Monday, May 21, 2007

Being Authentic in Managing Knowledge

It's another day of learning and of applying what we discover to managing knowledge. Today's theme centers on being authentic. Coming from a place of no agenda (or as little as possible), to share what we have learned, how we think, what we know to be true, and our perception of what went wrong, is critical to sharing knowledge and to learning.

Yet inside and outside of organizations, people find being authentic a challenge. They are worried about repercussions, ramification, or in other words, fallout. I am finding they are so fearful, in fact, that they simply let things slide rather than speak up for the truth. What are they worried about? Losing their jobs, losing respect or trust, losing face, the list goes on. It's a long list. Yet, where is the benefit in not speaking up, in not being authentic? Perhaps in the short term they avoid confict, but in the long term they sacrifice sustainable organizational success, and even their own self respect.

When will we learn that playing it safe can lead to the downfall of entire companies.? It is sad and it is true. Being authentic is not always easy, but it allows knowledge to be trusted and better yet, you get to sleep at night.

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