Re: Unskillful decisions LO143

Jim Michmerhuizen (
Fri, 17 Feb 1995 20:25:48 +0001 (EST)

On Thu, 2 Feb 1995, GRAY SOUTHON wrote:

> from "Gray Southon" <>
> I would like to contribute a further concept which I think expands on
> this.
> That is the concept of distributed intelligence.
> Most physical sciences, and much of organisational theory for that matter,
> implicily assumes that situations are understood from one perspective -
> i.e. one works with a central intelligence (usually one's own). In this
> context, hierarchy and autocratice managment makes a lot of sense.
> However, I contend that things like organisations cannot be understood
> from one perspective, so it is necessary to link everybody's perspectives
> through their individual intelligences for the organisation to be
> understood. i.e. we must coordinate distributed intelligences.
> I think we need a better understanding of what this involves.

I found this an extraordinarily provocative notion. Started thinking with
it, more or less tentatively, and got to some very interesting places very

It's the end of a path that - for our purposes - began with Descartes. The
central singular "ego" is a consequence of "cogito ergo sum". It's a logical
primitive converted to a subsisting thing. Each one of us is only allowed,
as it were, one of these.

Autocratic institutions simply project this notion into their social
structure: there can only be a single ego (=ceo or whatever) directing
things [think how ego as center of will/decision relates to ego as center
of intelligence].

If there can be distributed intelligence in a social structure like a
business enterprise, then there can be distributed intelligence within each
of us.

Now if I could just get my shoes tied right...

------ There are more different kinds of people in the world ---------
--------------- than there are people... -------------------