Fear of Knowledge LO5626

William J. Hobler, Jr. (bhobler@cpcug.org)
Tue, 13 Feb 1996 14:07:19 -0500

Replying to LO5533 --

John Paul Fullerton wrote on Sun, 11 Feb 1996

Quoting Demming
> "There is widespread resistance of knowledge. Advances of the kind
> needed in Western industry require knowledge, yet people are afraid
> of knowledge."
> and also
> "There is no substitute for knowledge. But the prospect of use of
> knowledge brings fear."
>To understand the response of fear seems to require a firm stance for
>me, and that may mean that I don't understand it correctly.

I think the response must be to remove the fear. To do this we must
understand its genesis. In observing organizational dynamics IMHO a fear
of knowledgeable employees is rooted in fear of loss of job because the
person is no longer needed -- the employees can make all the decisions.

In any large endeavor I do believe that there are 'levels' of decisions.
It begins (or ends) with the decisions made with customers, these are
operational decisions that are the fundamental transactions of the

The next level monitors how well the operational transactions are
progressing and decides how to remove obstructions to the fundamental

At the next level the day-to-day success of the business is monitored and
tactical decisions are made to improve the success on a short term basis.
This is where airlines companies are managing the yield of their flight

Finally strategic decisions are being made to indicate the course of the
organization in the longer term.

The knowledge gained at one level is the basis of decisions at the next.
A free flow of that knowledge may reduce the importance of a person in
control of knowledge. A root cause of fear is loss of this importance.

The LO concept of free interchange of knowledge and open participation
of all competencies in decisions goes a long way in removing the cause
of fear. But, IMHO, the real starting place is personal mastery. Our
people must reflect on and recognize their personal worth to themselves
and to the organization. Sure of this position they should be able to
voice an opinion, release knowledge, and contribute to their own and the
organization's success.

----- bhobler@cpcug.org ( William J. Hobler, Jr.) Bill -----

"William J. Hobler, Jr." <bhobler@cpcug.org>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>