I needed a new word, so I just made one.
intek: hybrid of "internalize" and ancient Greek "teknik"
intek: To go from a state of knowing a craft or skill theoretically to knowing how to perform that craft or skill in the real world.
I was sitting in Pacific Coffee thinking about business. There's a lot of things I know in a theoretical sense right now, but I haven't built into myself to the point where they're running smoothly. The same concept could apply to anything that needs real world practice - you know something in theory, but in practice you're still doing it wrong.
As far as I know, there's no great word for this. Before "intek", you have theoretical knowledge. After intekking, you can now do in the real world and really know it at a deeper and more meaningful level.
I predict this word will enter specialized usage in the next 3-5 years, and common usage within 20-30 years. Mind you, I don't create words lightly, but I think we need this one. My friend Brendon's updating me on one of his projects and I'm giving him some thoughts. He just wrote in an email: "I made many mistakes this week... [list of a few mistakes]... I need to [do things correctly]... I know this stuff."
That's actively going through the intek process. He knows theoretically, and yet, he's not doing. Yet. But he's intekking, so he'll be doing it correctly soon. I've got some skills I know at an abstract, theoretical level, but I need to intek them to keep making progress.
Enjoy the word! For you historical people, it was coined 2 August 2010 in the Pacific Coffee in the Shun Tak Center, Hong Kong Island. There's different romanizations of the Greek, but the general thing that "technical" or "technique" is derived from means roughly craft, skill, art, discipline, learned ability in Greek. These could be understood theoretically but still not able to be put into practice until the person who learned inteks their new skills.
I just discovered your site, and really love the piece on walking. I just got back from a walk actually.
I believe intek is a near synonym of the word ENTELECHY, which coincidentally is one of my favorite words, and was coined by Aristotle. Read more about it here http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2012/07/12/overheating-because-of-moisture-wicking-fabric-could-this-have-caused-the-bighorn-catastrophe/
I discovered it reading SPIN Selling, and it was used to describe the process of making theoretical knowledge into applied habit.
Thanks for writing. Cheers!
About three weeks ago, I recognized a common phenomenon that's hard to describe.
A lot of times, you know something, but you're not doing it. Or you're not living it regularly.
When you come across information you've already read or seen, the temptation is to say, "I already know this." Okay, you know it - but are you living what you know? If not, you might want to keep studying and practicing on that topic, even if you feel like you "know" it.
When I start reading a book on managing money, or managing time, or setting goals, sometimes I have a reaction. I say, "I already know this." But then I stop myself. Stop. And I ask, "Am I living it?" Okay, I need some goals and I need to look at them regularly. Am I doing it? If not, I'll re-read the section, or watch another video on it.
I'll be honest - it's somewhat boring going through information you've already come across. But it's necessary if you're not doing/living it.
I got a lot of feedback that the post on role shapes was useful to people, but it's only one metaphor, and no metaphor is complete. The subtractive way of thinking about work simplifies away many aspects of development: it ignores the way the needed work can change and morph over time, it ignores the way that good decisions in one area can change the work in another, and it postulates a "set of all work" as though it's a knowable thing. Other than trivially simple projects, the set of all work is not something you can just write down with confidence. A huge part of the challenge of running a project is the skill of sussing out what needs to be done in the first place, and reconciling world views between teammates so you can have productive conversations about the work.
When I think about this what comes to mind is a city. The city has development that needs doing, and also ongoing maintenance. Fires happen, bridges collapse, stuff like that. Your job, your whole team, is to array yourselves around the city to get the work done. How do you lay yourselves out?
Every place you can stand in the city involves a tradeoff between direct agency and line of sight. By "direct agency" I mean the ability to actually do things, like fix broken water mains or build a garage or pave a road. By "line of sight" I mean the set of all things you can see from where you're standing, and how well you can see them
If your project is very small, then in the metaphor it's a little village. If it's really tiny maybe it's just a little shed. And maybe there's just two of you building the shed. There aren't that many perspectives you can have on a shed. You will sometimes see things differently, because you're standing on different sides of the shed, or one of you is on a ladder looking at the roof while the other is inside looking at the interior. But it's easy to reach a shared fundamental understanding. You can get blueprints and spend half an hour looking at them and agreeing on them.