Forgetfulness and Fear are the Enemies of Knowledge


forgetfulness
“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” 
― Paulo Coelho

Forgetfulness and fear can destroy knowledge creation within an organization.

Loosing sight of organizational goals and challenges is detrimental to learning and innovation. The simple matter is we need a consistent purpose and challenge to spark our creative and intellectual energies.
It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.
-Einstein
As business leaders we should plan how we will use reminders to keep people focused on the big picture. Routines such as regularly scheduled planning meetings or progress report sessions  can help keep first things first.
fear2
“Fear helps create knowing doing gaps because acting on one’s knowledge requires that a person believe he or she will not be punished for doing so-that taking risks based on new information and insight will be rewarded, not punished”. -Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton
Fear also can derail the creation of knowledge. Pfeffer and Sutton (2000 ) highlight in their book the Knowing-Doing Gap that the organizations they studied that failed to translate knowledge into action had a pervasive atmosphere of fear. Maya Angelo has a saying that courage is the most important virtue because without it no other virtue are possible.  It is important to address fear head-on by creating a safe space where people can share their ideas and suggestions. In Japanese this is called a Ba. Ikujiro Nonaka describes a BA as a shared space that serves as a foundation for knowledge creation. If people are afraid they will not share.
  • How do maintain focus in your organization?
  • What strategies you use to create a safe space for people to share?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below.
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