One of the lessons I learnt in life is that ‘understanding is not doing’. If you observe keenly ‘understanding’ and ‘doing’ requires different attitudes. However, many times it is required to understand to do something, though it is not always essential.
At most schools, people understand a subject than be able to do something in it. Most people will be able to understand a subject that they study in college or school, but they will not be able to use it or do something with the understanding. In fact, almost all interviews and entrance tests test you on understanding than on doing. More dangerous is the graduates from top schools mistake ‘understanding’ for ‘doing’. The top B-school or Tech-school graduates come out and think they understand everything about an area and they can do anything, only to later realize that they only understand it and it is not enough to do something in the subject area. To come up with new innovations one needs to have a ‘doing’ attitude apart from a lot of other requirements.
Some of the finest professors will have difficulty managing big businesses, because understanding a game is very different from playing the game on the field. You can give your expert opinions about how to play, but playing on the field is a very different ball game.
Understanding is more linear because there are no interferences and obstructions. On the other hand, doing will face a lot of obstructions and interferences. However, it can be reasonably taken that good understanding helps doing, and doing helps in understanding.