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Knowledge and Uncertainty

Those who know, don’t learn. Organisations that know, don’t either! Therefore, knowledge reduces irritation competence, because one has answers and believes one can avoid questions (“Could it not also be different?”). The impetus for learning is uncertainty! This is why, in dynamic and changing environments, the most important feature is not knowledge, but the ability and readiness to tolerate uncertainty. In most organisations, at the moment, nobody wants to be accused of being conspicuous with ‘not-knowing’. However, it is exactly that which creates a problem with regard to learning.

Consultants and managers, who desire change, must therefore always ensure that the organisation, the team or the organisation members permit insecurity once again, where up until this point they have operated with knowledge. What is required is some form of a shake-up of the self-understood and the self-assurance. This can happen either by means of crises, i.e. the success is absent or endangered, or through confrontation with a communication partner, who is not easy to ignore (boss, authority, friends, advice book, coach, consultant etc.). People, teams and organisational units who are not irritation competent, fundamentally represent an enormous danger, which always threatens to become visible and effective, when the knowledge about the past is no longer fitting for the present and the future present.