Friday, 11 May 2007

Is Ignorance Bliss? 14 -On Organisational Learning


The previous posts have been a discussion covering a general tour of the organisational learning landscape, through which its opposite, the notion of ‘organisational ignorance’ has been pointed out. Some personal examples have been provided to show how ignorance and learning can affect an individual’s and an organisation’s performance. It has been suggested that organisational ignorance is closely connected to organisational thwarting behaviour and that both are difficult to detect until a serious individual or organisational failure occurs. These negative characteristics can be temporarily masked and are difficult to pin down unless specifically measured. The desirability of understanding more about the general ‘life’ pre-disposition of individuals is suggested as an indicator of the probability of organisational learning to occur.

It is also interesting to note how we ‘sense’ when this occurring, and often can’t pin it on something tangible. Additionally it reveals our na├»ve reliance on ‘authority’ symbols, which stand on the expectation that people ‘higher up the ladder’ are more privileged in what they know. (This of course might be very true in many cases) Nevertheless, when things are ‘dissonant’ – i.e. the claims to authority, aren’t backed up with a considerate disposition, or with merited know what and know how, then things begin to tell us the Organizational Ignorance is at work. A crisis of expectations develops until the pressure causes us to ‘go passive’ to cope, or do the more difficult thing and change ourselves and the rules of the game. bringing Organizational Ignorance to our attention and seeing for teh first time an ‘undiscovered’ feature on the landscape might just enable us to do something about it.

Now, if this memetic notion catches on, just watch with interest as it become discussed in learned journals, and watch it appear as a ‘management training intervention’ coming to a town near you soon! You can then smugly respond that you ‘saw it here’ first.

I also recommend that you visit workplace survival for some intersting views and opinions on the themes discussed in Is Ignorance Bliss?

Workplace Survival

© reasonablerobinson

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