Enlightened Tradition

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"There is a (badly recalled) quotation that is supposed to encapsulate the Enlightenment: 'The antiquity of an idea, a law, or a notion need not necessarily be a reliable indicator of its excellence.' Rationality and Occam’s Razor are better tools for judging excellence, but it is still interesting that irrationality in the form of gossip and (harmless) tradition — such as dress codes and the like — are impressive in their power to remove friction from a range of human relationships and endeavours. Here I want to explore these things, to see how a rational approach to organizational knowledge and learning can fit around established ways of working, traditions or human expectations."

Author: Mark Gould is head of knowledge management at Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester, England.

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