This blog is very much about bridging the gaps between facts, outcomes and benefits. Here is a picture that illustrates this.
It is from a photo I took a few days back of the famous Needles rock formation on the Isle of Wight. Why is this image a good analogy for bridging the gaps between facts, outcomes and benefits?
For one thing, it shows a set of gaps without any bridges between them. At the end is a lighthouse which is an outcome of a project with a major benefit to sea traffic that passes along the Solent in and out of the busy ports of Southampton and Portsmouth during periods of low visibility i.e. preventing ships from running aground. But where are the facts and how do they relate to the other elements?
The facts about the Needles are that they are part of a chalk outcrop that stretches from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Purbeck (not actually an island any more) ending with another unique rock formation called Durdle Door in Dorset. Just off the Needles is a pebble shoal which goes out 3 miles into the sea and is the key reason why ships need to be alerted to possible dangers ahead. The original lighthouse was too high up the cliffs so couldn’t be seen during fog. The current lighthouse is ideally situated, but due to the soft composition of the rock will need to be buttressed against continual erosion at its base.
What we have found out from the facts is that the real physical gaps between the rocks aren’t relevant. But without the facts we wouldn’t fully understand the possible dangers to the lighthouse itself, including collapse into the sea, which would negate all positive outcomes. This would also end all real benefits to seafarers, even though the original builders must have been very pleased with their engineering achievement back in the 19th Century.
This little story sums up knowledge brokering in a nutshell. Bridging the gaps between facts, outcomes and benefits.
This is what I do every day.