In her Psychology Today piece, author and organizational anthropologist Judith Glaser talks about what happens in the brain when people feel a sense of internal or external threat in work. Even the most well-intended focus on threats unleashes a debilitating cascade of cortisol in the brain that shuts down thinking, empathy and creativity for up to 26 hours. Every time someone thinks about anything fear or threat related, the 26 hours continues or starts again.
The implications are important, and many. This is why the weaknesses and threats featured in the traditional SWOT analysis actually makes things worse. It's why a culture of purpose, belonging and courage unleashes the opposite and lifts people from threat. It's also why politics of fear become effective barriers to innovation on all levels, and as a result are absolutely ideal for sustaining the status quo.