Intro -- Diane Weston LO131
Wed, 15 Feb 1995 23:22:43 -0500

Hi-glad to be joining the conversation. As a management consultant, I've
spent my career helping companies learn to do things better. I spent 10
years doing business research and management consulting at SRI Intl.
(formerly Stanford Research Inst.) in strategic planning and competitive
analysis. I shifted from trying to tell companies how to change to helping
companies learn how to change about 5 years ago.

I worked on corporate culture change consulting with Meridian Group, using
practices from Russ Ackoff, Chris Argyris, and dialogue (before I'd ever
heard of Bohm or dialogue!)

Last year I did a major research project sponsored by SRI to see how
companies were implementing ideas from Learning Organizations and find out
what was working and what was not. I'm currently working with Bill Isaacs
and others in MIT's Dialogue Project.

After reading Senge's book, I founded a small discussion group called The
Learning Community, to talk about the ideas and furthermore, to learn to
use them to create a place for group learning and community. Starting our
fifth year, we have grown from a dozen to 50 members, with about 20 people
regularly attending a monthly meeting. We're learning about how much we
have yet to learn. If anyone would like more info on founding and leading
a learning community, let me know.

Questions on the top of my mind right now deal with learning new
metrics/measurements for learning. Perhaps a better way to put it is: How
can we assess the benefits of applying OL concepts to our work? Rather
than measuring learning per se, this is about determining the benefits to
the organization from having learned and establishing good learning
processes. Does anyone have any recent references to people or articles on

A second interest is in looking at the connections between cognitive
psychology and organizational learning--I see lots of them. As others have
noted, the work from MIT emphasizes the foundation in systems theory, but
nowhere have I seen references to the contribution of cognitive psych to
OL. Anybody seen anything or have any thoughts on this?

I'm looking forward to learning with you!
Diane Weston, DMWeston@AOL.COM