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How Can Organizations Learn Faster? The Challenge of Entering the Green Room

If you put a dog in a green room and give it electric shocks, it learns to steer clear of that room. But what if the green room is organizational change, and people are so afraid of past experiences with it that they won't try anything new? In this article, Schein unravels the key psychological elements that inhibit or promote change. His primary goal is to help organizations not only to change, but to change faster, in order to keep up with the rapidly shifting environment. He begins with abstract concepts of learning and then outlines a change management procedure that leaders can use to help their organizations change and, ultimately, to develop perpetually learning organizations. This paper is based on an invited address to the World Economic Forum, 6 February 1992, Davos, Switzerland.

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