Fearlessness

Where innovation can make the difference between success and failure, it is not enough to hire smart, motivated people.

Knowledgeable, skilled and well-meaning people cannot always contribute what they know at that critical moment on the job when it is needed.

Sometimes this is because they fail to recognise the need for their knowledge.

More often it’s because they’re reluctant to stand out, be wrong, or offend the boss.

For knowledge work to flourish, the workplace must be one where people feel able to share their knowledge.

This means sharing concerns, questions, mistakes, and half-formed ideas.


This is from the introduction to The Fearless Organisation by Dr Amy Edmondson (p.xiii-xiv) which we are currently reading in the Knowledge and Learning Book Club.

I’d be really interested to know what you are all doing to help your peers to:

  • recognise the value of their knowledge and when it is needed,
  • ameliorate a fairly natural reluctance to offend the boss (or be wrong or stand out), and
  • share concerns, questions, mistakes or half-formed ideas.

Thoughts in the comments (don’t be afraid of being wrong, offending someone or standing out and remember that we all want to benefit from your knowledge!) or if you can’t share, spend some time today thinking about what you can do differently to support people in their fearless knowledge sharing.

Everything will be fine (neon sign)

If this post has made you think, follow the blog (button at the top right), or sign up for the busy person’s summary or join the book club.

About knowledge4lawyers

I am a lawyer and a Knowledge Management expert. Through The Knowledge Business I help law firms improve their efficiency and profitability through knowledge services - consultancy, training and implementation help.
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