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Somehow I think it boils down to the fact that we just don't want to treat everyone like adults.

That is, there is a desire - conscious or unconscious - just to have labourers who should come to work and smile and work work hard without knowing why the company is doing what it's doing and without getting a chance to share in its risks and rewards.

Many years ago, Richard Palmer took a leave of absence from the totally employee-owned company where he was president, Western Textiles, to attempt to carry the beacon of enlightened open-book management to others. The concepts and practices that were tremendously successful at Western Textiles were absolutely terrifying to the owners and executives of traditional enterprises. It involved permanent and total transfer of power from the status quo top management to "their people." Despite the paens of praise about their human resources otherwise boringly routine in annual reports, those in power could not bring themselves to release control... anywhere.

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