Rol Fessenden <76234.3636@CompuServe.COM> ends his contribution
with the following observation:
>...And yet, our government and many people see nothing wrong with executing
>criminals. What is apparently abhorrent to most of the world is perfectly
>fine for us.
>Without intending to condone any other country's practices, this example
>helps me understand that we need to begin to understand what our values
>are at home, not somewhere else.
Yes, Rol. For example, continuing the trade war with Cuba after embracing
Russia might be interpreted by others as a violation of some fundamental
values (or at least perhaps a failure in logic or in the consistency of
We might ioterpret videotaped evidence of US police beating citizens
(including off-duty police officers) as an unacceptable display of values
I have a suspicion that "we" do not even have a shared consensus of what a
value really is. If every action of a society can be interpreted as an
inadvertant display of its underlying values, can any of us claim that our
current parochial geographic society displays a set of behaviours that
truly reflects "our" values.
We have debated "honesty" and "truth". Yet are my examples of behaviour an
illustration of truth and honesty in reflecting US values in society? If
one can say "it depends on the situation" or "that is an exception that is
not representative of our values", then I have to abandon any hope of
universality. And if they are not commonly held, then whose are they??
Like I said before, it is possible to define a set of values for an
organization by inferring it from their collective behaviours but surely
not by putiing any credence in their advertising, whether internal or
external via various means and media.
Such basic goals as "We want to be successful" while not tolerating any
errors or failures reflects an inconsistency. Similarly, have any company
executives espousing "empowerment" had a ceremonial burning of their
corporate policy manuals whose very existence assumes that their employees
cannot think and arrive at the "right" solution??
Let's get back to discussing how systemic thinking might be applied and
how we might limit its scope to some domain in which it might work. I
think the hospital operation might hold some hope, although having dealt
with them many years ago, I would say they are where I would expect them
to be given the diverse stakeholders who influence what they do with the
declining fiancial resources!? ...Keith
Keith Cowan <72212.51@CompuServe.COM>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>