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Power, Responsibility & Wisdom: Exploring the issues at the core of Ethical Decision-Making and ... - page 12 / 13

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involved in all decision-making and all we are doing is making the discussions about the values dimension more explicit, a process that is, after all, at the core of Knowledge Management. It is also through making information/knowledge more explicit that we can improve the effectiveness of our learning processes. Secondly the evidence suggests that there is much more agreement across all cultures and religions about fundamental human values (and Wisdom) then is generally recognised.

Finally I come back to the point made at the beginning. Why are we interested in Ethics and the Future? The answer is, simply that we are concerned with trying to make the world a betterplace. But for whom? And how? To answer both questions we need to re-ask fundamental questions: Why do we not spend more time to ensure that the important messages that we have learned in the past ('Wisdom') can be passed on to future generations? How do we ensure these messages are learned more effectively? These are critical strategy questions, as well as being at the very foundation of anything we might want to call 'The Knowledge Economy', although what is really needed is to focus on trying to move towards a concept closer to ‘The Wise Economy’. This focus naturally overlaps with the greater attention recently being given to values/ethical related issues and ‘the search for meaning’ in management/leadership literature.

Overall, Wisdom is a very practical body of sustainable knowledge (/information) that has an incredibly useful contribution to our understanding of our world. Such an approach would enable us all take ‘better’ (/wiser) decisions, lead ‘better’ lives and experience wiser leadership, particularly in areas that involve explicit, or implicit, ethics and values related issues which are themselves closely linked to establishing more appropriate relationships between Power and Responsibility.

If we cannot take Wisdom seriously we will pay a very high price for this neglect. We need to foster greater respect for other people, particularly those who have views, or reflect values, that we do not agree with. This requires us to develop our capacity to have constructive conversations about the issues that divide us and that, of itself, would go along way to ensure that we improve the quality of our decision- making for the benefit of all in the long term.

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