Jeffrey Pfeffer

One of the most pervasive emotions in the workplace today is fear.The reason that there is so much fear is that everybody wants to build a learning organization, but nobody actually wants anyone to learn. Learning requires tolerating inefficiency and failure. If you genuinely want to build a learning organization, you have to accept the fact that learners are never as proficient as experts. Learning comes at a price: the experts might not get to use their expertise, and the learners might make mistakes.

One of the side effects of fear is that it absolutely retards the flow of information inside a company. So you have this anomaly: Companies pat themselves on the back as knowledge-management businesses, but because nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, nobody inside those companies knows what is going on.

…Yet another side effect is that fear causes individuals to focus only on the short term and on their own survival.

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