In LO2946 Willard Jules who was replying to LO2937 and
reflecting on his experiences at the STiA conferences --
I was really taken by the sharing of the personal learning (thank
>Now other things started to fall into place. The realization that we will
>be much more effective when we accept personal responsibility for our
>results became even more deeply entrenched in my emerging mental models.
>It seems that the fundamental transformation I want to see requires people
>in power positions to create conditions that help people develop from a
>sense of dependence to a sense of independent capability and do this in an
>interdependent context. This, by the way, is why I feel that it is
>imperative that senior management lead the transformation process. In the
>current conditions that exist in many organizations, individuals can
>accept personal responsibility for themselves but they are not going to
>change the prevailing culture.
... and yet even the senior managers in many (especially large)
organisations may well need to develop from a sense of dependence
themselves. I think the real issue for me in all of this is who are
the senior managers of the system?? Whilst we wait for them could
we be doing something to lead change ourselves?? If we are the
ones who have seen a new vision and new ways of being then could we
start to live them? In living them might we impact the system
around us (and influence the senior managers)??? Sometimes the
system-individual question ties me up in knots!
>Someone then pointed out to me that chaos theory tells us that a small
>perturbation to a system in chaos can lead to a major transformation. I
>believe that this is possible, but the corporations that I have been
>dealing with recently are not at the edge of chaos. Small perturbations
>are unlikely to lead to fundamental redefinition of the way these
>organizations so business.
Can we tell if organisations are at the edge of chaos? If we make
the decision to change the way we do things it will make a
difference to those parts of the system we touch - my sense is that
this is worth doing for it's own sake and who knows what the impact
might be elsewhere (and that's not why we do it)?
>So what is the fundamental formula for a business to be successful? It
>seems that the answer is in the value/price/cost relationship. That is,
>as long as the customer perceives the value of a product or service to be
>greater than the purchase price (and they can pay the price), they will
>buy it. The provider will continue to offer the product or service as
>long as they can do it at a cost that is sufficiently below the price the
>customer will pay.
>This personal lesson in economics made it clear why the businesses I
>interacted with are still successful using 1920's management tools; no
>competitor is providing a superior offering. The internal dynamics of any
>organization are then transparent and irrelevant to the customer. Only
>when a competitor uses the learning organization tools to bring a superior
>offering to the market place with an effective market access strategy will
>it be necessary for business to fundamentally change their cultures.
.. and there are organisations who I buy from because of the way
they do business and treat their people and there are those I will
not buy from..... I have a sense that the number of people who make
purchasing decisions taking into account other factors like
sustainability is growing
... there are some lovely stories from amnesty international about
the difference our letters and postcards make - we only send one
each and yet the cumulative effect is huge - but we need to make
the decision that our one little action is worth making and can
make a difference.
>Bottom line message for me is that all I can do is use the tools with the
>companies I work with and work to help the senior managers discover the
>power for themselves and others in using the tools. It seems that
>paradigm shifts don't come easily.
... sounds like we are saying the same thing... except I would be
open to the notion that there might be people in the system, other
than senior managers, who can see there is a better way and are
ready to lead the system forward - and they may just have the
Thanks for the feedback notes I really appreciate them.
-- Julie Beedon VISTA Associates - consulting for a better future firstname.lastname@example.org