It is a topic I spend may hours reflecting on.
Why, when an individual or maybe a small scattered group of people see the error of our ways - is it so hard to get others to see it too?
To me, this is a big part of what Knowledge Management should be about but sadly it is too often about a technology system such as SharePoint. Dave Snowden sumed this up very well recently with this witty quote:
SharePoint is to Knowledge Management, what Sick Stigma is to Innovation
Credit: Dave Snowden
David Pottinger in his post highlights this quote from the The Journal of Radiological Protection about Alice Stewart.
Had she been able to discuss her ideas more openly, accepting the criticism that is an inevitable part of the scientific life, she might have changed thinking in key areas - especially the risk of obstetric irradiation and the ante-natal origin of childhood tumours - more effectively and sooner than she did.
It reminds me of a conversation I had recently with someone who told me that whenever he hears someone say something that he thinks is wrong - he just has to "put them right" even if it means an end to the relationship.
To his mind attempting to putting things right is more important than the relationship. But if you forfeit the relationship you lose the opportunity to continue the conversation and get your point across or possibly see that you are the one who is in fact wrong or that the answer is context dependent or that there is an alternative view on which you can both agree.
We need to stop debating and arguing with each other and learn to converse more openly if we wish to understand the world better.