I just read Martin's answer to Ray's question "Will senior managers change
as a result of their encounter with LO theory ?" And I can only agree.
Most of the senior managers got there with their way of doing things
(obviously very successfully - they wouldn't be there) and they're being
asked to change a winning hand to something they can't yet gauge the
I had numerous philosophical discussions with our president here on the
very same subject and I realized just what Martin says. However, I'm still
puzzled by one thing (which, coming back to Ray's original question - or
the underlying assumption, can be seen as a lack of commitment to the LO
theory). Senior managers are a tough breed to change, but yet, maybe
unwittingly, they set up their own people when they ask them to look into
LO (or any other new management theory) for implementation in the company.
LO requires change everywhere, and lots of efforts can be spent
introducing the concepts, but most are doomed to fail because the senior
managers have more incentives (insecurity, shareholders, etc.) not to
change. At that point, in a company, the expression "management fad"
IMHO, Argyris proposes an excellent solution for this problem - moving to
a model II theory-in-use. This does not imply dramatic change in the
processes at first, but with values of reliable data, informed choice and
responsibility for follow-up, a better go/no-go decision for LO
implementation will be taken (remember, LO is not a religion - some do and
will succeed without it). And, as a corollary, as they would value
informed choice, they would read Senge cover to cover.
Christian Giroux <lmccgir@LMC.Ericsson.SE>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>