Many are talking about the dumbing down of America. I don't think people are getting dumber. I believe, media, politicians, educators and companies try to treat us as dumb people because it makes their lives so much easier.
Most of the new business books read like 'Management for Dummies', and too many managers treat their employers like they treat a 2-year old toddler at home.
Why the dumbing down of organizations? At the heart of it you'll find risk aversion. Help centers read off scripts, infantile rules are applied to organize the working space, and seminars have to be attended to protect employees from any unpleasantness emerging from ordinary work relations.
Work differences have to be worked out by Human Resources and managers, instead to be handled by the employees themselves. Part of it is our litigious society. But, more importantly, if you treat your employees like toddlers they will run to mama if they will feel mistreated. And, by supporting this kind of behavior, we don't interact openly with each other, censoring our speech and ideas.
Rules are important and some behavior needs to be handled by management and Human Resources.
But employees need to be encouraged to work out their own conflicts and differences. Conformity and predictability are enemies of innovation and change. And the growth of your brand/organization.