Re: Why a Learning Org? LO30

Tue, 07 Feb 1995 07:54:25 -0600

[Replying to John Gould's msg]

I harken to your thoughts, ideas and feelings - thanks. I believe that our
need to connect and understand the "quantum" relationships among all of
us and all things has as it's challenge the persistant quest for an almost
insatiable desire/search for what has been coined as our "individuality".
We are who we are due to a myriad of circumstances not withstanding
our biological, genetic, environmental, etc, etc, etc, influences. It is
worthy of some note, don't you think, that we go through cycles of
advice amout how we can change others. Even the notion that
motivation can be extrinsic rather than the acknowledgement that it is by
it's very nature intrinsic speaks to the enormous need we all share of a
perception of control. So, what do you think?

>>>>>>John M. Gould wrote: >>>>>>>>>
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