisdom.
The concept of knowledge as a thing to acquire and possess--as an asset to measure and manage, is obsolete. Truths are transitory; beliefs are subjective. This is becoming more so as we learn more about the physical and spiritual world. For example, Thomas Jefferson never really took literally his words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident." He was establishing the basis of a momentary argument to dissolve the political connection with Great Britain. He knew that after the revolution a torrent of not-so-evident truths would flourish in the new free society.
I believe that the key to better decision making is not about getting more or better knowledge. It is about "knowing how to know." It is about learning how to find and use new truths and different beliefs, while discarding or re-using others. It is about turning knowledge from a thing into a process.
Knowledge is how we decide to change, and the small steps we take along the way.
Definition of knowledge from Wiki