Re: Why a Learning Org? LO20

John Gould (
5 Feb 1995 15:36:10 -0500

Host's Note: I do intend to collect responses and summarize, but I
thought you might enjoy seeing John's message more currently.

Mail*Link(r) SMTP RE>Why a Learning Organization??


The answer to your question might be a little disjointed but it
generated a flood of ideas that are still percolating!

Why do we want a LO?--because it gives organizations the possibilities
to discover who they are, where they want to go, and define the quality of
life they wish to pursue.

We need to bother because of the issues of complexity and the quality
of life on the earth. Complexity is driven by a feedback loop containing
variables from the social, cognitive, political, organizational, and
technological worlds. These variables have always be with us, but what has
changed is the speed of access to information (compressed information
float time). Mass media, cyberspace, technological artifacts are adding to
the complexity facing all of us. James Burke's Connections is an excellent
example of these loops developing over time. I find within the educational
organizations I work with a disconnectiveness from these variables which
heigthens thier inability to see their relationship to the system.
Introducing the tools of LO has given some a new lens to understand this
disconnectiveness. I am starting to generate many examples but I don't
think you are asking for those at this time.

After reading and listening to Capra, Ackoff, Senge, et me the LO
is part of an evolutionary process.I see the LO evolving into what I would
call (it might already be coined) the Ecological Organization. The EO will
create the "sustainable community" that Capra envisions. This is why I am
pursuing the LO concepts with all the organizations that I work with. What
the LO gives these organizations (schools - businesses) is away to explore
their present assumptions juxtapositioned with new assumptions that will
be found in sustainable communities.

If you ask me what the mental models of the EO are and how they relate
to our present organization I am not sure. But, the essence of the LO will
help to generater the models linked to many of Capra's concepts found in
living systems. For example, given all the recent discoveries in the
cognitive sciences, why do our school systems continue to produce a
byproduct called student failure? If life-long-learning is a vision for
school systems, how would we create a self renewing process that would
enhance all learners and increase the quality of life within the

Would like to know what questions this has raised for you to help me in
expanding my thinking?


John M. Gould

Date: 1/29/95 11:02 PM
To: John Gould
Why a Learning Org?? Why bother... It *does* take effort. Why do we want
learning organizations? On a personal level, why do you want to build
learning organizations? Why do you want your own organization to be more
of a learning organization?

Richard Karash ("Rick") | (o) 508-879-8301 | Mac * Flying
Innovation Associates, Inc. | (fax) 508-626-2205 | Systems Thinking
3 Speen St, Framingham MA 01701 | | Std. Disclaimer

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