Archie and Gary make some interesting points.
> Archie Kreager said:
>> If everyone of those who believed that they were in the "have-nots"
>> improved themselves 10% this year, what would the impact on our
>> society be?
> What an awesome thought! Listening to Michael Gerber about small
> businesses, if we can save just 10% of the small businesses from going
> bankrupt, the ripple effect would positively propel our economy! Can
> you imagine the ripple effects if all the have-nots improved
> themselves just 10%?
First, who is responsible to make sure fewer small businesses fail? Seems
to me that when we start a business, we should be the ones to ensure its
success (along with those we employ, etc.) That is what a learning
organization is about: Learning how to more effectively take action to
achieve the results we truly want (such as owning a successful business).
Second, how would one measure their own improvement? This is a rather
sophisticated idea, in that people rarely look at their current "reality"
objectively. . .and hence have no reliable touchstone used for measuring
progress. Personal Mastery is clearly about improving our personal
condition, but, frankly, many people are terrified of the idea. Values
will get challenged, deeply held assumptions will have to change, and
unpleasant feelings/emotions which influence so much of our behavior will
have to be addressed and resolved. Sounds like hard and occasionally
painful work! But then the rewards are well worth the effort!
> But what about the 'haves' -- lots of them aren't improving themselves
> 10% each year! If we can get the haves focused on continually
> learning individually, as we do in learning organizations can you
> imagine the ripple effect...as a person develops and grows, they can't
> help wanting to reach out to their fellow human beings...the
> have-nots...and help them grow!
What you say here seems to obvious that it would need no commentary. I'd
agree, Gary, that individual learning is the starting point, but in the
long-term it is insufficient. Learning to "learn" together is far more
challenging than learning to "learn" alone.
It seems true to me that once someone experiences the transformational
power of Personal Mastery they naturally want to share it. However,
there's a world of difference between "wanting to share" and "knowing how
to share." The desire does not imply the ability. To me, this is
significant. It is learning "how" to do this that evokes our (and others)
greatness, not merely having the desire. . .
> (side-thought: developing learning individuals instead of learning
> organizations...does that make sense? Instead of making the
> organizations benefit, should we focus on making the individuals
> benefit, and hence the organization? or are these just individuals
> who have decided to live life to the fullest, and soak in every
> experience and knowledge they are capable of?)
Organizations are comprised of individuals. Thus, an organization that is
filled with "individual learners" is on it's way to achieving its full
potential. However, the true power of an organization clearly comes from
the synergistic, learning-centered relationships that can emerge from
within an organization. Nonetheless, we should never get so concerned with
the welfare of the organization that we trample on the "individual."
Benjamin B. Compton ("Ben") | email: email@example.com Novell GroupWare Technical Engineer | fax: (801) 222-6991
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>