These comments about the "old managers" remind me of John Warfield's
comments (admonishments) about finding people who really do know how
to handle complex problems and going to learn from them instead of
defending other ways or just being ineffective.
I recently conducted a workshop with a German manufacturing company
where one of the most reactionary managers "got the message". When
we asked for what they were going to do when they went back to work,
he responded, "Hi. My name is Rudy. From now on I'd like you to
call me that. I will call you by your first name." And it got
better from there. He said that in forty years no one had used first
names and he realised that relationships and dialogue were affected
Your responses have taken my points and somehow changed them into
*not* my points. The love that I see is not rooted in "they belong
to me" in my view. Sure it's paternalistic - but that's the system
they grew up in. And I don't think a father's love, even though
expressed in controlling ways, comes from the "ownership" view.
Rather, the ownership is in the way of a workable expression of the
love. And seeing it the way I'm saying it provides the ability to
work with these people. Saying it they way you say it will have
those people be *wrong* and you won't be able to work with them and
we'll all agree that it was them.
Of course they don't see self organisation. They grew up in a
different world. However, I find that they can see self organisation
when not only given the story of it but when they're helped to see
that it was happening all along - and was screwed up by a system of
some other kind.
Of course you have to be "hard against the hardliners". But the
reason isn't apparent from your writing. You have to be hard because
that's the way they understand the world. You might call it an issue
of rapport rather than anything else. Being "hard" doesn't *mean*
anything, it's just a part of what it takes. Being "soft" and loving
them is the larger context in which being "hard" needs to occur.
In dealing with tough kids, there's a phrase in some circles called
"tough love". It works when the context is love and the
communication is tough. It doesn't work when the context is tough
and the communication attempts to be love.
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk