What kinds of mistakes do organizations make when dealing with change?
They confuse reliable knowledge with the illusion of knowledge.
Why didn’t you see that coming? Probably because you weren’t really looking!
Some of what you think that you know is fine, but some isn't. Here are a few of the forms that the illusion of knowledge can take, blinding an organization until it is too late:
- I know it because I know it… Unexamined knowledge.
- I know it because we know it… Groupthink, corporate culture, call it what you will. Humans are the go along to get along species. We don’t like to make waves. But just because “everybody knows that” doesn’t make it so.
- I know it because somebody told me… Illusory knowledge is contagious. Even a well-meaning expert can be wrong, and snake oil salesmen are thick on the ground.
- I know it because I want it to be true… If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
- I know it because it worked that way last year… Complacency. Guess what. This year things are different.
Decisions can be no better than the knowledge upon which they are based. In a rapidly changing world traditional approaches to knowledge just don't cut it. These are a few of the things that will bury you if you let them.